April 28, 2016
Last time we checked in with Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, he was on Comcast SportsNet dropping a bombshell about an Atlanta Falcons coach asking him if he liked men during the pre-draft process. That story went national, and so has this one.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been one of the best football writers in the country for a long time. As part of his draft prep, McGinn talks to a bunch of anonymous scouts, which can be both a blessing (he gets great info) and a curse (there is no accountability, and kids can be painted in an unfair light).
Apple, the 6’1”, 198-pound corner from Voorhees who played at Eastern High School, is generally considered a first-round talent. McGinn has him ranked third among defensive backs, and the scouting report is an all-timer. Here is part of it (emphasis mine):
He is too young (20) to be coming out but he is so you've got to project what he's going to be. I think he's going to be a pretty high-level starter." Started 27 games, finishing with 86 tackles (7 ½ for loss), 4 picks and 18 PBUs. "Some there (OSU) were worried he wouldn't break 4.6 and then popped the (4.39)," said another scout. "They were surprised he ran that well. I worry about him because of off-the-field issues. The kid has no life skills. At all. Can't cook. Just a baby. He's not first round for me. He scares me to death." Wonderlic was 21.
I can see the war room of a team picking in the back half of the first round tonight: “Man, Eli Apple would be perfect for our press man coverage scheme,” one scout would say. And the other one would go, “Yeah, but he probably had Ellio’s Pizza twice this week.”
This reminds me of the scene in Moneyball when the scouts are obsessing over one prospect’s supposedly ugly girlfriend as if that matters one iota. Eli Apple could be a baby for all we know, but he probably can hire a chef or afford some healthy meals once he starts getting paid millions of dollars.
Or, you know, maybe dad can send some meals:
Btw, Eli's dad is a retired five star chef. We eat well. So stop playing with our name. Next time you say our name, put some respeck on it 😳— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) April 27, 2016
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann