Much of the talk surrounding Jay Ajayi is what a steal he was for the Dolphins who were able to snatch him up in the 5th despite being a player with what many considered top of the draft talent. The reasoning behind his slide of course were concerns over the health of his knee and his heavy workload in college. Ajayi tore his ACL back in 2011 playing for Boise State. Following his ACL being surgically repaired all Ajayi did was return to the Broncos in 2012 and then over the next three seasons rush 678 times for 3,796 yards and 50 touchdowns. That was to go along with his 73 pass receptions for another 771 yards and 5 touchdowns.
So why all the concern after three straight seasons of the knee holding up just fine? Well leading up to the draft there were multiple reports from multiple media outlets that various reporters and media outlets had been told by "several executives" that they had either backed off of Ajayi or removed him all together from their draft boards because of how their medical staffs has evaluated the previously surgically repaired knee. There was also a report that surfaced stating that at some point down the road he would require "micro-fracture surgery". Many clubs were reported to be concerned about him holding up physically given all the carries he had in college. Then the famous report surfaced after the draft via ESPN's Adam Schefter that the knee was actually "bone on bone". This according to some of the teams doctors that had examined him prior to the draft.
It's unknown how many teams had their doctors examine him on an individual basis but many of the reports that surfaced claimed to be based on a medical recheck performed at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine. The problem with those reports is that Ajayi did not attend any medical rechecks at the combine. Ajayi's agent, Erik Burkhardt, confirmed via Twitter that he did not and was never even asked to attend the recheck. Some reports claimed that this information had been going around the NFL but what is known is that teams tend to not share medical information obtained from a player in any way even off the record. It seems unlikely that too many GM's would be out there spreading confidential medical information about a player even "off the record" but its not unlikely that some rumor spreading may have otherwise occurred during the season of "misinformation" in the NFL.
So what gives? What's the real story with the knee and where it stands, at least medically, today? Pre-draft there are two things you can bet on, teams building up players that they have no intention of selecting and teams tearing down a player, using whatever random excuse they can come up with, that they love and would love to have. Often times this is done directly when speaking to the media but more often then not it's done by way of providing information to a media source "off the record". Somewhere along the line and amid all these reports the Dolphins decided that his knee was good enough to spend a valuable 5th draft pick on and were reportedly thrilled to find him still there when their pick came around.
So as fans are we to believe the rumors and reports, none of which anyone was ever able to put a single name to or do we believe in and trust the Dolphins medical staff? It would probably be prudent to think that the knee might at some point down the road give him some problems but it would also be equally prudent to believe that the Dolphins did a thorough job checking out the rumors that were swirling around a player that they were clearly interested in. If this is a case of rumors killing a players draft status, whether those rumors were accidental or intentional, it's certainly not the first time and won't be the last.
So where do you stand? Is this knee issue a real concern or more likely just a result of teams pushing some misinformation that seriously hurt his draft status?