Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive end Randy Gregory (4) looks on before the game against the USC Trojans in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Gregory is a top-five talent who could fall to the Falcons with the eighth overall pick. He’s got the best length of all the pass rushers in the 2015 draft class, and is already a stout defender against the run.
For what it’s worth, Dan Quinn did not rule out selecting players with off-the-field concerns.
"“I think you really base it on the individual case basis. What would be the support system to make sure the player has all the support he needs to be at his best?” Quinn said. “Everybody’s got a story and some background.”"
There are always going to be risks involved with any draft pick. No player is guaranteed to be successful in the NFL, despite what some analysts might tell you. All you can do is select the players that you believe have the best chance to become something special in the league.
Of course, there’s a chance Leonard Williams or Vic Beasley fall to the Falcons pick, making this entire discussion moot. But the likelihood of that happening is probably greater than the chance that Gregory becomes the next Josh Gordon. Some team, probably New Orleans, will realize that and draft him soon after Atlanta’s pick.
I think Gregory has a great chance to become a top-tier pass rusher in the NFL, a position which the Falcons have lacked since they foolishly cut John Abraham before the 2013 season. If Quinn thinks so too, I don’t think he’ll hesitate to pull the trigger on Gregory with the Falcons first round pick.
Just don’t let him hang out with Ra’Shede Hageman around 4:20.
What about you, Falcons faithful? Is Gregory worth the risk? What is your pass rusher ranking?