The defensive end out of the University of Missouri was cited for marijuana possession less than a week before the first round of the NFL Draft. He was expected to go in the first round prior to this report but some, including ESPN’s Mark Domenik, believes this will cause his draft stock to plummet. The former general manager said on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike that he expects it to drop him all the way to the third or fourth round.
Prior to this news, Scout.com ranked Ray as the top defensive end prospect and 13th overall. For Domenik, the issue wasn’t necessarily the fact that he was cited for marijuana but the timing of the citation, which is telling of his decision making.
The Panthers could use an elite pass rusher and if he is on the board at the end of the first round, this could be great value. However, the organization has to be comfortable with this recent run in with the law and the team doesn’t have much time to look into this recent issue.
Another elite pass rusher who could see his draft stock take a tumble is defensive end Randy Gregory. At the end of March, it was reported that Gregory had failed a drug test at the Scouting Combine. Failed drug tests are a big issue that eventually could result in suspensions, however it is the timing once again that raises additional concerns.
The Scouting Combine is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, event that can affect a player’s draft stock. Every athlete who is entering the NFL Draft should have these days circled on their calendar and it should come as no surprise to them.
Gregory is slightly behind Ray in the rankings being 17th overall and the number two rated defensive end in this year’s class. NFL teams are always on the lookout for top pass rushers and this has become a premium position in the NFL.
The Panthers brought Gregory in for a visit after this news and should have a much better and more in depth understanding of his situation compared to Ray’s, which happened a few days before the Draft.
There are three wide receivers who easily could go in the Top 10 with Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker. However, it is likely that one is going to slip down in the first round and of those three Parker seems to be the most likely. The question though is just how far he might slide.
This Draft season, Parker has not been getting the same recognition as the other two wide receivers even though he is one of the top prospects in this class. Graham Barfield at numberFire breaks down just why he might be overlooked and discusses the fact that Parker was only able to play six games. However those six games were really good.
The other reason Parker could slide is that he might get passed by other prospects who have had excellent workouts like UCF’s Breshad Perriman. If Parker starts to slide and falls into the 20s it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Panthers try to make a move up a few picks to select the former Louisville wide receiver.