Every year there are certain players that raise certain character concerns, leaving teams to determine how they value said player. This year's example is Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant has had an assortment of issues over the past year. He was suspended by the NCAA and reportedly had a lot of problems at his Pro Day workout (no cleats, not running slant routes, etc). For the purposes of this post, whether any of that is true is neither here nor there.
Over the last week, I've read numerous reports indicating that Team X has removed Player Y from their draft board heading into next week's NFL Draft. For example, I read these two tweets from Maiocco and Barrows:
Now I'm fairly certain teams have removed certain players from their draft boards. After all, individuals like form very specific opinions about certain players. They may not want to draft a player because of character concerns or it's simply not a need, or one of a host of reasons.
However, if I'm team X, would I purposefully want the rest of the NFL world to know I have no intention of drafting certain players? And when you're talking about a guy like Dez Bryant, who's virtually guaranteed to go in the first round, why would you show your hand like that? I suppose there could be leaks from FO, but again, why would you give up that kind of info? If I'm leaking info, I'd rather leak something indicating my interest in a certain player to potentially work a trade scenario if I'm really not interested.
The draft is very much a cat and mouse game when it comes to trying to get the guys you want. And given how valuable trades can be, it just doesn't seem to make much strategic sense to say there's no way we're drafting a certain player.
But then again, maybe I'm wrong. When you read a report that a certain player has been taken off a draft board, do you believe that? Or do you view it as misinformation?