Ryan Swope had an outstanding college career, and was expected to go as high as the second round in the recent draft. But, apparently, NFL teams are looking closely at who’s been concussed and who hasn’t when it comes to determining selection.
Swope’s time at Texas A&M was marred by at least two concussions. In a surprise move, he fell to the sixth round in April’s NFL draft. The general consensus was that “team doctors didn’t want to risk selecting Swope because of his head injuries in college.”
Eventually drafted by Arizona, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said, “We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue, but weighing all the elements—the medical information available, the particular position in the draft—it was a decision we were comfortable making.”
However, Swope suffered a “setback” in some of the early rookie practices. After not being cleared, he ceased coming to the Arizona football complex.
Many observers considered Swope the “premier steal” in the NFL draft. This was a player loaded with talent who had lots of upside. Not being able to pursue this is the sad part.
However, it’s encouraging to see the player and the NFL make the right decision. Leaving the game can be difficult. What is beyond difficult is coping with long-term head injuries. Life is short.