After the 2011 season, Orson Charles made the decision to forgo his senior season in Athens and declared for the NFL Draft. Not many thought it was a bad decision on his part. Most figured he would go somewhere in the top two rounds as he was one of the top tight end prospects. He was even listed number one on Mike Mayock's board. It was clear that if he stayed in Athens, he probably wouldn't be able to make a huge leap on anybody's draft board.
The off-season hasn't exactly been what dreams are made of -- more like nightmares -- for Charles. First he made the decision not to run at the combine. In itself, that's not a big deal. But if you are going to run, why not do it indoors? Charles instead decided to run at Georgia's pro day. It probably would have benefited him if he knew there were going to be gusting winds of 25-30 mph the entire day. You live and you learn. Charles disappointed with his 40 time at Georgia's pro day posting a 4.75 when many were expecting him to run in the 4.5s. A 40-time doesn't dictate whether you will be a good pro or not but it can help immensely when we are talking about your draft position.
Prior to today, there was a lot of talk about Charles dropping down draft boards. Then this morning Charles was pulled over for DUI and a minimum speed violation. I couldn't make up a worse story if I tried. Charles kept his nose clean at Georgia but he's only been a "free" man for about three months and then this happens. It will definitely give NFL teams a pause before pulling the trigger on him.
The NFL is littered with guys with questionable characters and run-ins with the law that play high level football. Fair or not, Ray Lewis and Michael Vick are the first names that comes to mind. They have turned out pretty good on the football field. Another tight end that had some off the field issues prior to the draft was Brandon Pettigrew. He was charged with assaulting a police officer but that was a year prior to him entering the NFL Draft. Ultimately he was chosen with the 20th overall pick. Aaron Hernandez of Florida was another guy who had a bad reputation and it came to a head before the NFL draft when he told teams he failed multiple tests for marijuana while at Florida. Hernandez dropped from being a possible first round pick all the way to the fourth round. Is that the kind of fall that we see for Orson Charles? Only time will tell.