Every year, there are prospects who end up getting drafted way earlier than anticipated because they fly under the radar or because the media never gets a good grasp on the value of certain players. Then again, sometimes one team just really likes a player much more than other teams.
On the flip side, we also see players free-fall come draft day. As a general rule, when a well-regarded player starts to take a massive tumble during the draft, that is usually a sign of concerns about injury or personal character. Sometimes we don't see those slides coming, and sometimes they are hard to miss.
Here are six prospects who could slip during draft weekend (April 27-29 in Philadelphia) based on factors like legal issues, personal character, injury or an average postseason.
Editor's note: Gareon Conley was added to this list in the wake of news that police are investigating him after he was accused of rape by a woman earlier this month.
Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida: Brantley was charged over the weekend with suspicion of misdemeanor battery for allegedly knocking a woman unconscious on April 13. He was once considered a potential first-round pick. With his legal situation looming large, it's likely that Brantley will slide to the late rounds or go undrafted.
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: Charlton carries a fairly high grade from yours truly, but his lack of consistent production at UM and average postseason workouts have hurt his draft standing. Charlton would have been well-served to compete at the Senior Bowl in January, but he opted to decline an invitation. Without a strong NFL Scouting Combine or pro-day performance in his back pocket, he might find himself as a fringe first-rounder now.
Gareon Conley, Ohio State: Conley's slide down the draft board is a distinct possibility, as police confirmed to NFL.com that he's being investigated after being accused of rape. Conley has not been charged or arrested in connection to the alleged incident, and investigators are in the process of scheduling an interview with him, per Cleveland Police Dept. spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia. Unless there is a sudden resolution in Conley's favor, his draft stock could free-fall.
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan: In another case of alleged domestic violence looming over a 2017 draft prospect, the former Michigan corner has gone from likely Day 2 selection (Rounds 2-3) to potentially going undrafted. Lewis faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend last month. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last month. A jury trial is set for July 24 and three teams I've spoken with said they won't draft him with a trial date still in his future.
Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA: McKinley had surgery on his right shoulder in March to repair a torn labrum and fracture in his shoulder socket. The recovery time is typically 4-6 months. I've spoken with teams who believe he could be on the PUP list to start the season. McKinley's talent will likely land him in the first round, but it probably won't be as early as some have projected.
Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama: This one has become unanimous with NFL teams I've spoken to. Williams has first-round talent, but won't hear his name called in the first round and might not hear it called until Round Three. Williams has failed drug tests, was arrested for carrying a pistol without a permit last September and scouts say he has a difficult time adjusting to complicated defensive schemes. He has talent, but there are too many things working against him not to fall.