Ahead of the Virginia Tech Pro Day, it was announced that cornerback Caleb Farley is undergoing a microdiscectomy. With Caleb Farley undergoing a procedure on his back this close to the 2021 NFL Draft, how does that impact his draft stock? Pro Football Network Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline discussed the situation on the March 24 edition of Draft Insiders.
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Caleb Farley draft stock falling
Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley‘s surgery is an outpatient procedure and is being portrayed as fairly minor. However, as Wingo discussed on the show, back surgeries are anything but minor.
“There is no such thing in my opinion as a minor back surgery. I have a friend of mine, Mark Schlereth, who played for a bunch of years in the NFL. He had 29 surgeries, 16 on one knee, he had one back surgery. He always told me, ‘I would trade 16 more knee surgeries for one back surgery.'”
Therefore, it is not surprising that this procedure is causing some concern in the NFL. On the show, Pauline discussed the impact of the procedure on Caleb Farley’s draft stock.
“Significantly more serious than people are portraying it to be in the sense that he is going to drop because of this. It is not just like they fixed your knee because your knee is likely fixed. With a back injury, it can reoccur. And this late in the game, it is not a good sign. I have talked to people in the league, and Farley’s people are trying to pawn it off as it is no big deal, he’ll be ready for football, for camp. People in the league say this is something that will have to be monitored, something we are going to have to watch. This is something that is a concern and will negatively impact his draft stock.”
What is a microdiscectomy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a discectomy is “a surgical procedure to remove the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your spine.”
The surgery intends to treat pain that radiates down the arms and legs rather than back or neck pain itself. A microdiscectomy is a less invasive procedure involving a small incision and a tiny video camera for viewing the procedure.
Caleb Farley was considered one of the top cornerback options in the 2021 NFL Draft
Before the announcement by his agent Drew Rosenhaus, Farley was in contention to be the top cornerback taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. In the two-round mock draft released by Dalton Miller on March 21, he had Farley going ninth to the Denver Broncos prior to this news. Caleb Farley is expected to be ready to commence full activities in time for training camp. However, his draft stock now appears to have slipped significantly.
Caleb Farley’s path to the 2021 NFL Draft
In high school, Caleb Farley was a dual-threat quarterback. In his senior season, he scored 35 rushing touchdowns in just 11 games. However, he attracted little interest from colleges to play quarterback. Virginia Tech approached him about converting to the wide receiver position.
Farley missed his true freshman season with a torn ACL. Upon his return to the field, Virginia Tech moved Farley again, this time to cornerback.
Farley impressed in his redshirt freshman season, with 2 interceptions and 7 pass deflections. In 2019, he built upon that impressive performance, allowing completions on less than 50 percent of the passes that came his way. He registered 4 interceptions (including a touchdown) and 12 pass deflections in just 10 games. His 2019 season was cut short with a back injury.
Farley opted out of the 2020 college football season. However, with just two seasons at the cornerback position, that left Farley heading towards the 2021 NFL Draft with some question marks. This latest surgical procedure combined with those question marks could significantly impact Caleb Farley’s draft stock.
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