In the hours leading up to the NFL Draft, NFL hopefuls would typically try and stay low. However, that wasn’t the case with arguably the top player in this year’s draft class. Just hours before the biggest day of his life, T Laremy Tunsil found himself in hot water with NFL teams as he was caught hanging out with ‘mary jane.’
A video that has gone viral, Tunsil found himself in trouble as it shows Tunsil smoking marijuana via a bong. That type of publicity had a negative impact on Tunsil’s draft stock. A sure-fire top five pick was available when the San Francisco 49ers were on the clock at No. 7.
49ers’ GM Trent Baalke had a rare opportunity to not only select the best player available, but address a position of need. The 49ers selected DE DeForeset Buckner instead.
Immediately following the selection, Baalke admitted that Tunsil’s video played a big factor in their decision making process. “Well, I think every team is aware of the video. We factor in everything. So, whether you get that information late in the process or you get it early in the process, it’s all factored in.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 29, 2016
Luckly for Tunsil he didn’t go undrafted like last year’s T La’el Collins. Like Tunsil, Collins also hailed from the SEC and was a sure-fire top 10 selection. That never came to fruition. Why? Because a report came out saying he was scheduled to talk to the Louisiana State police days after the draft, about the shooting death of a pregnant woman with whom he previously had a relationship (even though the report stated that Collins was not a suspect).
So why Tunsil may have been the higher rated player [Buckner] on the field while immediately addressing a need, Baalke and company may have completely wiped him off their board as character concerns are not taken lightly.