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Redskins Combine Countdown: Nebraska DE Randy Gregory

Feb 12, 2015, 9:41 AM EDT

The NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis in just 6 days. I will be there and in between now and then I’ll be doing a lot of work getting up to speed on the draft class of 2015. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Randy Gregory


Height: 6-5
Weight: 242

What they’re saying:

What I liked: He is clearly a sight to behold with very long arms and a slender build that makes you think Aldon Smith as a possibility on the edge just ruining plays. He can be a very active pass rush guy and when he sees something in front of him, he has this explosive gear that is uncommon. They also try to move him around and he can either stand or put his hand down and has some Clay Matthews explosion and versatility from all sorts of spots.

What I did not like: I really look for a high motor in my front 7 defensive players . . . We will trade motor for ability to a certain point, but for the most part, I need a guy that is always chasing. I did not see that consistently from Gregory. Some weeks, every play looked important. Other weeks, it did not.

Bob Strum, Dallas Morning News

How he fits the Redskins: Although the Redskins do have Ryan Kerrigan on one side of the line they could use a premiere pass rusher on the other side. They had 36 sacks in 2014 and 10 of them came in one game. If you throw out the Week 2 game against the lowly Jaguars they averaged just 1.6 sacks per game, well below the NFL average of 2.4 per team per game.

Getting Gregory, who said that he prefers to play standing up despite the fact that he played with his hand in the dirt most of the time in Nebraska’s 4-3 scheme, would allow the Redskins to utilize Trent Murphy in nickel situations.

In the mock draft that Mel Kiper released on Wednesday, he had Gregory going to the Redskins with the fifth pick in the draft. Kiper apparently is on board with the notion of the Redskins taking a pass rusher with their top pick. It may be a matter of choosing which of a few different prospects to take and Gregory certainly is in the mix.

The Redskins would want him to put on some weight to play the outside linebacker spot for them. Gregory said that he played at around 250 pounds at Nebraska and that he could get up to 270 if that’s what a team wanted. If he becomes a Redskin Jay Gruden and Joe Barry probably would be happy with him somewhere in the 250-260 range.

Potential issues: There are a few red flags with Gregory. One is the lack of a high motor that Strum talks about above. He also admitted that he got a case of “senioritis” his last year in high school, costing him his scholarship at Purdue. These certainly aren’t major issues but Scot McCloughan might look at them and question how much Gregory loves football.

There also has to be concern about the drop he had in production between his sophomore and junior years. Gregory went from 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss two years ago to seven and 10, respectively, last year. He said that it was because teams focused on stopping him more and the added attention given to him opened things up for his teammates. That is a claim that McCloughan will examine very closely on film.

On the injury front, he suffered a broken fibula just before what would have been his second season at Arizona Western Community College. That will be examined thoroughly by doctors in Indianapolis and possibly again when he visits teams in the spring.

Bottom line: There is a long way to go until the April 30 draft. McCloughan will put pass rushers Gregory, Shane Ray of Missouri, and Dante Fowler of Florida under the microscope between now and then and there is a chance he’ll take one of them. In his better moments Gregory has the ability to be worth the No. 5 pick. It could come down to a matter of McCloughan deciding if the team can correct some of Gregory’s issues or live with them.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

  1. 214hof - Feb 12, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    I believe Alvin Dupree will open some eyes in the coming weeks, not saying Washington will take him at 5, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was taken inside the top 10, being second pass rusher off the board.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 12, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    I’d rather see us draft Shane Ray or Dante Fowler, or trade back. (I’m assuming Leonard Williams is gone.)

    This team has had far too many low motor guys in the Snyder era.

    • 214hof - Feb 12, 2015 at 12:06 PM

      Shane Ray is a pure speed rusher. He is not what you want when taking a top five OLB. None of the top edge rushers look like top five material IMO… I do think Washington addresses OLB but not until day two of the draft… Maybe a guy like Lozo Mauldin form Louisville, to either push/take Murphy’s spot and provide depth/ extra pass rush from sub-packages.

    • Joe Greene - Feb 12, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      Ray is, at best, small for OLB. He doesn’t fit the mold of a McCloughan pick at all.

      • thirdistheworrd - Feb 13, 2015 at 12:39 AM

        Ray is ten pounds short of Justin Houston– ie. the exact size of Bruce Irvin (drafted by McCLoughan). As to addressing the pass rush on the second day, I think that if we address it at all, it should be at no. 5. With a couple big exceptions (Jared Allen, Justin Houston), premier pass rushers are top 10 picks. I like Trent Murphy, but he will never give us a downright scary pass-rush. If we want to make the most of Kerrigan’s superstar potential over the next ten years, we need to pair him with a stud on the other side. I don’t think we’re planning on picking in the top ten again anytime soon, so this is the perfect year for a top-tier OLB.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 13, 2015 at 8:10 AM

          We dont run a 4,-3 the guys you mentioned are in a 4-3

        • 214hof - Feb 13, 2015 at 12:25 PM

          Just so you know… Both Rak(13) and Kerrigan(16) were taken OUTSIDE the top 10 not INSIDE. Needless to say, but the top prospects are not even close to either of them coming out of college. So taking a PR at #5 overall is reaching. Read a book for once.

        • Joe Greene - Feb 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

          Irvin is a DE in the 4-3, not a full time OLB in the 3-4. The 3-4 features bigger players at DE and OLB due to the LBs needing to be bigger to compensate for having 1 less lineman.

  3. shermanp79 - Feb 12, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    I like his long frame and comparisons to Smith and similarities to Mathews. I could see that length knocking down balls and creating strip sacks. We need a guy teams game plan for and haven’t had one in many years. The last I recall is Wilbur Marshall and maybe Ken Harvey who was in his later years. I forgot Arrington but he was injured too much. So it would be nice to add a guy who has that burst and ability to create nightmares for offenses. I like Kerrigan and he is a good player but he is a left side guy. We need that guy on the right side that gets those sacks Kerrigan has been a step late getting. I don’t know if Murphy is anything more than a third guy. He needs to get stronger, based on what was said of him coming out, I expected more from the pass rush area from him. The motor thing with Gregory could be a maturity thing. That is something Scot is looking for so it could rule him out. I hope he gets the right answers. If he used his skills on every play we could get something we have lacked for years. We would have to go back to Mann and Manley to find an incredible duo drafted by this team. I prefer the length at that position. I think Scot goes with the bigger guy too.

  4. bangkokben - Feb 12, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    The ‘skins need a pass rusher. Consistent pressure on the quarterback is what gets it done. Sacks are irrelevant. Sure they are exciting and pump up the fans but how many times have we watched this team get to the quarterback on 1st or 2nd down only to give up a first down in the same series? Consistency.

    As for the outlier against Jacksonville. That was before injuries took it’s toll on the defense and the one game we had a three score lead. I suspect we would’ve had seen another game like that if the offense had gotten a lead like that against Tennessee.

    • 214hof - Feb 12, 2015 at 12:26 PM


    • captblood3000 - Feb 12, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      This why the Redskins have their own scouts and a new GM. We have to hope that if they pick one of these edge rushers, they pick the best one. Motor is a big factor in that evaluation.

  5. kenlinkins - Feb 12, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    Rich: IMO the key to trying to out guess the Redskins new GM is understanding how he rates the Redskins last three drafts. The key questions are about RG3, Amerson, Reed, Thomas, Murphy, Moses and Long. These seven players have not shown value yet for the pick used. QB, CB, OLB/DE pass rusher, and LT are the key positions on any team. Of the seven guys listed three (RG3, Amerson and Murphy) were drafted for those positions and have yet to prove their worth (also were top picks). They are also 3 of the 4 weakest areas on the Redskins roster right now. While most believe drafting the B.P.A. is the best way to build a team, IMO you must have a core of players to start with in the 4 major areas that can handle the job, which at this time the Redskins just do not have. Signing older F.A. to build that core is a major mistake (see redskins history for proof) but finding guys coming off their first contract on teams with Cap Problems or have long term starters ahead of the FA could work wonders if you can build up Cap Space over two years (i.e. watch the GM’s cuts to save Cap money this year). IMO which ever area of the 3 guys listed the new GM feels will not pan out should be a target area and show more bang for the pick. This is why I think QB or DB might be higher on the list than most Redskins fans believe for the 5th pick in 2015. So, if Winston and Collins are rated about the same as many of the names I have seen listed in mock drafts (i.e. how much diff can you rate between the top 10 guys listed and be so sure about) the new GM just might use the pick to correct a blown early pick at a key position (as you do not get the 5th pick or better to often. well, unless you are the Redskins and that is something this new GM MUST correct starting this year).

    • bangkokben - Feb 13, 2015 at 9:55 AM

      McCloughan will not be drafting a QB or DB at #5 because neither, Winston, Mariota, or Collins will be the BPA then. Secondly, both the owner and president have invested 5 draft picks in the current two quarterbacks on the roster (Three 1s, a 2, and a 4). There is one more year to see if there is a long term investment worth waiting for return. Then both QBs are free agents. Third: it is a whole lot easier to build a team then insert a QB – see Seattle – than get a QB and build the team around him – Alex Smith and what Shanahan intended for the ‘skins. You may remember that the trade for the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft happened before Mara convinced the owners and Maurice Smith to penalize the ‘skins and ‘boys for violating the spirit of the salary cap. Suddenly we have a rookie quarterback, no first rounders for two years, and a helluva a lot less resources. The football gods smiled on us for such an injustice and gave us the division in 2012 but alas we remain in the remnants of those consequences.

  6. ajbus1 - Feb 12, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    And if you read his bio on Nebraska’s page, they say he’s 245. His measurables are all over the board.

  7. troylok - Feb 12, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Leave the glitzy pass rushers alone until the big guys on the line are fixed. More sacks will come if the defensive lineman can occupy blockers and collapse the pocket. Besides, I think it is a little too early to give up on Murphy.

  8. bowlregard - Feb 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    If you watch Gregory’s highlights, he looks awesome. Very fast.

    • 214hof - Feb 13, 2015 at 3:29 PM

      Everyone looks great in highlights… That’s why they’re called “HIGHLIGHTS”. Archives

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