Someone once said that "opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat."
Of course, it could also be said that one man's trash is another man's treasure.
And so it goes with this week’s NFL Draft and the increasingly intriguing plight of Nebraska defense end/linebacker Randy Gregory. Gregory is a one-time, sure-fire top 10 pick who is falling down the draft boards and possibly into the waiting arms of the Dallas Cowboys at No. 27.
It would be the ultimate value pick for a team such as the Cowboys, who are in dire need of a pass rushing-talent such as Gregory. However, Gregory has the baggage of being considered a character risk because of a failed drug test at the NFL Combine and some unfortunate interviews.
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This is not a road untraveled for the Cowboys, who struck it big in 2010 when Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant fell to them at 24 because of character concerns.
The Cowboys have certainly done their homework on Gregory, who was in Dallas for one of the top-30 national visits earlier this month.
And he certainly fits the profile, listed by NFLDRAFTSCOUT.COM as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2015 draft because of his length and explosiveness. He has the potential to be one's of the league's most feared edge rushers.
He wouldn't even have been considered a possibility for the pass-rush needy Cowboys if not for a failed marijuana test at the combine in February.
Some mock drafts have Gregory going to the New Orleans Saints at 13, the Pittsburgh Steelers at 22 and even the Arizona Cardinals at 24.
Could he fall all the way to a Cowboys team that needed a pass rusher even before Greg Hardy was hit with a 10-game suspension?
Gregory''s former AAU basketball coach Calvin Bembry said whoever gets Gregory will get a motivated man on a mission.
"He is really sorry that all this happened," Bembry said. "He knows he can’t blame anybody but himself. He is embarrassed for himself, his parents and his little brother. He is committed to doing whatever it takes to make it right and prove to people he will stay that way going forward."
Bembry coaches at Hamilton Southeastern in the Indianapolis area where Gregory attended high school after moving eight times as a kid. Bembry has known Gregory since he was in the seventh grade. He has seen him make mistakes before and he has watched him bounce back.
Gregory committed to Purdue out of high school, but didn't qualify academically, forcing him to go a junior college which re-routed him to an All-American career at Nebraska.
Bembry said Gregory just needs to be in the right situation with the right structure and he will flourish.
"Randy is a good kid," Bembry said. "He just needs to grow up a little. But he is a nice, personable kid. He is not a thug. He is not a bad seed. He is gifted athlete and sometimes things come too easy for him and he thinks he can always figure it out. You can do that on the field, but you can't always do that off the field. Randy made a mistake, but he is good. He will be fine."
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760