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NFL Draft rumors: Buccaneers likely won't draft Randy Gregory

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are unlikely to draft Randy Gregory, despite the fact that the pass rusher is still on the board after initially widely being seen as a top-10 pick. Gregory's fall has a lot to do with the fact that he tested positive for marijuana at the combine, but that's not just why the Bucs are likely to steer away from him. Pewter Report has a few more details.

Don't expect Tampa Bay to draft Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory in the second round, or possibly the third. The Bucs love his pass-rushing ability and athleticism, which is actually superior to that of Jadeveon Clowney, who went No. 1 overall last year to Houston. But Gregory has some issues dealing with the pressure and has resorted to marijuana too much for the team's liking.

The Bucs have done plenty of research on the former Husker, who went to Jason Licht's alma mater, and there are too many red flags. I don't know if he's off the Bucs' draft boards or not, but with Tampa Bay's locker room having great chemistry the organization doesn't want to rock the boat.

That all makes a lot of sense. There's a reason why Gregory has fallen this far already, and it's not because the NFL has an irrational hatred for weed -- which they do, kind of, but that's not why. Most teams know that a lot of their own players smoke and manage to steer clear of testing, which is why the Broncos traded up to get the equally busted-for-marijuana Shane Ray yesterday, while Gregory kept on falling. Obviously, there's something about Gregory's issues that sets him apart from people like Ray.

Besides Gregory's issues with weed, he's also massively undersized for the Bucs' system. Yes, the Tampa 2 defense always prefers speed over size, and Gregory certainly has speed, but there's a limit to how far you can stretch that. Gregory showed up at a woefully low 235 lbs. at the combine, and that was after bulking up. He then weighed in at 238 lbs. at his pro day -- and that's at 6'5". Meanwhile, the lightest defensive end actually on the Bucs' roster is T.J. Fatunikin who weighs 250 lbs at 6'2" -- that's a humongous difference.

Besides all of that, the Bucs simply don't have the space to take Gregory. They must find a starting offensive lineman in this draft, if they don't want to watch their shiny new quarterback get pounded into the dirt all season long. And the best (and really only reliable) way to find a starting lineman right now is to draft one with their second-round pick. And that means passing on Gregory, at least once.