Scott Haynes - FBS Senior Editor Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Every year it seems there is a player coming out of college who pro personnel scratch their heads about - one who possesses both a high ceiling and an abyss-like floor simultaneously.
In the 2015 NFL Draft, that player is wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. The former Missouri Tiger and Oklahoma Sooner definitely passes the eyeball test, blessed with great size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) and impressive speed (4.4-second 40-yard dash) that rivals a star like Detroit's Calvin Johnson.
However, that is where the comparisons come to a screeching halt.
Green-Beckham came out of high school as the No. 1 recruit in the country. He played two seasons at Missouri and despite posting strong numbers in 2013 (59 receptions, 883 yards, 12 touchdowns), that is where his playing days ended. Having already been arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents, Green- Beckham was dismissed from the Missouri program after being a subject in a burglary and assault investigation.
At some point, Missouri came to the conclusion that the cost of keeping Green- Beckham around simply wasn't worth it and head coach Gary Pinkel was left with no choice.
"This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind," Pinkel said in a prepared statement in April 2014. "Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start."
Green-Beckham received that fresh start courtesy of Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners. While he was enrolled in Norman, Green-Beckham never suited up for the Sooners in 2014, ruled ineligible due to transfer rules.
By all accounts, he was a model citizen this past year at Oklahoma, but instead of re-establishing himself as a rising star at the collegiate level, Green-Beckham decided to make himself eligible for this year's NFL Draft.
Now it is up to NFL teams to decide just how much Green-Beckham's past will cost him next week.
He has first-round talent, but that isn't the whole picture.
Wideouts like Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon and Cleveland's Josh Gordon could prove to be cautionary tales. Both difference makers on the offensive side of the football who have dominated at times in the NFL, Blackmon and Gordon have certainly struggled off the field (substance abuse), resulting in several suspensions over their brief careers. Gordon joined the league through the 2012 supplemental draft after issues at Baylor, while Blackmon was the fifth overall pick just a couple of months prior.
Then there are those players who have made the risk worth it.
Despite having all the talent in the world, Randy Moss dropped all the way to the 21st pick in the 1998 NFL Draft due to the "red flags" that accompanied him. Despite his mercurial nature with teammates and coaching staffs, Moss will go down as one of the NFL's best wide receivers when all is said and done and a true game-changer on the field.
Dallas made Dez Bryant the 24th player selected in the 2010 draft. He had some issues in college regarding his eligibility that cost him almost all of the 2009 season and carried a great deal of off-the-field baggage with him when he left Oklahoma State. Concerns regarding his maturity lingered into his first couple of seasons in Big D, but Bryant, like Moss, has weathered the storm and evolved into one of the league's superstars.
NFL Draft pundits are quick to point out DGB's flaws. He is a mess from a technical standpoint, doesn't run good routes and lacks a strong work ethic. Still somehow, those same "experts" put a first- or second-round grade on him. That is all based on potential.
In looking at Green-Beckham, one can see him falling on either side of the fence at this point. Some team is going to get a hugely talented athlete, but the NFL is filled with talented athletes. How Green-Beckham conducts himself as a professional both on and off the field will ultimately tell his tale.
Stories of wasted talent litter the NFL landscape. It remains to be seen if Green-Beckham will join that ever-growing list.