Checkered past, violent act cloud Dorial Green-Beckham's NFL future

Dorial Green-Beckham's NFL future depends on teams forgiving his past.

Dorial Green-Beckham came to the NFL scouting combine seeking forgiveness, and a job.

The towering Oklahoma wide receiver has a significant criminal rap sheet that might prompt some NFL teams to remove him from consideration or downgrade him on their draft board.

“All the decisions I made, I wish I could take it back,” Green-Beckham said. “It happened, I was young, I made mistakes, I understand that. I just want to focus on one thing, and look forward to just this draft and focus on being the best I can be.”

There are no questions about Green-Beckham’s talent; he's one of the most explosive wide receivers in the country. However, his character is a major question mark for a league that dealt with a firestorm of controvery this past year when former Ravens running back Ray Rice and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were involved in ugly domestic violence incidents and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was suspended for a child abuse case involving his son.

Green-Beckham was dismissed from the Missouri program when he allegedly pushed a woman down a flight of stairs after breaking into her apartment while looking for his girlfriend. Green-Beckham was never arrested, but his girlfriend sent a series of text messages asking the woman not to talk to police for fear of affecting the star athlete’s football career.

Green-Beckham had been arrested previously for marijuana possession, resolving one case when the charge was downgraded to misdemeanor trespassing. He transferred to Oklahoma but was not granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA and did not play for the Sooners.

At 6 feet 5, 237 pounds, he has drawn comparisons to Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss.

However, Green-Beckham might be a player that teams, including the Ravens, avoid due to his problems and the fact that this is a deep receiver class.

“It's very tough for me,” Green-Beckham said. “It's tough for me, standing up here and be able to speak in front of all you guys because I have not spoken in the past year.

“I'm disappointed in myself for the mistakes I made at Missouri. I wish I could have still finished out there. I regret all the mistakes I've done.”

There are other wide receivers rated ahead of Green-Beckham, including Kevin White of West Virginia and Amari Cooper from Alabama.

Green-Beckham is aware that he’s inflicted a lot of damage on his draft stock. An NFC general manager predicted that teams won’t want to deal with his baggage, saying, “It’s just not worth it.”

“Yes, I do feel like those mistakes have put me back,” Green-Beckham said. “I’m just trying to look forward. I'm just trying to focus on one thing, being a better person and a better teammate and a better person off the field.”

Green-Beckham isn’t the only draft prospect under scrutiny for violence against women.

Former Michigan defensive end Ryan Clark was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend at an Ohio water park in November and was kicked off the team.

He was less than forthcoming during his media session after being arrested on Nov. 15 in Sandusky, Ohio.

“I don't want to get into too much detail,” Clark said. “The detail I did get into I did with NFL teams. When we were in the room, the person involved let something get out of hand and took something further than what it was planned. You look at a phone and nowadays these phones get a lot of people in trouble. I'm not saying I'm a womanizer or anything of that nature.

“I'm just saying it was a confrontation between me and one of my friends and the woman involved took it to another level that it shouldn't have been taken to. That's fine. I'm not throwing her under the bus. I'm not saying she did anything wrong. I'm just saying that a lot of things that happened in that room that night could have been avoided."

Clark allegedly grabbed his girlfriend by the neck and slammed her to the ground in front of her family. He said he sought professional help after the incident, but is facing misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and assault.

“Counseling has taught me how to be a man,” Clark said. “It's not like I'm a man when I'm 21. It's taught me to be a man and how to accept responsibility for all my actions.

“When you go through things in life, whether good or bad – you've always got to learn from it. Counseling has taught me how to grow up and how to learn from everything I go through. No matter if I say it's my fault or not, how to accept responsibility.

“Basically, I put myself in the position I shouldn't have been in. It could have all been avoided if I'd said, 'No, I don't want to go to Sandusky. No, I don't want to go the waterpark.' I accept full responsibility for everything that happened. I'm going to continue to learn from it and grow from it. In the future, hopefully, one of these teams will give me a shot."

Clark said that NFL teams have broached his issues in conversations with him at the combine.

“You've got some guys who ask me about it," Clark said. “But you have a lot of other guys who want to talk football. Domestic violence is a big issue. I'm not sugar coating it. It's a huge issue nowadays in our society. Just talking with the teams I did talk to, they let me know that it's going to handle itself.

“But they love me as a football player. They love me as a person. They look at it like I made a mistake. I look at it like a mistake that I can't ever make again. Not just domestic violence. I can't close the door too hard. That's how I look at it.”

No full workout for Terps linebacker

Maryland outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil won’t run the 40-yard dash due to a sore patellar tendon in his right knee.

The Towson High graduate attributed the problem to training too frequently.

Meanwhile, Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff injured his hamstring while running the 40-yard dash.

He got hurt running a 5.05 in the 40-yard dash. One of the top offensive tackles in the draft, Scherff has met with the Ravens.

Georgia running back Todd Gurley raised eyebrows with NFL teams when he declined to let doctors check out his injured left knee at the combine.

Gurley tore his anterior cruciate ligament in November.

End zone

The Ravens have met with Baylor wide receiver Antwan Goodley, Florida State offensive tackle Cameron Erving and South Carolina offensive tackle Corey Robinson, Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell, Arizona State guard Jamil Douglas, Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis and Kentucky defensive end Za’Darius Smith.

awilson@baltsun.com

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