Twice in the last five days has the news come out that a notable player set to be taken in this week’s draft ended up with a “dilute” drug test at the Scouting combine, which for the NFL means it will be treated as a failed test as those players come into the league. Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster brought it up himself last week, and then Monday the news broke that Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers had the same thing happen.
Now teams have choices to make (Foster was expected to be a higher pick than Peppers in the first place, although Foster is coming off a shoulder injury too.) It isn’t about why the tests were dilute, although in both cases the explanation is that they were sick and trying to stay hydrated for the combine work. Each NFL team will have to decide, to begin, whether to believe. The bigger issue is that the NFL treats it like a violation of the policy for substances of abuse and will put the players into the league’s program.
It’s not a big deal if the players were indeed loading up on water because they were sick. But these are the things teams must weigh. You don’t want to end up with a player with a high risk of eventually getting suspended because of personal choices. The Cardinals in particular know too well what that is about, with Daryl Washington’s issues.
This is a little less cut-and-dried than, say, the Joe Mixon question and whether to have him on a team’s draft board. Foster and Peppers are going to be picked. It’s another factor in the draft’s risk-reward situation, and why the Cards have worked so hard to collect as much data as they have on each player.
Tags: Jabrill Peppers, Joe Mixon, Reuben Foster
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