The Jacksonville Jaguars will undoubtedly be looking at upgrading their pass rush with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but one name could be sliding down their big board as Nebraska's Randy Gregory admitted to failing a drug test and testing positive for marijuana at this year's NFL Combine.
According to Kimberly Jones of NFL.com, this isn't the first time Gregory has failed a drug test. In fact, he failed twice in 2014 and was told if he failed a third time he'd be kicked off the team.
Top draft prospect Randy Gregory failed marijuana test at the combine. I talked with Gregory yesterday: http://t.co/YBnrFK5MXd— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 26, 2015
"Am I worried? Yeah, I'm worried," Gregory said. "At the same time, I'm confident. I know I'm going to be all right in the end. I don't wake up every day saying, I'd really love to go smoke. 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."
Gregory said he hasn't smoked since December 2014, but because of increased THC levels in his body, traces stayed in his system all these months.
He said he started smoking after graduating high school in 2011 to combat anxiety related to not qualifying academically at Purdue, which represented a considerable disappointment to him.
The failed drug test will result in Gregory starting his NFL career in Stage One of the league's substance abuse program, which means he'll be tested as often as a medical doctor needs "to evaluate him fully".
"Obviously this is new news -- that I failed the test at the combine -- but the fact that I've smoked in the past isn't a mystery. I've had conversations with (NFL) coaches. I believe we all have an understanding of why I did it. But I feel like I'm improving. I know I am."
This will likely affect Gregory's draft stock, but how much is uncertain. The risk associated with a top pick who's already in Stage One of the league's substance abuse program is a big deal, but his talent is undeniable and if he's willing and able to control his habit, he won't face any potential suspensions.
Personally, seeing former No. 5 overall pick Justin Blackmon potentially lose out on a career in the NFL because of several substance abuse violations and then get arrested later for possession of marijuana, I'm wary of the Jaguars drafting anyone that high with visible red flags.