Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain had appeared to solidify his stock as a likely first round pick with a pair of solid times in the 40-yard dash early during his Pro Day, but labored through the rest of his drills before getting sick. He later told scouts and media assembled at the Alabama Pro Day that he was suffering from Chron's Disease -- and has suffered from it since he was a freshman in high school.
Chron's Disease, according to WebMD.com is "a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. It primarily causes ulcerations (breaks in the lining) of the small and large intestines..."
Common symptoms of Crohn's include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, and weight loss, among others. The disease affects an estimated two million Americans. Those inflicted have varying levels of severity, ranging from mild to quite severe.
The news of McClain's admission spread like wildfire over the internet creating panic. Would this drop McClain out of the first round? Is he still even a draftable prospect?
According to two veteran scouts I texted, the admission is much ado about nothing.
"Non-factor" one scout replied after I asked him how much McClain's Crohn's disease would impact his team's grading of the Butkus Award-winner.
The other scout was more specific.
"Jax QB has it. He's not had problems."
The Jax QB the second source was referring to is Jacksonville Jaguars starter David Garrard, whose testimony about his life with the disease isn't nearly as rosy as the one scouts laid out. Garrard, in fact, after trying various different prescriptions and losing 35 pounds, was ultimately forced to undergo surgery that removed "about a foot" of his intestines.
It would appear that wise teams will make sure to speak with their team doctors before making any final judgement on how Crohn's could impact McClain in the long run.