It’s been a wild ride for ex-Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory.
Gregory has battled injuries, academic issues and now, most recently, a failed drug test for marijuana months before the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 30.
But through it all, the 23-year-old has been productive on the field and upbeat off it.
The highly-talented and athletic Gregory has scouts drooling, but can he make the transition from college defensive end to NFL outside linebacker?
Here’s what you need to know about Gregory:
1. Gregory Failed a Drug Test at the NFL Combine
Gregory failed a drug test at the NFL Combine back in February.
He tested positive for marijuana.
He told reporters in a media session in March:
I blame myself. And I know it sounds cliché, but there’s really no one else I can blame.
Gregory said he used marijuana to deal with anxiety when he did not qualify academically to attend Purdue out of high school.
2. His Draft Stock has Slipped Because of the Failed Test
Widely considered a top 10 talent, most experts and draftniks have Gregory pegged to go late in the first round or even fall into the second of the NFL Draft, which is Thursday night.
Draft analyst Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has Gregory going 32nd overall to the New England Patriots, while some of Mayock’s co-workers at the league’s official TV channel don’t have him in the first round at all.
Gregory said he knows the failed test could be an issue at the draft, telling reporters:
Am I worried? Yeah, I’m worried. At the same time, I’m confident. I know I’m going to be all right in the end.
3. Gregory Had 17.5 Sacks in 2 Seasons at Nebraska
Gregory was quite productive in his 2 seasons at Nebraska, compiling 10.5 sacks his sophomore year then 7 in 2014 before declaring early for the NFL Draft.
In his first year at Lincoln, he had 64 tackles, returned an interception for a touchdown and made first-team All-Big Ten.
Gregory made 50 stops last season and again made the All-Big Ten first team. He also added an AP All-America selection to his resume, nabbing third-team honors.
He played in just 11 games in 2014 as he battled an injury early in the season.
4. He Originally Planned to go to Purdue
Gregory was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but attended Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana, where he was a football and basketball star.
Gregory went the junior college route, attending Arizona Western College, where he racked up 9 sacks as a freshman. But he missed his second year with a broken leg.
He then planned to attend Purdue to play football, but failed to qualify academically, and decided on Nebraska.
5. Gregory Is the Classic “Tweener” Coming Out of College
At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Gregory is not expected to play defensive end in the NFL as he did in college.
In fact, he’ll likely need to add a bit of weight to play outside linebacker at the next level.
But the scouts are enamored with his physical skills, and there’s no denying his production.
The draft is loaded with potentially productive edge rushers, though most don’t have the athleticism of Gregory.