Randy Gregory, Edge*, Nebraska
Ht. 6047, Wt. 235, Arm: 34", Hand: 10", Bench: 24
40 yd: 4.64, 10 yd.: 1.60, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: 36.5", Broad: 10'5"
Games Watched: at Wisconsin, Miami, at Michigan St.
Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory burst onto the scene as a redshirt sophomore in 2013. The junior college transfer from Arizona Western College made an immediate impact for the Huskers with 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Gregory missed time in 2014 when he aggravated an old knee injury, but he still managed to record 10 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two blocked kicks.
If NFL coaches could draw up an edge defender’s frame, it would look a lot like Gregory. At 6 feet 6 inches tall and with long arms, he has ideal length for an edge defender. His length helps him stack and shed well despite his low weight.
The most impressive thing about Gregory’s film, though, was how well he uses his hands. He has the hands of a boxer, which help him easily disengage from blockers. He has an NFL-caliber swim move right now.
Gregory converts speed to power and consistently pushed bigger offensive linemen backward. He’s highly athletic and has exceptional balance. He plays well in space and would fit well as a SAM — strongside outside — linebacker for the Cowboys until he added enough weight to become an every-down defensive end.
The first negative that jumps out about Gregory is his weight. He set the edge well in college, even against Miami’s talented OT Ereck Flowers, but he would be a liability against the run as a defensive end in Dallas’ scheme.
Gregory occasionally makes bad run fits and loses containment on outside plays. Several teams took advantage of this in 2014, calling counters and play-action bootlegs toward his side of the field. He must maintain discipline moving forward.
Gregory’s burst is exceptional, but he was one of the last players off the snap on many of the plays I watched. Minor gripe, but it's something to work on.**
Verdict: Top-10 Pick
Gregory has the potential to develop into a player like 49ers edge defender Aldon Smith, but faces the same questions as Browns edge Barkevious Mingo. He needs to add about 20 good pounds and improve his run defense, but he might be the best of a deep class of pass-rush prospects.
At this point, I’d gladly turn in a top-10 draft pick for him. So the question for the Cowboys is whether his potential is worth the picks they'd have to give up to move up from No. 27.
* Because of the variety of NFL schemes and the negligible differences between certain positions, the term 'EDGE' replaces 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE.
** Bleacher Report writer Matt Miller said Gregory's coach told him the staff asked him to read and react to the offensive tackle, which explains the occasional delayed burst.