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2016 NFL Draft Reaction: The strange case of Laremy Tunsil

Laremy Tunsil was, as recently as 2 weeks ago, touted as the clear number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Having walked the Red Carp


Laremy Tunsil was, as recently as 2 weeks ago, touted as the clear number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Having walked the Red Carpet at Chicago’s auditorium Tunsil arrived at his table still expected to be off the board withing the first 5 picks. 2 hours into the Draft he was still there, having watched offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin get taken ahead of him before finally going to Miami with the 13th overall pick. So what changed? Well, barely 15 minutes before the Commissioner took to the stage, a video appeared on the verified Twitter account of Tunsil showing him using a ‘bong’ attached to a gas mask apparently smoking Marijuana. Although quickly deleted, the video was caught by news outlets and sent shockwaves through the NFL draft community. It is perhaps the timing of the video that was most damaging, had it come out earlier teams would have been able to investigate. Emerging as close to the draft as it did many teams simply removed Tunsil from their draft boards as there was no time to find out more information. Jack Del Rio, the Oakland Raiders Head Coach was quoted as saying “We’ve been digging for months in these guys. What’s shocking to you isn’t shocking to us” implying that NFL teams were at least generally aware that Tunsil had a history with cannabis – including being in the room on the infamous night that teammate Robert Nkemdiche fell out of a hotel window – although it should be pointed out once again that the video is supposed to be around four years old. Following his drafting by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick, Tunsil was probably hopeful his ordeal was over – but no, there was still more to come. Pictures began to leak on his Instagram account of text messages which showed Tunsil discussing with a coach the receipt of improper benefits relating to rent and utility bill payments. What this really calls into question is the people surrounding Tunsil, from his former coaches at Ole Miss, who he claims gave him financial compensation, something the NCAA will surely be investigating, to whoever leaked the video and took over his instagram account on draft night. Rumours of exactly who this was focus either on his stepfather, in which case little can be done apart from being more careful with his social media accounts and changing passwords, to a former publicist or agent. So what does this mean for his NFL career? The answer could be surprisingly little. Having left the clutches of the NCAA, any sanctions levied for the improper benefits can only be levied on Ole Miss and not on Tunsil (who served a 7 game suspension for this type of breach last season). The case of the marijuana video is a little more complex as such a video can be cause for the league to enter a player into the Substance Abuse Program which moves them 1 step closer to a future suspension. Here however, Tunsil’s team are sure to argue that the player has never tested positive for anything and that the video is old enough to not warrant consideration for sanction. Regardless – the story will follow Tunsil far longer than his wait in the Green Room Thursday night.

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2016 NFL Draft Reaction: The strange case of Laremy Tunsil

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