There were more red-flagged drug tests at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine than any in recent years.
FOX Sports has learned that more than 10 players were identified to NFL teams as either testing positive for drugs or having a diluted sample in February.
The top prospect on the list was Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who is projected as a mid first-round selection. Jernigan tested positive for a diluted urine sample, FOX Sports has learned. Another big name was Louisiana State quarterback Zach Mettenberger. ProFootballTalk.com first reported that Mettenberger tested positive for having a diluted urine sample, which would count as a failed test under the NFL’s drug program.
Among the other notable players who were listed to NFL teams as having failed Combine drug tests in February were LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, University of Miami tackle Seantrel Henderson, and Florida State linebackers Telvin Smith and Christian Jones.
The 6-foot-2, 299-pound Jernigan had 63 tackles and 4.5 sacks while starting all 14 games at nose tackle for FSU on its national championship run in 2013.
Jernigan’s agent Sunny Shah declined comment Monday about the failed test when reached by FOX Sports.
Mettenberger’s agents Joe Linta and Seth Katz told FOX Sports that the diluted sample was caused by extra water his client was drinking on the advice of his doctor. Linta said Mettenberger had begun to suffer from cramping while rehabilitating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Linta said he has spoken with NFL teams about the situation and provided medical documentation to Dr. Lawrence Brown, the league’s advisor for drugs of abuse, alcohol and HIV. The documentation also was provided to FOX Sports.
Mettenberger was one of the Southeastern Conference’s top quarterbacks in 2013. He ranked third nationally in passing efficiency at 171.3 while throwing for 3,083 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Although still recovering from last November’s knee injury, Mettenberger is widely projected as a second- or third-round pick.
Smith’s agent Adisa Bakari declined comment to FOX Sports. In a written statement to FOX Sports, Johnson’s agent Jeff Guerriero said, "We have not been contacted nor has the player. No NFL team has commented on the alleged incident to us. We have no knowledge of the alleged incident."
Jones’ agent Graylan Crain didn’t respond to a FOX Sports inquiry seeking comment.
ESPN first reported Monday that Henderson tested positive for marijuana. Henderson has previously admitted to smoking pot while at Miami.
The number of players who failed drug tests at the Combine had declined in recent years, especially with prospects knowing well beforehand that they would be getting screened.
FOX Sports 1 NFL insiders Alex Marvez and Mike Garafolo contributed to this report.