Aldon Smith is having several off-field incidences that are making people starting to question whether or not he deserves to be in the NFL, but this isn’t anything new. According to NBC Sports, Smith was red-flagged for trouble before he was even drafted.
The NFL uses a North Carolina-based scouting service called Human Resource Tactics to give analyses of all incoming players, and Smith’s report was littered with negative information.
“He has some past experience with getting into trouble and is a higher-than-average risk for this sort of behavior in the future.”
“Smith’s upside potential is limited by his poor work ethic,” the report stated. “Although he will not use injuries as an excuse, he will not always give his best and stay focused in practice. Smith does not seem to understand the link between preparation and game performance. Instead of paying the price time and again to improve his skills, coaches will see that he will slack off occasionally and will try to get by with sporadic levels of preparation and effort in practices and the offseason.
“He does not consistently show the kind of passion and commitment to the game that we see in successful players.”
Smith was arrested on Sunday for allegedly making a bomb threat at Los Angeles Airport but prior to that he had to be admitted to rehab stemming from two DUI arrests, he was arrested on gun charges, stabbed at his house, etc. The list goes on and on for Smith, but bringing up now the fact that a report prior to him being drafted said that he was at risk for character issues doesn’t change or help the situation or Smith. The fact is that time and again the NFL brushes off reports like this or warning signs that players made need psychological help just because a player excels in talent. The NFL appears to care about the money to be made and not the player.
The report did also cite Aldon to have poor work ethic, which based on his performance on the field would be an incorrect assessment. However, this is another glaring example of too little, too late. There could have been steps made to help Smith in the past after the report came out, and that didn’t happen.