Todd McShay Kicks Off Potential Character Concerns Season With a Bang


What happens in next spring's NFL Draft is unfortunately more important than what happens in the current NFL season for some folks and as such, we have no shortage of speculative coverage. ESPN's Todd McShay, one of the biggest names in that space, appeared recently to discuss his first mock draft. In which the Seattle Seahawks select Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the second overall pick, if they can see past a major obstacle.

And with that, Character Concerns SZN was off and running.

“With Carter, there are some character issues, does he get along with everybody,What’s he like to deal with in the locker room, those sorts of issues” McShay said. “I know it’s early in the process, but I’m forewarning everybody out there. Carter is going to be a hot-button name when we talk about some of the intangible aspects of it. I think Pete Carroll at No. 2, who has a long of history taking guys with questionable character and then developing them and having them work out, that would make a lot of sense to me.

“That will be the big discussion. It’s not about his talent, his size or his explosive take off or finishing as a pass rusher, it’s about the character and do we want to bring that guy into the building.”

For what it's worth, Carter's Bulldog teammates have come out in force to push back at such a narrative. That doesn't mean it's any less real.

It's perfectly understandable how such commentary would put McShay in the crosshairs. Anytime someone even points to the existence of character questions, those involved will become defensive. And they should. Yet there are no shortage of examples of draft-day slips for non-reported, non-football reasons. His job is to provide the viewer and reader with the most accurate information while balancing fairness and common decency. It's not a defense of this specific incident to say that can be a lot harder than it appears to be from the outside.

My gut tells me that most people, though, when presented with such commentary, share my general unease and awkwardness. There's just something about it that just doesn't sit right, even for cynical people who understand how the world works. Is there a quick and easy fix here? Not so sure. May be an inevitable part of the cycle.