Extra Points: Ohio State's Roby complicates his future
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - George Bernard Shaw wore quite a few hats during his life. He was one heck of a playwright, a tremendous novelist and quite an accomplished journalist, as well as a noted economist, albeit a socialistic one.
Turns out Shaw had quite the handle on the NFL Draft, too, even if he didn't know it.
One of Shaw's most famous quotes was "youth is wasted on the young," and millions upon millions of wet-behind-the-ears folks have been proving the Irish essayist right ever since.
The latest was Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, a likely first-round pick in the 2014 draft, at least until he was picked up on OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) charges on April 20.
According to WBNS-10 TV in Columbus, officers were called to a scene in which a person, who turned out to be Roby, was passed out behind the wheel of his car.
The officers responding claimed they were unable to get Roby's attention and when the door was opened, the smell of alcohol was present. Roby then failed a field sobriety test.
Roby's agent, Michael Perrett, confirmed the incident to the Ohio State sports website ElevenWarriors.com and did his best to spin it in a positive fashion.
"This past weekend my client Bradley Roby was issued a citation in Columbus, Ohio for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI)," Perrett said in a statement released to the website. "Bradley was sitting in his parked car in a parking lot when he was approached and questioned by an officer. He was fully cooperative and willingly submitted to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests.
"His BAC (blood alcohol content) test registered a negligible .008 and after further testing at the police station, he was very quickly released on his own recognizance. There are no other charges, and we are confident that this matter will be resolved quickly and favorably for Bradley."
Roby addressed the issue on his personal Twitter account Friday morning, tweeting a document which seemed to confirm his agent's claim and the words "I was not drunk."
Roby went on to tweet that he was "not driving. I did not get arrested. Was not in a cell. No finger prints. No mug shot." Court documents, however, indicate he will be arraigned on April 29.
Some have pointed to this incident as just another example of why the NFL's decision to push the draft back by two weeks has been harmful to all, but that's as specious as an argument can get.
After all in a normal league year, the draft would have kicked off on Thursday, April 24 and Roby was picked up four days before that date, so if anything, it's likely the delay actually will help because there will be a little more time between the faux pas and the actual draft.
Whether it's enough time remains to be seen because this is just the latest salvo for critics of Roby, who was suspended by Urban Meyer for the first game of the 2013 season after participating in a bar fight.
On the field, Roby struggled early in 2013 but came on in the second half before a knee injury in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State essentially ended his college career. Ohio State went on to lose to the Spartans and subsequently to Clemson in the Orange Bowl without Roby -- the club's only two losses.
"That was very frustrating," Roby said. "I had an injury where I couldn't play. A lot of people decided they wanted to make up things, saying this or that. At the end of the day everybody is entitled to their own opinions, they can believe what they want to believe. At the end of the day, I just couldn't get back."
Many scouts have called the upcoming draft the deepest in 20 years or so with wide receiver and cornerback serving as marquee positions in the process.
Roby, who has good size and top-tier speed, seemed to be settling in as the third-rated corner by most behind former Oklahoma State star Justin Gilbert and Michigan State press-cover standout Darqueze Dennard.
"I think I had a decent season," Roby said when discussing his final year at Ohio State. "It wasn't what I expected. The first half of the season didn't go as I expected. Those things happen. I learned a lot from it and I got better.
"At corner, reps is everything, training your eyes, looking at the right places all the time, all those type of things. Kind of got away from that. Kind of undisciplined type of play I was playing at the beginning of the season."
Other observers, who like Roby's back pedal and ability to turn his hips, even projected the Dallas-area native could jump to the top of the corner heap, a now unlikely scenario after the OVI incident.
"I had to go through a few obstacles," Roby said. "I got into a little incident before this season. I had an injury in the Michigan State game, I tried to finish that game as much as I could for my teammates. There's a lot of things. Any time you're working to do something great, you're going to have adversities.
"You have to man up and face it every time."
Cornerback-desperate teams which have Roby on their radars are now probably putting Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller and TCU's Jason Verrett back in the mix as far safer potential options.
Of course, others who don't pick until later in the first round (think Cincinnati, San Diego and San Francisco) could be dreaming of a silver lining which has Roby dropping directly to them.
Roby turns 22 on May 1 and is not exactly Aaron Hernandez. He's made the same mistakes many young men at his age make, but most people in the early 20s also aren't on the cusp of signing a contract for millions of dollars.
The fact that Roby, who is one of the 30 players scheduled to be in attendance at Radio City Music Hall in two weeks, couldn't understand what he had to lose is probably the most troubling aspect in all of this.
It also means Roby is going to have to wait longer for his name to be called than expected and for the first time, it's conceivable that it might not be heard until Friday on Day 2 of the draft.
Youth is indeed wasted on the young.
The Sports Network's top cornerbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft:
1. - Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
2. - Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
3. - Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
4. - Bradley Roby, Ohio State
5. - Jason Verrett, TCU
6. - Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
7. - Phillip Gaines, Rice
8. - Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
9. - Marcus Roberson, Florida
10. - Victor Hampton, South Carolina
The Sports Network's Stock Watch:
Sleepers - Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
Small School Standouts - Walt Aikins, Liberty; Pierre Desir, Lindenwood
Risk/Reward - Roby; Purifoy
04/25 12:24:53 ET