Caleb Farley Tests Positive for COVID-19, Won't Attend 2021 NFL Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley (3) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley will not attend the 2021 NFL draft in Cleveland after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.  

Farley's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter: "Fortunately he is completely asymptomatic and feels totally normal. He will be watching the draft at home in North Carolina while in quarantine."

After the news, Farley posted a video to Twitter discussing his diagnosis:

Caleb 👑 @IamCalebFarley


Farley, who opted out of the 2020 college football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is among the top cornerbacks in the draft and considered a likely first-round pick.

While plenty of draft experts ranked him as the top corner in the class after the 2020 season, questions surround him after a recent procedure.

Schefter reported in March that Farley underwent a microdiscectomy to remove a herniated disc in his back, which caused him to miss his pro day.

He also missed his freshman year at Virginia Tech in 2017 with a knee injury, so there are some concerns regarding his durability.

The Maiden, North Carolina, native was productive when on the field during his two seasons with the Hokies. In 2018, Farley finished with 36 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended, and he followed that up with 20 tackles, four interceptions and 12 passes defended in 2019.

He was also a first-team All-ACC selection in 2019, which is the last time he played competitive football.

Given Farley's accolades and skill level, Rosenhaus told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero he doesn't believe he will fall outside the top 20. Rosenhaus added that "multiple" teams picking in the middle of the first round told him they plan to take Farley if he is on the board.

Any number of teams would benefit from a cornerback of his caliber provided he is healthy, especially those picking in the mid-to-late first round.

Once Alabama's Patrick Surtain II and South Carolina's Jaycee Horn come off the board, it may be difficult for cornerback-needy teams to pass up on Farley, even with his health concerns.

Northwestern's Greg Newsome II, Florida State's Asante Samuel Jr. and Georgia's Tyson Campbell are among the corners Farley could be jockeying for position with once with the draft progresses to the middle of the first round.