Events leading up to 2016 NFL Draft

On April 28th, 2016, there was no more polarizing figure at the 2016 NFL Draft than Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Before quarterbacks Jared Goff (Cal) and Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) shot up the draft board, Tunsil was considered the front runner to be the number one overall selection to the Tennessee Titans.

But one blockbuster trade, sent Goff to the Los Angeles Rams and in line to become the savior of the newly minted team in Tinsel Town, and the 2016 NFL Draft machinations were just starting.

Another blockbuster deal between the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, allowed the Birds to draft Wentz to be the future face of their franchise, which meant that Tunsil would likely not be drafted until at least the number three selection (San Diego Chargers) at best.

But then Tunsil's Twitter accountwas apparently hacked and a video of the player, who appeared to be smoking marijuana through a bong in a gas mask, appeared and sent the draft into lock down, and Tunsil's stock into a tailspin shortly before the draft proceedings commenced.

Then came the snubs of the Chargers (Joey Bosa), Dallas Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott) and Jacksonville Jaguars (Jalen Ramsey) which seemed legitimate, followed by the true determination of a free fall when the Baltimore Ravens passed on Tunsil, in favor of fellow offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) with the sixth pick. According to reports posted on, the video did have an impact who the Ravens ultimately selected.

"After selecting Stanley on Thursday night, team general manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged that the video played a role in the Ravens' decision," according to ESPN staff writer Jamison Hensley.

Tunsil bypassed as result of video footage

Tunsil was later bypassed by a couple other teams with offensive line needs in the form of the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears, before landing in the lap of the Miami Dolphins with the 13th overall selection.

Mike Tannenbaum, Dolphins' executive vice of Football operations and general manager Chris Grier leaped at the chance to grab the former Rebel, in spite of everything that had transpired.

Later that same evening, Tunsil was further blindsided by another hacking incident, this time his Instagram account appeared to show photographs that indicate that he had taken money from University of Mississippi coaches, a clear violation of NCAA rules.

When later asked at his initial Dolphins' press conference whether or not the request for money to Ole Miss coaches Hugh Freeze and John Miller was legitimate, Tunsil avoided answering directly.

"Like I said, I made a mistake, a huge mistake. Things happen. I can't control things like who gets into my phone, who hacks my Instagram account. I am just happy to be part of the Miami Dolphins organization," Tunsil replied to a direct question about the leaked text messages on Instagram.

Before anyone sheds a tear for Tunsil, it should be noted that he can control his Twitter and Instagram accounts by effectively securing his passwords, as well as limiting the distribution of said pass codes. In addition, looking back at the 2005 NFL draft, University of California quarterback Aaron Rodgers dropped 23 places for no apparent reason, while Tunsil's transgressions should have been concerning for teams looking to make him the cornerstone of their offensive line.

According to a report in Huffington Post Sports,New Jersey governor and former presidential candidate Chris Christie weighed in on the controversy on a radio talk show appearance on Friday morning.

"When I was a prosecutor, I would have gone in and cuffed this guy. I would have been all over it," Christie said in remarks made during the Boomer and Carton Show on WFAN in New York City.

Time will tell how these events turn out in South Florida and Oxford, Miss., but at first blush it appears that where there is smoke, there really is fire.

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