NFL Teams Despite Resources Still Can’t Weed Out Troublemakers

Whenever a NFL team drafts a player they do it mostly based on the players talent on the field.  This is done because it’s what they have the most information on.  Between scouts and video and watching games on TV NFL teams have a good idea of what a player’s game day make up is.

The tricky part comes when they have to try to figure out what his psychological make up is, how mentally strong he is, how intelligent the player is and what kind of character he displays.

All this is based on tests like the Wonderlick and other psych evaluations but unfortunately they don’t have check boxes that say check here if you’re psychotic, here if you’re a sociopath and here if you’re a pathological liar.

Many players are drafted regardless of their flaws.  Guys like Adam “Pac Man” Jones come to mind. In his short time in the NFL he wreaked havoc in many places and was suspended a year.  Michael Vick turned out to be an abuser of animals and dog fighting promoter.

In 2012 Seattle drafted Bruce Irvin despite noted off field issues and he had a great rookie season and as far as we know caused no problems. 

The New England Patriots thought they had such a player in Aaron Hernandez.  A guy, who had a troubled youth, ran with the wrong crowd and even suffered the loss of his father while in high school but was on the path to being a model a citizen with some help from the team and his family.

Hernandez went to the University of Florida and had some off field problems there and despite his talent his draft stock dropped him all the way to the fourth round because of those issues.  Bill Belichick and the Patriots took him anyway partly based on what former Gator head coach Urban Meyer had to say about him.  But a lot of the decision turns out was based on how well Hernandez scored on those test that were sited earlier.  In fact in the psych profile he had a perfect score.

For some reason though with everything good in front of him, a NFL career, a great girlfriend and baby daughter, an older brother who has tried to help guide him and a new five-year contract worth $41 million it appears Hernandez has been unable to stay away from trouble.

It’s being reported he once threatened Wes Welker in team facilities, he allegedly shot a “friend” in the face last winter and is being sued for the injuries and now he is involved in a murder investigation of a semi-pro football player who dated his girlfriends sister.

It’s frustrating and sad to see talented young men, attempt to beat the odds only to fall back into trouble because they have been unable to leave their thug life past behind.

We’re not sure what will happen with Hernandez but it sure looks like he is deep trouble legally and when that is resolved he will have to face the Commissioner regarding a disciplinary hearing and how it will affect his NFL career going forward if he even has one.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII

photo credit: getty images