There are numerous ways to evaluate potential draft picks. In the NFL there is the draft combine, interviews, individual workouts, and even certain colleges have pro days where premier university allows NFL personnel to evaluate players on campus. Yet in the 2016 NFL Draft a 30 second video posted on social media minutes before the commencement of the draft had tremendous impact on the draft itself.
Laremy Tunsil was potentially projected to be a potential number one draft pick because of the talent he has on the football field. The biggest hindrance to Tunsil’s draft stock was character issues which involve suspension, arrest, and drug use. First issue was a 7 game suspension Tunsil received when he was at Ole Miss for receiving improper benefits. NFL teams might not be as worried about this incident because in the NFL players will get paid while NCAA football players do not. The second issue is more of an issue and that was when Tunsil was arrested for his role in a domestic violence involving his stepfather, Lindsey Miller. Now if this happened when Tunsil was in the NFL, unlike the improper benefits, Tusil could have been suspended. Yet the final incident, the 30 second video of Tunsil smoking marijuana from a gasmask bong, sent Tunsil plummeting in the 2016 NFL draft.
While the incident leading up to the 2016 NFL draft affected Tunsil directly, the New York Giants were indirectly affected by the video post. Tunsil was an offensive lineman, a position that was not addressed when Jerry Reese went on his free agent spending spree, there for the Giants have a need at that position. Since Tunsil turned toxic the chance to acquire an impact offensive lineman with the first round pick started to slowly wither away as the names continued to be called.
The first offensive lineman off the board was Ronnie Stanley, offensive tackle from Notre Dame who was taken with the 6th pick by the Baltimore Ravens. Now if the video was not released it was believed that Tunsil would be taking his talents to Baltimore instead of South Beach.
The Tunsil video and a trade deterred the Giants acquiring another top talented offensive lineman. The 8th pick which was traded four times in the 2016 draft landed in the hands of the Tennessee Titans and the Titans chose Michigan State Offensive Tackle Jack Conklin with that pick.
Now when the Giants were finally on the clock the only top offensive lineman talent was Tunsil. The Mara family and the Giants organization were reluctant to invest millions of dollars on a player who has severe character issues as Tunsil. The decision was made to go in another direction and fill another need. And that selection of Eli Apple was influenced by the preceding drafts choices that were influenced by a 30 second video.