CHICAGO - Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory knew his positive test for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine would hurt his draft stock. He found out Friday night just how much.
Once considered a top-10 prospect because of his superior pass-rushing skills, Gregory plummeted down the board before the Dallas Cowboys finally took him in the second round with the 60th overall pick.
The Cowboys have been in the market for a running back, especially after the top two tailbacks, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon were off the board when they picked in the first round Thursday. But Gregory was too good to pass up at that spot. And Gregory plans to reward the decision with some dominant play in the coming years.
Gregory was "that guy" in the green room in this year's draft, the prospect who kept sliding after his name wasn't called in the first round and most of the second round. Any regrets about attending the draft?
"It was worth it," Gregory said shortly after being selected by the Cowboys. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I've got the best fans in the nation [with the Cowboys]."
Gregory acknowledged that the positive test hurt his stock. It also didn't help that reports surfaced in recent days that Gregory had missed some scheduled meetings with teams at the Combine. How much did the test affect his draft status?
"Obviously a lot," he said. "But that's in the past, and me and the Cowboys, we're gonna take over this league, I promise you that."
Another prospect with first-round talent and off-field issues also went in the second round. Oklahoma wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (no relation to Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham) was taken by the Titans with the 40th overall pick.
Green-Beckham starred at Missouri but was kicked off the team in 2014 after two arrests for marijuana possession and an incident in which he allegedly forced open an apartment door and pushed an 18-year-old woman down several stairs. He was not charged in connection with the incident, as police cited a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim.
Green-Beckham transferred to Oklahoma but had to sit out the 2014 season because of transfer rules. He decided to leave school and enter the draft.
The Titans hope Green-Beckham can be a reliable receiver and trusted member of the team, especially after they drafted Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick Friday.
Green-Beckham was one of three receivers to go in the second round. Ohio State's Devin Smith, who was taken by the Jets, and Devin Funchess, selected by Carolina, were the others. It's the second straight receiver-rich draft, with nine receivers taken in the first two rounds, including six in the first round. Last year, there were five first-rounders and 12 total receivers taken in the first two rounds.
The Bills didn't have a first-round pick this year (traded to Cleveland in their move up to take wide receiver Sammy Watkins), but their second-round selection certainly was a memorable one. And not so much because of who it was -- Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby -- but who announced it.
Former players from every team announced the second-round picks, and former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was on hand to make Buffalo's selection. Kelly, who has battled cancer in recent years, received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Auditorium at Roosevelt University, and he thanked fans for helping him get through his ordeal. Kelly said in an interview after the selection that he is cancer-free.
After Jameis Winston and Mariota went 1-2 in the first round Thursday, two quarterbacks were taken Friday. Colorado State's Garrett Grayson went to the Saints in the third round (75th pick) and Oregon State's Sean Mannion went 89th overall to the St. Louis Rams. Still on the board: UCLA's Brett Hundley and Baylor's Bryce Petty.
Rounds 4-7 are scheduled for Saturday.