March 4, 2024

Follow the author: @CST_Max_Gold

If Rueben Foster didn’t slide down the draft board already, then recent news should slide him even further. A red flag popped up Thursday when news dropped that Foster’s urine sample came back diluted at the combine. A diluted sample by NFL standards is treated a positive test. Once considered a top 10 pick, Foster now sits at the 15th and 17th pick in recent mock drafts from Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. This kid has unquestionable football talent. He was a stud at Alabama, leading the team in tackles while commanding a complex defense. He earned the Butkus Award for the nation’s best linebacker. The questions are about his character; can he get himself in order and is he worth a risk?

This is just one Alabama prospect with concerns, but does it reflect back on the university? Normally I would say no to just one isolated incident, but this isn’t the first issue for an Alabama product. Fellow linebacker Tim Williams is raising concern over multiple failed drug tests while attending college. Williams was also arrested last September on a misdemeanor charge carrying a pistol without a permit. Offensive tackle Cam Robinson was arrested on felony gun charges in the offseason, but the Louisiana District Attorney declined to prosecute.

Now some of these kids just make mistakes.

They are young adults still learning how to manage responsibilities and expectations. I’m not trying to make excuses, but it’s the truth. Some players make mistakes in college, learn from them and move forward in a positive direction.

For example, in 2011 alumni Mark Barron was charged with a second degree misdemeanor for hindering an investigation. He must have learned his lesson because he has yet to run into the law since. Same goes for HaHa Clinton-Dix who received money in 2011. He was suspended two games and relayed the money he accepted. Since that incident, HaHa hasn’t made a blip on the radar. Then you have guys who just keep making poor choices like Marcell Dareus who received money at Alabama in 2010. He didn’t make any noise in the NFL until 2015 when he was suspended for the first game after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Dareus was then suspended for four games last season for violating the league’s substance abuse program.

Now, is it fair to blame the University of Alabama? I don’t believe it is. These players are responsible for their own actions and there are probably more players with positive news than negative news anyway. The difference is that we always hear about the bad. Although it may be unfair, it is understandable though. Alabama is one of the nation’s top football schools, so it’s only natural to be always under the microscope.

Should the Browns risk taking these players? That remains to be seen…

Follow the author: @CST_Max_Gold

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