With just one day remaining until Roger Goodell kicks off the 2015 NFL draft, Nebraska pass-rusher Randy Gregory’s stock is at at all-time low.
Already in hot water after failing a drug test at this year’s combine, there have long been concerns about Gregory’s ability to keep weight on his frame (extremely important for him at his projected position of OLB or DE). And now there’s more trouble brewing in the eyes of NFL evaluators when it comes to one of the most enigmatic prospect of this year’s class.[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ff7070″]He has been taken off a several team’s draft boards, according to multiple sources,” reports Breer. [/mks_pullquote]
According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Gregory, once viewed as a top-10 lock by just about every evaluator on the planet, could fall all the way out of Round 1 on Thursday:
…according to more than a dozen coaches, scouts, personnel chiefs and GMs, there is concern about Gregory’s ability to handle the mental rigors of professional football. And just how far he drops in this week’s draft will likely hinge on the individual psychological profiles (and the results of related testing) put together by each team, according to multiple veteran evaluators. He has been taken off a several team’s draft boards, according to multiple sources.
Seems like crazy talk, when you consider many top media scouts view Gregory as the best pure pass-rusher coming out of college this year. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller compares him to San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, who has been the most dominant edge-rusher in the league since coming out of Missouri a few years back.
But character concerns are more influential these days than ever before—just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars how they feel these days about drafting wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the No. 5 pick in 2012.
Talent isn’t everything.
“He’s a good football player, his only on-field issue is his weight and body mass,” said an AFC personnel exec, per Breer. “When you draft a player, it’s easy to see the skills they have to transfer and perform at the next level. But with pro football, there’s so much more that goes into it because you face a great athlete every week, so your character gets tested.”
And unfortunately for Gregory, it appears his character is troublesome to many NFL executives, whose jobs are on the line.
"I wouldn't touch him….from what teams say…there are other issues." Jay Glazer on LB Randy Gregory.
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) April 29, 2015
There’s nothing the young man can do at this point about where he’ll be drafted. All Gregory can hope for is that one team views his character concerns as manageable enough to take a risk in Round 1. Otherwise, the former Nebraska superstar could be facing a lengthy wait on draft day.
Photo: USA Today Sports