Home » All NFL » NFL Draft 2021: Potential first-round pick Caleb Farley won’t attend draft after testing positive for COVID-19

NFL Draft 2021: Potential first-round pick Caleb Farley won’t attend draft after testing positive for COVID-19

NFL Draft 2021: Potential first-round pick Caleb Farley won't attend draft after testing positive for COVID-19

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The pre-draft process hasn’t been too kind to Caleb Farley. From the jump, the Virginia Tech cornerback was viewed as arguably the best player at his position of this 2021 class (ranked as the No. 1 cornerback in our CBS Sports prospect rankings), but a back injury that required surgery in mid-March sent his stock trending downward. While Farley is still looked at as a possible first-round selection, he’ll have to find out his NFL fate while in quarantine. On Wednesday, Farley’s agent Drew Rosenhaus announced that the young prospect tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and will not attend the NFL Draft in Cleveland. 

Rosenhaus noted that Farley, who opted out of the 2020 season at Virginia Tech due to COVID concerns, is asymptomatic and “feels totally normal.” Instead of being at the draft in person, he will be watching the draft at home in North Carolina in quarantine. 

While this likely isn’t the dream scenario for Farley, players taking part in the draft remotely isn’t foreign. As we know, the entire 2020 NFL Draft was conducted virtually with prospects going through the process at home due to the pandemic. Even this year the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in Trevor Lawrence is set to watch the draft unfold from Clemson, despite Cleveland serving as the host city in what is poised to be a more normal-looking draft compared to a year ago. As long as Farley can get the proper equipment and continues to be asymptomatic, there’s a path to an easy viewing experience at the draft. 

As for the draft itself, it’s unclear whether or not that’ll be a smooth process. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has Farley as one of his first-round locks, but when he’ll hear his name called is still the question. Given his ability to potentially be the best corner in this class, he could go pretty high or fall due to his health concerns. In his latest mock draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson has Farley coming off the board at No. 20 to the Chicago Bears. 

As it relates to Farley’s health, the corner has been getting some positive news. After undergoing a microdiscectomy — a procedure to relieve pain from a herniated lumbar disc — on March 23, Farley told NBC Sports’ Peter King that NFL doctors confirmed he’d be ready for the start of the season and that this injury is not a chronic issue. With that in mind, it seems fair to say that at least one club will take the gamble of Farley’s talent if he starts to fall down the draft board in the opening round. 

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