Per a report from Jim Corbett of USA TODAY Sports, the general managers of the Minnesota Vikings, Rick Spielman, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kevin Colbert, have expressed concern over the maturity levels of some NFL draft prospects. This report comes amid assessments that this draft class may be among the deepest classes talent-wise in years. Spielman was specifically concerned with some of the comments eight players had posted on their Twitter accounts. Spielman said:
There were guys I found on Twitter this year that I can’t believe they would post and re-Tweet some of the stuff they were saying. We wrote a report just on their Twitter accounts. I won’t say names, but out of the 60 we did, there are eight guys we have concerns about their Twitter feeds that will address here (at the Combine).
When queried on the content of the Tweets in questions, Spielman said it was admissions he was surprised to see so boldly posted on social media:
Immaturity: Why would you Tweet that? Some things specifically on there: ‘Hey I’m going out and partying with the guys tonight.’ Or admitting they took a drug. It’s amazing what you can find on social media. And they don’t realize what they just put out there.
Spielman was not the only general manager who felt that way. Colbert also weighed in with his concerns:
Even thought is the most talented group I’ve ever seen, I’m also worried it’s probably the most immature group. And we have to be prepared for more player development-type programs and maybe enhancing your player development for us to get the most out of these younger players. We’re very cautiously optimistic about their emotional and physical readiness.
More and more underclassmen are entering the draft, fueled by the rookie wage scale negotiated in the NFL’s last Collective Bargaining Agreement. College players realize that, because they cannot negotiate a new contract until the last year of their rookie one, it is advantageous to get into the NFL as soon as possible and reach their second NFL contract sooner. The NFL will continue to see younger players entering the draft.