We are now a day from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, and in the case of former Florida Gator defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, we know his draft status is damaged. We don’t know right now, to what extent.
Brantley was quietly (it didn’t get out for almost two weeks) arrested for misdemeanor battery on a female in a Gainesville in the early morning hours of April 13th.
He had been projected to be possibly a late first round or early second round pick. Well, now that’s clearly in jeopardy and just how far Brantley slides is being debated.
Again, that’s the extreme. Clearly, there will be some teams who will back off completely, others may wait until Saturday, when the fourth through the seventh rounds commence, but no one really knows for sure, who will take the chance and how soon.
On Tuesday, Brantley’s attorney, Huntley Johnson provided cell phone video to the Tampa Bay Times that he claims shows the accuser allegedly walking away from Brantley after whatever took place. However, the 14 second video showing three women walking away doesn’t capture anything leading up to the alleged punch or it’s immediate aftermath. So, there’s no real “news” value and it smacks more of desperate spin.
So, we aren’t linking to it.
Further, Johnson is taking the all too familiar tactic of “smearing the accuser/victim,” by telling the Times that a witness says the accuser actually propositioned Brantley for sex earlier in the evening. There is no corroboration of who that witness is and whether this isn’t something Brantley is making up now, as a defense.
Further, there was no explanation by Brantley’s lawyer to the Times about why he would have struck the woman, as numerous witnesses told the Gainesville police he did. At least two of those witness in the report say that it was not in self defense.
Here’s the bottom line for the upcoming draft: it appears that none of this will be resolved before the draft takes place starting Thursday.
And Caleb Brantley’s could be in for a “football free fall” in the draft and a lot worse after that.