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SI’s mock draft cites ‘off-field concerns’ in dropping Micah Parsons out of top 15

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Micah Parsons

Of all the mock drafts released for months, you’d be hard pressed to find many that don’t have Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons going in the top 10 overall picks. So, it was interesting to see the latest mock draft from Sports Illustrated’s site, NFL Draft Bible, drop Parsons all the way down to the Miami Dolphins with the No. 18 pick.

Even more interesting, though, is the comment written about Parsons in explaining the draft placement. Here is the mock draft, and following is the explanation about Parsons at No. 18, written by NFL Draft Bible president Zack Patraw.

This may look like an unexpected drop but there is something to this. There are plenty of off-field concerns with Micah Parsons that will likely become clear, as we inch closer to the draft season. There’s no doubt that Parsons is one of the most talented individuals in this class but he could be in for a drop in Draft stock.

This seems to be either a really good draft scoop by Patraw about Parsons, or … well, a great deal of speculation.

The phrase “plenty of off-field concerns with Micah Parsons that will likely become clear, as we inch closer to the draft season” sounds like a suggestion that NFL teams could learn of some potentially unflattering details about Parsons in the coming weeks.

There hasn’t been much credence given to off-field concerns in many other mock drafts that have Parsons going in the top 10. So, Patraw either appears to be privy to some information — which he did not come right out and say in his story — about Parsons and his draft stock, or again, he’s merely speculating.

RELATED: See where ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Parsons going in his latest mock draft

A lot of this undoubtedly is related to the ongoing Isaiah Humphries lawsuit, which certainly paints Parsons in a bad light.

Parsons does have some things to deal with off the field — and NFL teams will want answers — with regards to that lawsuit brought on by the former PSU player, who eventually transferred to Cal.

Humphries is suing Penn State, James Franklin and former PSU football player Damion Barber in a federal lawsuit, claiming hazing and sexual harassment. Parsons is not a defendant in the lawsuit, but is listed as a party to it.

Parsons and Humphries got into a fight in 2018, according to the lawsuit. We wrote this detailed story about the background in November.

The following excerpt is from ESPN’s story about the situation:

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Humphries told school investigators Barber and Parsons threatened him, telling him they were “making me a b—- because this is prison,” and that Barber said, “I’m gonna Sandusky you,” referring to former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. He also said they would try to place genitalia close to players’ faces and simulate sex acts, and attempt to touch him in the shower, according to the report. He said the three players would wrestle him to the ground while clad only in their towels.

It is unclear if the NFL Draft Bible mock draft is referring solely to this lawsuit as the “off-field” concern regarding Parsons, or if there are other factors, as well.

Either way, the Sports Illustrated outlet is the only major one so far that has gone out on a limb and suggested Parsons could drop substantially in the draft for any such reason.

We reached out to Patraw for comment about his mock draft and comments regarding Parsons, but have not heard back yet.

As for other Penn State players, the NFL Draft Bible’s three-round mock draft has DE Jayson Oweh going to the Indianapolis Colts with the 32nd and final pick of the first round, and TE Pat Freiermuth going No. 45 overall in the second round to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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