SI.com interviewed four NFL head coaches, four general managers and two other high-level club personnel executives for this story. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, all requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about the issue.
According to one veteran club personnel man, 10 or 11 players who carry first-round draft grades on their board this year have been red-flagged for marijuana use in college, an estimate echoed by two clubs' head coaches. Another NFL head coach estimated that "one-third'' of the players on his club's draft board had some sort of history with marijuana use and would thus require an extra level of evaluation as part of the pre-draft scouting process.
"Marijuana use is almost epidemic, with more guys having tested positive for marijuana at some point in their college background than I can ever remember,'' said a longtime team personnel man. "It's almost as if we are having to figure out a new way to evaluate it as part of the character and background report, because it's so prevalent. There're enough instances of it that it's hard to know how to set your board. You can't throw out that many guys. You have to go case-by-case and do your homework on them.''
It's important to note that NFL club officials in this case are only referencing failed drug tests administered by the prospect's college that wind up on his background report, not the drug tests the league conducts as part of the scouting process at last month's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Players with drug test failures in college are not automatically enrolled in the NFL's drug-testing program upon being drafted, but those players can be added at the league's discretion, depending on the type of drug used, how recent the failed test occurred and if there were multiple failures.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/don_banks/03/23/nfl.draft.marijuana/index.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0j6xUWrNa
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