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NFL Draft: Former scout thinks Randy Gregory will drop out of top 10

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The talented defender may have to wait longer than expected to be drafted.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska's Randy Gregory has the size, skill and potential needed to be a top-10 selection in next week's NFL Draft. His off-field issues, however, may convince those with high picks, including the Atlanta Falcons, to disregard the gifted pass rusher.

According to Greg Gabriel, the former Director of Scouting for the Chicago Bears, Gregory is bound to fall due to his "wild card" status.

It wouldn't be terribly surprising if Gabriel is indeed correct. Gregory has failed multiple drug tests, including one at the Combine in February, and has yet to prove he's made substantial changes to his lifestyle.

Not that he's had much time to rectify matters since working out in Indianapolis. At the very least, he's taken responsibility for his actions.

"I blame myself," Gregory told NFL.com. "And I know it sounds cliché, but there's really no one else I can blame.

"I was worse at Nebraska than I've ever been at any other time of my life. But I know how I am now. I think if teams really look at how I am now more so than the past, they'll see I'm making strides to get better, as a person and as a player."

On paper, the former Corn Husker would be a great fit in Atlanta. The Falcons have lacked an elite pass rusher for a while now, and adding Gregory, who registered 17.5 sacks in 24 games with Nebraska, could go a long way towards repairing this deficiency. Possessing athleticism comparable to Jadeveon Clowney, the 22-year-old could thrive in Dan Quinn's defense at the LEO position.

But it's never that simple, and Atlanta, who's employed the "Falcons Filter" for more than a decade, tends to shy away from prospects with red flags.

It also should be noted that this franchise has dealt with a number of weed-related problems in recent history. Jonathan Babineaux, Jason Snelling and Michael Vick have all been caught with illegal possession; Ra'Shede Hageman famously attempted to purchase the drug on Instagram last November.