Talent is undeniable. He has all the measurements. He has a solid frame. His arms are long and strong. He stands 6’6 feet tall and weighs 245 pounds. A quarterbacks worst nightmare who will also effect the running game. He is a can’t miss prospect, but character is a concern. The “He” is Randy Gregory.
In just two seasons at Nebraska, Gregory racked up 120 tackles from his Defensive End position. 25.5 of those were tackles for loss. He catapulted into Top 10 in Nebraska history for sacks with 17.5. Gregory also came away with four turnovers. This is the type of production the NFL looks for. What they also look for is players who smoke marijuana. When they find them, they are suspended and put into Programs to help prevent you from smoking. If this fails, you will suffer the fate of a player like Dion Jordan.
Dion Jordan was a Defensive end from Oregon that was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Like Gregory, Jordan had his problems with using illegal substances. Multiple suspensions later and Dion Jordan is now on a year long suspension. This suspension prevented him from being traded to his former coach, Chip Kelly and have a chance to capitalize on his talent. That pick from 2013 is essentially a waste. Teams did not want to make that mistake with Randy Gregory.
Marijuana is prohibited from the NFL. Personally I believe that this is not the main problem. As you are preparing for the biggest interview and workout of your life, you reveal to your future employers that you are not prepared or committed. How so? Once you declare for the draft, you start to get ready. You should mentally be ready as well as physically. Besides, the NFL is a mental game as well. You tell GMs and scouts that you can’t stop smoking weed to focus on your potential career and the chance to make millions playing your favorite game. Where is your discipline? Mentally this makes you weak.
This raises red flags to teams. Now they have to go and reevaluate you, both as a football player and a man. Can they invest in you? Can they trust you? Is this a glitch or glimpse? A glitch is a small problem. A kink that can be worked out. This is something that is abnormal to the person you are. However, a glimpse is a look into your life that reveals who you really are. A small glance at what you like to do. NFL teams must have thought that this failed drug test was a glimpse of the man that Randy Gregory is.
For him, this is unfortunate. Gregory will get drafted. Whatever team that picks him might end up with a Warren Sapp. A player that saw his draft stock plummet from the potential number one pick in the 1995 Draft. He made the Buccaneers look smart. He is possibly the best defender to ever play for them and a Hall of Famer.
Gregory will have to accept his fate and stay committed to staying away from what has cost him so much. Take the Warren Sapp and Randy Moss approach and make every team that passed on you regret it. Because at the end of the day, you still have your opportunity. The chance to play in the NFL. To be a star and make a name for yourself. This was just a chapter in your life. Not the entire book. May you write your next chapters with hard work and dedication. Only then will you have a shot at making your dreams come true.