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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000488780/article/concern-exists-on-gregory-handling-pro-footballs-mental-rigors

Concern exists on Gregory handling pro football's mental rigors

Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer

The failed drug test at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine won't help Randy Gregory, nor will his struggle to maintain the weight needed to play on the line of scrimmage in the NFL.

But the reason the Nebraska star is likely to drop on Thursday -- maybe out of the first round -- is much deeper than that.

At least three general managers view him as a top-five talent. But according to more than a dozen coaches, scouts, personnel chiefs and GMs, there is concern about Gregory's ability to handle the mental rigors of professional football. And just how far he drops in this week's draft will likely hinge on the individual psychological profiles (and the results of related testing) put together by each team, according to multiple veteran evaluators. He has been taken off a several team's draft boards, according to multiple sources.

Agent Deryk Gilmore declined comment on Wednesday when asked about Gregory's issues.

The situation for the Cornhusker All-American is like this: The natural ability is there; whether he can realize his considerable potential is another matter entirely. Those considerations, however, do not make Gregory unique in the draft nor in the league as a whole.

"It all depends on the organization, and what they have in place for him," said one NFC personnel exec. "There are quite a few players that have issues. It's where you place football character over the things he can't control. That's the big thing to me."

One opinion that's common among the evaluators who've delved deep into Gregory's past -- he's not a bad kid. He comes from a solid background. He's well-meaning.

But there's more to sort through.

"At some point, the risk meets the reward, especially at the bottom of the (first) round -- those are good teams," said an area scout for one team, assigned to Nebraska. "They miss, it's not a big deal. But the top 20 picks of each round, it's tough. He's either gonna be a good player or he's not gonna be in the NFL. He comes from a good home, he's a smart kid.

"How do you wanna deal with it?" the scout continued. "Do you wanna work with him? Can you do the off-the-field stuff to manage it?"

The concern is that, through no fault of his own, Gregory's problems might be manageable, but not fixable, which makes his landing in the right environment (as the scout alluded to) vital.

One NFC general manager said, "There are more negatives than positives."

And that's remarkable, given that many scouts and execs spoken with during the past two months believe Gregory is the best natural pass-rusher in this year's draft class.

But his rocky road through the process has thrown up one more caution flag for teams as the draft draws near, and validated prior concerns about his ability to handle the transition to the pro ranks smoothly. The failed combine test (which lands him in the league's substance-abuse program to start his career) and his fluctuating weight only add to the worry that he might not have the makeup to make it big at the next level.

"He's a good football player, his only on-field issue is his weight and body mass," said an AFC personnel exec. "When you draft a player, it's easy to see the skills they have to transfer and perform at the next level. But with pro football, there's so much more that goes into it because you face a great athlete every week, so your character gets tested."

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FWIW I've never changed my tune on Gregory and this only reinforces what I've been saying. Gregory needs a strong structured environment, a coach willing to work with him, and above all he will need to be managed.

But that's what any sport is. It's about player management, and the best teams know how to manage their players. There a many guys in the league, superstars if you will, that teams manage a little differently because these guys are more talented than others. To believe that every great player in the league is a choir boy is naive and closed-minded.

Gregory is still a young man. He is still in a position to be molded. Under the right influence there is no doubt that he will shine.

I want this team to not be afraid of taking this on. Is it a risk, certainly, but nobody ever got any success without taking risks.

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That's my only real big worry about him. He's a kid. He really is.

There are other smaller worries, obviously the weight issues and marijuana, a few technical things with his game and injuries, but...I get a Brandon Marshall vibe off of him. I don't think Marshall's a bad guy at all, and he's very intelligent. But it wouldn't surprise me. That's all I'll say about it.

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One NFC general manager said, "There are more negatives than positives."And that's remarkable, given that many scouts and execs spoken with during the past two months believe Gregory is the best natural pass-rusher in this year's draft class.

Gregory is mentally weak, the above out take from the OPs article says it all.

Our locker room is stronger without him in it.

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The more I see these kind of reports the the less I believe them. You have the facts, then you have countless anonymous people piling on a narrative based on nothing but their own view. Is it their honest opinion, or misinformation?

I was about to post the same thing.

Gregory is not a QB prospect, he's an edge rusher prospect. He produced as much as any other edge rushers in college just fine. He certainly has a lot to learn, but too many are overthinking what that is.

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I've been saying this from day 1.

All these clowns whining about the weed thing are missing the bigger picture - alcohol is worse than weed - what really matters is his mental health. There's been talk of his mental/anxiety/depression issues for a while now - and that **** combined with concussions and the NFL spotlight = uh oh

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I was about to post the same thing.

Gregory is not a QB prospect, he's an edge rusher prospect. He produced as much as any other edge rushers in college just fine. He certainly has a lot to learn, but too many are overthinking what that is.

Vandy, you're man crush on this guy is out of control. He has bust written all over him. I'm amazed you don't see it..

hiding-head-in-sand-620x250.jpg.jpg

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Sorry but I don't believe anything people say right before the draft. What's their motivation for revealing this? I'm actually more inclined to believe that teams are stretching the truth or outright lying.

Gregory is a high risk / high reward pick but playing it safe in the NFL is very rarely going to get you to the Superbowl. Is he worth the #8 pick? Maybe not. The risk meets the reward in the mid-teens I think but I'd still rather take the chance on Gregory than Dupree or Ray. I don't think there's any chance Gregory is still there in the 2nd round.

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One of my ex-bandmates battles severe anxiety issues. He had to stop playing in touring bands because being away from home, and out of his comfort zone & routine, for more than a few days would make him very irritable & then he would have massive panic attacks. They were not fun to watch. It seemed like he was having a heart attack & a stroke at the same time. The only thing that seemed to help him at all was smoking weed.

To me, the more I hear about Randy Gregory, the more I think that there has to be something similar going on with him.

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