Lions General Manager Bob Quinn is free to admit that there are “red flags” with defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.
But he also understands that the complicated part of the draft process is how much weight to put on those concerns, knowing that at some point you have to consider whether the talent supersedes the questions.
“That’s just things that we have to consider the value of the player compared to the risk involved in taking him,” Quinn said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “So it’s not like these guys are off the board. You just got to manage the risk and the reward of taking a guy like that.”
In a vacuum, landing a player with Nkemdiche’s talent with the 16th overall pick would be good business for Quinn.
But then he has to worry about a number of issues, including the fact Nkemdiche FELL OUT A WINDOW, a marijuana arrest, admitted laziness, and the fact he WANTS TO BUY A PANTHER, which is not something you just overlook.
Quinn talked about the need to do deep background research, to see which issues matter the most to them. And with teams stacking their boards before next week’s draft, deciding which players to take off the board entirely is one of the remaining tasks.
“That’s really one of the last things that we do in our process, is eliminating guys from the board for those off-the-field concerns,” Quinn said. “So we’re actually having meetings about that in the next couple of days, so I don’t have an exact number [of how many there are” right now. There will be a fair number of guys that we will not consider for character concerns and off-the-field reasons. But I don’t have a firm number right now.”
Were Nkemdiche not so talented, more teams would likely take him off the board. But his ability is making teams make judgment calls, and decide for themselves whether glass shards, some weed or a jungle cat is enough to scare them away.