Should Broncos Take a Chance on Randy Gregory?


Well, it’s about to be a rocky fall for Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory in the up-coming NFL Draft, which is now just five weeks away.

Gregory failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, which is widely considered one of the most hilariously stupid things an NFL Draft prospect can possibly do.

For one, they know they are going to be tested. For another, he still decided to smoke.

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I know in Colorado, the law does not prohibit smoking marijuana which means that people have a lot of varying opinions of whether or not NFL players should be able to smoke, but the fact remains that it’s against the NFL’s substance abuse policy to do so, and Gregory is now entered into ‘stage 1’ of the substance abuse program.

All this to say, the guy is an awesome football player when he wants to be. He didn’t put up the kind of numbers at Nebraska that would have put him on the Heisman ballot or anything, but athletically, Gregory is one of the most intriguing players in this year’s draft.

At 6-foot-6, Gregory recently weighed in at 243 pounds after rumors that he played at less than 220 while at Nebraska, then showing up to the Combine at about 235.

At 6’6″ 243 pounds with long arms, Gregory threw up 26 bench press reps at 225 pounds and ran a (reported) 4.53 second 40-yard dash.

Like I said, athletically this guy is an absolute freak.

If you check out the article linked above, you’ll see some pretty interesting and revealing quotes from Gregory about his mishap at the Combine, and his history with smoking marijuana. The biggest problem I have with it is not that he made the mistake when he did, but that he apparently has a habit to kick.

That’s a risky red flag for any NFL team to take a chance on in the first round of the draft, and we’ve seen it burn some prospects before. You may have heard of Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston, who was a sure-fire first round pick prior to a failed Combine drug test. He ended up getting picked in the third round, and is now the team’s franchise player.

Gregory isn’t necessarily Justin Houston, but he might have more raw talent as a prospect and is someone that NFL teams are still going to be excited about getting despite this error in decision-making.

Gregory knows what he did was stupid, but he claims to be working on getting rid of this part of his life. The question I have is whether or not you think the Broncos should take a shot at him.

The Broncos have a few guys at the edge rusher positions that are intriguing behind starters Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, but a few things need to be considered.

Lerentee McCray and Quanterus Smith were both rookies in 2013 and both guys finished their rookie season on injured reserve. In fact, their rookie seasons never really got started. They both made solid contributions in 2014, but didn’t flash great pass rush ability.

Shaquil Barrett was perhaps my favorite incoming rookie last year after I studied the tape, so we need to see what he’s got. Kenny Anunike, a fellow UDFA out of Duke, ended the season on injured reserve.

The pass rush department is an area where the Broncos need depth, and not just guys we know but quality depth and someone who could step in and actually replace Miller or Ware if needed and give good production. For this reason, I’m not opposed to the Broncos using their first round pick on a pass rusher and I certainly wouldn’t be opposed if it were Gregory.

Yes, Gregory made a mistake, but that’s not going to prevent some team from drafting him. It might prevent him from going in the top 10 or the top 15, and maybe he’ll even fall to the end of the first round. If he does, and he’s on the board when the Broncos are on the clock at pick no. 28, it would be tough to pass on that kind of talent there.

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