Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory projects as a potential top-10 pick in the upcoming draft, but his stock may take a hit after he revealed to Kimberly Jones of NFL.com that he failed the drug test at this year’s combine. According to Gregory, he tested positive for marijuana.
Based on talent alone, Gregory appears to be a lock to come off the board early next month. Todd McShay’s latest mock draft at ESPN.com (Insider link) has Washington selecting Gregory fifth overall, while Mel Kiper’s latest mock (Insider link) has Gregory landing with the Bears at No. 7. Now, there’s no guarantee that the former Cornhusker will be a top-10 selection.
“Am I worried? Yeah, I’m worried,” Gregory told Jones. “At the same time, I’m confident. I know I’m going to be all right in the end.”
As Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes (Twitter links), most NFL teams aren’t too worried about a player smoking marijuana. However, failing a drug test that had been scheduled for months is a cause for concern. Still, it’s hard to say exactly how the failed test will affect Gregory’s stock, since some teams will care a lot and other might care very little, says Miller.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network points out (via Twitter) that Timmy Jernigan and Zach Mettenberger had their stock plummet last year after producing diluted samples at the combine — neither player even failed his drug test. Miller also identifies Justin Houston as one impact player who failed the combine drug test (Twitter link). Houston, ultimately a third-round pick, has turned into one of the league’s best pass rushers.
Josh Gordon provides one case study for how quickly suspensions can pile up for a player if he continues to fail drug tests once he enters the NFL, so teams figure to take an extra long look at Gregory when considering whether to draft him. It’ll be interesting to see what club decides that his talent is worth the potential risk.