BLACKSBURG – Jayron Hosley failed a drug test at the NFL combine and wrote a letter this week apologizing to NFL teams, Hosley’s mother said Wednesday.
“He wanted to admit it and correct it,” Beverly Hosley said Wednesday. “He’s only 21. He’s a kid, really, in a grown man’s body. But he’s trying to be a man. I hope he learned from his mistake.”
Hosley, the former Virginia Tech cornerback, had been projected by most experts as a second round selection in this week’s NFL draft, but when reports of the failed drug test went public Wednesday, his stock may have dropped. Beverly Hosley said her son asked for her advice and she told him the letter was a good idea.
“Once it got into the media, they can make a big spectacle of it,” Beverly Hosley said. “If you come straight up and tell them, he got caught up with old friends and made a bad choice. He’s a good kid, he broke the rules. One mistake shouldn’t cost him his opportunity.”
Neither Hosley nor his agent, Mitch Frankel, could immediately be reached for comment.
The 5-foot-10, 171-pound Hosley opened eyes with nine interceptions his sophomore year, but his production dropped off this past season when he picked off three passes.
“I loved him a couple years ago when he was making all those interceptions,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “This year, he looked like, to me, something was just missing with his game. He was beaten. The awareness, the instincts to the position you don’t see that you did from two years ago. Size will work against him at the pro level to a certain extent. I think the fact that he wasn’t as good in coverage, which was his forte, the big plays in coverage, was something, it was the reason he was so highly regarded going in.”
Kiper’s ESPN co-work, former Richmond quarterback Todd McShay, said Hosley’s short arms are a bigger concern than his lack of height.
“The average cornerback in the NFL is 5-11,” McShay said. “He’s short and lean. He has short arms too. 30 inch arms. It’s a bigger deal than some people might think with the arm length. The longer the arms the more capable you are of going up and competing for the ball”
Now, the character issue has been added to the list of concerns, though Beverly Hosley said she doesn’t think her son will have any further off-field issues going forward.
“He told me he wasn’t going to let me down anymore,” she said.