The 2015 NFL draft is full of excellent pass rushers. Maybe the best of them is Randy Gregory coming out of Nebraska. Likely a top 10 pick, he seems like a very good fit for the Chicago Bears, but the Baltimore Ravens have got their eye on him.
The Ravens tend to take defensive players with their first round pick, and have a very good eye for talent early on. Gregory might not be available for the Ravens when their pick is up (26th overall), and it doesn’t seem like they will trade away assets in order to move up, not for him.
But still, Gregory does come with concerns. He missed the 2012 season with a broken foot. He has knee problems last season and missed the regular season finale with a concussion. He gets off of his feet quickly, but his lean frame does startle quite a few teams, viewing him as something of a health risk.
The Chicago Bears will play a 3-4 defense next season, which means that their current pass-rushers (Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston) have some adjusting to do. Gregory fits that style, and with the Bears picking 7th in this draft, Gregory seems like a very good fit for what they’re trying to do.
Gregory is scheduled to visit the Ravens in Baltimore, and also held unofficial meetings with team officials during the scouting combine.
In terms of fitting in, his length and explosiveness make him a very intriguing prospect. His lean frame might make him vulnerable to the run, but there have been lean and tall players in the past who have been able to make up for their lacking girth by simply positioning themselves well, tackling well and reacting quickly to the developing play.
Gregory has 17.5 sacks in two seasons with the Cornhuskers, and was named to the First Team All-Big Ten last season, convincing him to forego his senior season in Lincoln. He was projected to be a high first round pick even before the 2014 season began.