Higbee was charged about three weeks before the draft with second-degree assault and second-degree fleeing or evading police, along with public intoxication, following an altercation outside a bar that left the alleged victim hospitalized with a concussion and a brain hemorrhage. Higbee intends to plead not guilty at a May 5 arraignment, and according to his attorney, his use of force was justified.
"He's been arrested in the last month and it's not the first transgression," said NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock. "I had a third-round grade on him; he's very good in the passing game. I talked to at least five teams about him prior to the draft and all of them had moved him down their draft board significantly."
Analyst Daniel Jeremiah rated Higbee as the third-best tight end in the draft, but also had lower expectations of where he would be selected due to character concerns.
"I thought we might see him (drafted) as a flier in the sixth or seventh round," Jeremiah said.
Higbee caught 38 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns last year from one of college's football's most prolific passers, Brandon Doughty.