Saints Draft

New Orleans Saints Draft Prospects: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

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Puff, puff, pass.  That’s what Randy Gregory did before the NFL Scouting Combine, testing positive for marijuana at the rookie drills in February. While we won’t get into an argument about that, he did fail a drug screening and could fall down the draft board, possibly into the New Orleans Saints‘ hands.

But do Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis really want to risk a first-round draft pick on a question mark?  Is the talent worth the risk?  Because the talent is without a doubt there for the pass-rushing phenom and First-team All-Big Ten selection.

The Nebraska standout is beginning to make an appearance on many of the Saints mock drafts due to his slide down the big board, which in reality, means absolutely nothing.  Regardless, New Orleans could certainly use the abilities of Randy Gregory to get after opposing quarterbacks, an area of struggle for the defense in 2014.

At 6-foot-5, Gregory uses his superior length to fight off blockers.  His burst and explosiveness help him get upfield, tracking down ball carriers with ease.  He’s a proven pass rusher and run stopper at the collegiate level, but of course the NFL is a different game.

He possesses quick feet for good change-of-direction abilities, which helps him attack the football.   A combination of a high motor and mental and physical toughness keeps him grounded — he doesn’t stop fighting and never gives up.

NFL Scouting Combine Measurables:

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 235 LBS

Arm length: 34 inches

Hands: 10 inches

40-yard dash: 4.64 secs

Bench press (225 LBS): 24 reps

Vertical jump: 36.5 inches

Broad jump: 125.0 inches (top of class)

From Huskers.com:

"Honors & Awards» 2014 Second-Team All-American (FWAA)» 2014 Third-Team All-American (AP)» 2014 First-Team All-Big Ten (Media, Coaches)» 2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List» 2014 Lombardi Award Watch List» 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist (1 of 20)» 2014 Nagurski Trophy Watch List» 2014 Lott IMPACT Quarterfinalist (1 of 20)» Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (Miami, 2014)» 2013 National Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year (CollegeFootballNews.com)» 2013 First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, BTN)» Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Michigan, 2013)» Most Sacks by a First-Year Husker (10.5, 2013)» Ted Hendricks Award Watch List (1 of 18, 2013)» Nebraska Defensive MVP (2013)"

Randy Gregory has a high ceiling with endless potential for life at the next level, but he can grow to bulk up and get stronger for exerting more power against tougher blockers.  His balance can improve and he must learn to leverage blockers who get under him, often getting owned at times.  Of course, that’s what coaches are for.  Practice makes perfect, and Gregory possesses the tools to be elite in the NFL.

Still, with that failed drug test at the scouting combine, question marks do pop up, but his capabilities are undeniable.  A player of his caliber is just what the New Orleans Saints need for added pressure on defense, but is the talent worth the risk?

Next: Saints Draft Prospects: DE/OLB Alvin 'Bud' Dupre

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