Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

I feel terrible for Caleb Farley having to miss the NFL Draft

Caleb Farley’s positive COVID-19 test will keep him away from dream night.
Caleb Farley’s positive COVID-19 test will keep him away from dream night.
Image: Getty Images

Arguably the best cornerback in this NFL Draft, Caleb Farley would widely be considered a top-10 pick if it weren’t for a series of back injuries. Now, healed and ready for his NFL dream, Farley will have to miss the draft night experience in Cleveland due to a positive COVID-19 test.

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“I’m not going to let nothing or nobody ruin this week for me,” Farley says in a video posted on his Twitter account.

But whether or not he’s there, Farley will be a fascinating name to watch for tomorrow night. He’s been dealing with a back injury for a couple of years, which led to two back surgeries. Farley opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, so NFL teams haven’t seen him on the field since his back injury. According to board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist Matthew Betz, who did a great thread on Twitter breaking down the injury and his outlook, he isn’t worried about his ability to be ready to play at a high level in 2021.

The surgeon who performed Farley’s second surgery in March, Dr. Robert Watkins, has told clubs that Farley should be cleared before training camp begins in July. Following a year where the normal scouting cycle was largely disrupted because of COVID, there’s a prevailing thought that the typical groupthink mentality won’t be as strong as usual, leading to some wide-ranging outcome possibilities. Farley could go high in the first round, or he could fall to round two. How NFL teams will evaluate the gifted cornerback coming off two back surgeries and being away from the football field for a year will be an intriguing plot line to follow.