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Critics ripping potential No. 1 pick over tweets from when he was 15, could rock draft board

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After what feels like countless mock drafts, endless prognostication and far too much Mel Kiper Jr., NFL draft day is here.

Dozens of NFL hopefuls will learn their fates today, trades will be made and teams will have a much clearer outlook for next season.

But the draft is also becoming the time for another tradition — embarrassing and potentially damning social media posts with the potential to reshuffle several teams’ draft boards.

And as the world moves toward an increasingly aggressive social media environment, these types of stories could just be beginning.

It was just two years ago that Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was penciled in by many as a potential top-three pick.

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Then a social media post showing him smoking an unknown substance via gas mask surfaced, and he promptly slid to the middle of the first round.

This year, the dubious “Laremy Tunsil Social Media Award” goes to Wyoming quarterback and possible top overall pick Josh Allen.

Internet sleuths unearthed some tweets from Allen’s past that could potentially send teams scrambling.

Do you think Josh Allen's tweets as a teenager should hurt his draft stock?

“[I] don’t think you niggas want a troubled son!” read one tweet from 2012, when Allen was 15 years old.

“Niggas trying to get at me,” part of a tweet from 2013 reads.

“[About] to show up these Niggas at pong,” a different 2012 tweet reads.

“Why are you so white ? — If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!” Allen tweeted in 2013.

Allen confirmed to ESPN that the tweets were his, and he apologized. He said some of the tweets referred to rap lyrics and television, including a saying from the sitcom “Modern Family.”

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The tweets were scrubbed from his account in January, according to ESPN.

As in Tunsil’s case, it certainly doesn’t seem like a coincidence that these tweets would resurface so close to the draft. It seems like a deliberate attempt to undermine and cause as much as draft stock damage as possible.

Unlike Tunsil’s case, however, it’s still not abundantly clear what type of impact it will have on Allen. The uncomfortable truth that NFL GMs will consider is the fact that Allen’s tweets, while offensive, tone deaf and dumb, literally have nothing to do with his football skill. Remember, Tunsil’s drug use would have directly impacted his ability to play football if he were to be suspended for failing drug tests. The tweets also came when Allen was 15 and 16, while Tunsil’s was from when he was in college.

Allen is still the strongest-armed quarterback prospect of the class. He’s still big and mobile. He’s still worryingly inaccurate throwing the football.

But if an exceedingly mediocre wide receiver like Riley Cooper can rebound from a racial slur scandal to carve out a six-year career for himself, odds are that Allen will be just fine — especially after considering his age at the time of those tweets.

Yes, the tweets were awful and contemptible. But the ignorant musings of a 15-year-old shouldn’t be anyone’s defining legacy.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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