Multiple first-round prospects made business decisions before the draft. And it didn’t stop teams from doing business with them.
A pair of running backs skipped bowl games, and that didn’t keep Leonard Fournette (pictured) from becoming the No. 4 selection. It also didn’t prevent Christian McCaffrey from going No. 8 overall.
Likewise, McCaffrey declined all requests for private workouts. It didn’t matter. The Panthers didn’t hesitate to add him.
For safety Jabrill Peppers, who had both a positive drug test and a late scratch from Michigan’s bowl game, he still went right about where most thought he’d go, at No. 25 to the Browns.
Here’s the lesson, first-round prospects: You have a lot more power than they want you to think. If you’re confident that a first-round selection is coming, take control of your situation. Take no unnecessary physical risks, whether it’s ditching a bowl game or the Senior Bowl or private workouts or even the Scouting Combine and/or the Pro Day workout.
Ultimately, these decisions are driven by game film. Interviews also help, and since they don’t entail physical risk, there’s no downside to submitting to those.