Randy Gregory could be the next Dion Jordan or the next Jason Taylor

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randy-gregory

Randy Gregory, along with Shane Ray and La’el Collins, are this draft’s biggest wildcards. No one has any idea where they’ll actually end up. Today, more bad stuff came out from NFL Media and NFL Network about Gregory. He could drop out of the first round altogether.

Said NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock:

“I think Randy Gregory is totally intriguing. I’m not sure if he’s Jason Taylor on the plus side or is he going to be the kid Miami took a couple years ago at No. 3 on the negative side, Dion Jordan. He’s a long, lean guy.”

 The Big Ten has gone six straight years with zero picks in the top ten. Although Taylor Lewan just missed at #11 overall this past May.

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Also, Aaron Maybin of Penn State went #11 in 2009 before his NFL career flamed out. This draft class, the Big Ten will redeem itself though. Randy Gregory was projected to lead the way, but the marijuana things dropped him quite a bit. other top ten overall potential in Iowa OT Brandon Scherff and Michigan State CB Trae Waynes. (Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has top 20 potential)

And to be fair, the Big Ten has produced a lot of blue chip linemen in recent years. Not so much at the skill positions, but definitely so in the trenches. Joe Thomas was the 3rd overall selection out of Wisconsin in 2007, and Jake Long was the first overall pick out of Michigan in 2008.

Mayock hopes Gregory can add some muscle mass.

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“At 6’6″, 240, I would hope that he can put another 15 or 20 pounds on in the next couple of years. You’d love to see him at 260 or so, so he can be a little more physical.”

“That’s where he needs to get better. He needs to be a little more physical in the attack and run game, but he’s got everything you want as a potential pass rushing maniac at the next level.”

Mayock also discussed Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah on this call. (Go here for this assessment) Back to Randy Gregory, the analysis and discussion of his prospects reminds us of July at Big Ten Media Day. This was the perfect example of how the 2014 Big Ten Media Day was a ton of talking, but nothing actually was said. It’s a “Media Day” that has little if any actual news. Look no further than how much play my question got to Bo Pelini got in the national media.

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Pelini’s response to my query was actually the lead story of Big Ten Media Day.

Now I love cats as much as the next person, but everybody talked about Pelini’s cat, and no one, not even one person, mentioned the actual subject of my question, which was Randy Gregory.

Here’s the transcript:

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Q. First off, I hope that your cat is doing well. I wanted to ask if you brought the cat with you to Chicago. But, seriously, my real question is about Randy Gregory. He’s getting a lot of hype, and I want to know what makes him such a special player.

COACH PELINI: First of all, my cat is — he’s enjoying a nap up in the room. So he is here in Chicago and enjoying the Windy City.

So Randy Gregory is a tremendous talent.

He has great instincts. He has great get-off, a guy who can really rush the passer. I think he’s only scratched the surface of what he’s going to be down the line.

As he continues to grow, he has really good length and athleticism. Very good instincts for the game, good feel for not only in the passing game but in the running game and how kind of the game should be played.

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I think the sky’s the limit for him for him down the road. I think he’s still young. Obviously this is really the first time he’s gone through an offseason with us. So I’m looking forward to big things with Randy.

And I always tell him: Don’t get caught up. It’s not about stats and statistics; it’s about developing yourself, playing fundamentally sound, doing the things that you need to be successful on a down end, every down basis.

And I think he understands that. He’s more physically developed than he was when we first got him. And he’s continuing to grow, get bigger, and put some more meat on his frame. And as that happens, I think you’re going to see a guy who becomes an even more well balanced player.

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Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital, eBay, Google News and CBS Interactive. You can read Banks’ feature stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye newspaper and listen to him on KOZN 1620 The Zone.

Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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