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How will Arkansas TE O’Grady’s suspension impact his draft stock?

 

Arkansas tight end Cheyenne O’Grady’s tumultuous career with the Razorbacks is officially over, as the school and player “mutually agreed” to part ways.

O’Grady was suspended before the team’s 54-24 loss to Mississippi State for missing team meetings, according to multiple news reports.

O’Grady led the team with 33 receptions for 372 yards and three touchdowns. His receiving yards and catches ranked him second in the SEC among tight ends.

But O’Grady’s troubles off the field are also well documented. The 6-foot-5, 256 pound senior didn’t play in the season opener against Portland State because he was allegedly still healing from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, but sources told HawkBeat that he missed the game due to suspension. Then O’Grady missed the first quarter against Colorado State for what Arkansas officials said was for strep throat, even though he still played the rest of the game.

O’Grady was suspended two games last season for a violation of team rules. HawgBeat says a tweet by former Arkansas (and current San Francisco 49ers) linebacker Dre Greenlaw seemed to suggest it was due to missed classes and workouts.

O’Grady was also arrested on suspicion of DWI right before the season opener of his freshman year.

Teams will have to consider the off-the-field issues, and it’s possible that O’Grady won’t be drafted at all despite his obvious talent. Take the case of former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla, who was one of the most talented tight ends in the 2014 draft. The NFL’s own website projected Lyerla to be drafted somewhere in the third or fourth round despite a string of suspensions, arrests, academic problems and other off-the-field incidents.

Instead, Lyerla went undrafted and last played in 2016 for the Portland Steel of the Arena Football League.



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