clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How Robert Nkemdiche's marijuana charge could affect his NFL Draft stock

For reference, we look at how far weed-related incidents have dropped other big-name prospects in recent years.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Robert Nkemdiche fell from an Atlanta hotel room window Sunday, and in so doing, his stock in 2016's NFL Draft may have plummeted along with him. Most scouting analysts predicted the standout defensive tackle in their top five picks before Sunday's incident -- which, according to reports, featured the presence of "seven marijuana cigarettes" in Nkemdiche's hotel room -- but it's now very possible that Robert's name is held in lower esteem across many teams' big boards.

What stings Nkemdiche the most is a demonstrated pattern of behavior, and this most recent incident will certainly concretize many scouts' opinions about how he spends his time off the field. Bob McGinn told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal that "[Nkemdiche is] a really different kid. He may scare some people. He's strange strange."

This perception really got legs when Nkemdiche was photographed while apparently ripping a bong last year. The sentiment extended by proxy to his brother Denzel, who was hospitalized in November for vague and rumor-filled reasons. Taken together, fairly or not, and certainly following Sunday's incident, team scouts would appear to have a crystallized notion of "Robert Nkemdiche, helluva defender, idiosyncratic drug user." Whether and how this personality clash with the NFL Wehrmacht affects his draft stock has yet to be seen, but expect Robert and his family to undergo the most scrutinizing of background checks in the next few months.

It's too early to say how detrimental league scouts will find Nkemdiche's marijuana charge, but for some recent context, here are a handful of players for whom marijuana and "issues" rocketed them down NFL draft tablature.

Tyrann Mathieu

Mathieu averaged a forced fumble every other game in his college career at LSU and very likely would have drafted into the first round in 2013, if not for his dismissal from Les Miles' program and a very public failed drug tests admission at the Combine set off the character gongs. He slipped down to the 69th overall pick and has since performed admirably for Arizona.

Randy Gregory

A versatile pass-rusher, Gregory tested positive for marijuana at the Combine of all places and nosedived out of the first round at the 2015 draft. For a time, league scouts cited "mental issues" as reason for Gregory's decline, a perfectly horseshit NFLism for marijuana use. "I blame myself," he said later, proving that cowed and self-effacing contrition is what the Shield demands. And for his troubles, he fell to the 60th overall pick and landed in the league's substance abuse program.

Shane Ray

Ray was the 2014 SEC defensive player of the year and projected No. 10 pick, but a paltry citation for marijuana possession set him into free fall at the 2015 draft. He eventually ended up with the Denver Broncos, who traded up to acquire him with the 23rd overall pick.

P.J. Williams

Williams was FSU's lockdown corner in 2014 and rocked his Combine's best vertical and broad jumps. He thus was projected a solid second round guy, until he was arrested on DUI charges a week before the 2015 draft. He slid to the 78th overall pick by the Saints.

Jalen Collins

Collins fell victim to the leaked-report-sours-your-name syndrome the Monday before the 2015 draft and immediately plunged out of the first round. Someone, working under the guise of due diligence, learned that Collins had failed a number of drug tests in his time at LSU. For added punishment, Collins landed in Atlanta with the 42nd overall pick.