ANDERSON, Ind. - Regardless if you loathe my opinion that TCU QB Casey Pachall should be suspended for this drug failure flap, it cannot be debated that these activities are going to be used against him - repeatedly - when the time comes for him to look at the NFL.
Pachall has an NFL future.
The type of incidents have a way of not going away for a while, and will become a "character" issue. This will become a bottom line deal, and as Winston Justice can attest this issue is not some made-up joke. This will become very real for Pachall, and can affect his potential NFL career.
In 2006, Winston Justice was left tackle coming out of USC. Then-Panthers coach John Fox said Justice was a top-10 pick. Justice performed well at the pre-draft combine, and it was agreed he was first-round grade player.
Justice was selelected with the 39th pick of the draft by the Eagles. He fell because there were "character" concerns. Justice had been arrested once at USC for soliciting a prostitute, and for waving a pellet gun at a USC student. He was suspended for the entire season for that latter infraction.
Now 27, and considerably wiser, Justice realizes the impact those events were used against him during the evaluation process, and the dramatic affect it made on his initial NFL salary. This was six-figure difference.
"Yeah, there is no doubt those things made a difference," said Justice, who was recently was traded by the Eagles to the Indianapolis Colts. I caught him up with at Colts training camp this week. "What happens is that teams think that those things that happen will affect how and what you can do on the field."
Talking to Justice this week, or even during the pre-draft combine in '06, and you would never guess this guy had a run in with the law. He is bright, well spoken, professional, and polite. He has played six seasons in the NFL, made a bunch of money, and proof that these types of things can be overcome. Pachall can easily overcome this, but when the NFL draft comes around this will be an issue.
I asked Justice if he thought that how those events were used against him were fair, and that if entering the NFL forced him to change any behaviors.
"It really doesn't matter if it's fair - it's the way it is," Justice said. "I don't know if it forced it out of me, I just kinda grew out of that and just grew up."
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