Randy Gregory is one of the most talented players in this year’s NFL Draft. The athletic edge rusher is the type of player on the field that most teams highly value at the pro level.
With this development, however, the chance that Gregory goes in the top five has taken a hit. In an interview with NFL Media on Wednesday afternoon, the defensive end who projects as an OLB in the NFL admitted that he failed a drug test during the NFL Combine, testing positive for marijuana. According to the story by Kimberly Jones, Gregory found out he failed the test while on the phone with his dad, who opened the envelope for him and broke the news to him.
This news comes right on the heels of reports that Gregory had a very impressive private workout where he improved on his combine performance.
Perhaps the most concerning part of the story is not that he failed this test but that there is a pattern: Gregory officially failed two tests while at Nebraska and seemed to really struggle with kicking the habit. From the NFL.com story:
“I don’t wake up every day saying, I’d really love to go smoke,” he said. “It’s not a struggle for me every day (now), it really isn’t. In the past, hell yeah, it’s been a struggle. It really has been. Now, I’m focused on my dream.
I was worse at Nebraska than I’ve ever been at any other time of my life,” Gregory said. “But I know how I am now. I think if teams really look at how I am now more so than the past, they’ll see I’m making strides to get better, as a person and as a player.”
Recent history tells us that even a player of Gregory’s talent can slip in the draft if teams suspect he has drug problems. It’s that reticence that recently netted the Chiefs Justin Houston, one of the league’s best pass rushers with first-round talent, in thie third round.
We don’t know for sure how this will effect Randy Gregory’s draft status, but we do know that he will enter the NFL in stage one of the NFL’s substance abuse program.