If he can't add weight, must play OLB in a 4-3 defense
Had a concussion and knee surgery in 2014
Summary: Gregory was one of the best edge rushers in college football during the past two seasons. After dominating the junior college ranks, Gregory was a beast for Nebraska in 2013 - his first year on campus. The sophomore had just 10 starts, yet racked up 66 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted, one forced fumble and an interception. His speed and athleticism on the edge were problemlatic for offenses to contain from his very first outing on.
Gregory played well in 2014 despite being banged up all year. In the season opener against Florida Atlantic, Gregory left after the first defensive series because of a knee injury. He had his knee scoped a few days later, and Bo Pelini said the MRI showed that it was an old non-contact injury. Gregory was held out against McNeese State and returned to the field against Fresno State. Later in the season, Gregory was limited with an ankle injury and a concussion. That caused him to miss what would've been a matchup with Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff.
Gregory totaled 56 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, three passes broken up and one interception for the year. He exhibited his 2013 form against Miami by totaling seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Nebraska was destroyed by Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon for an NCAA record, and Gregory started the game well defending the Badgers' ground attack before getting worn out.
Gregory looks like a dynamic pass-rusher for the NFL. Many college speed rushers don't have a repertoire of moves as they rely on their speed 100 percent of the time. Gregory, however, would use a spin move, swim move and bull rush effectively. Gregory is instinctive about when to deploy those moves, too. On tape, he seems to diagnosis his blockers in an instant to know what type of rush will work best. For example, Gregory wouldn't mess around by using the bull rush on heavy offensive tackles. He would catch smaller blockers by surprise with his bull rush and use his speed moves on the slower tackles.
At the Combine, Gregory came in lighter than expected. There were some reports that he had been sick beforehand. However, with the versatility and size advantage of Dante Fowler Jr., Gregory is no longer the top edge rushing prospect. Gregory could slide in the first round. Sources said that Gregory's team interviews didn't go very well either.
Gregory could use more weight and strength to hold up in run defense. If he is drafted into a 4-3 defense, he could be used like the Broncos' Von Miller as a linebacker in running situations and a pass-rusher. Gregory looks like a great fit in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker.
There is no doubt that Gregory is a tremendous pass-rusher, and he looks like he has the potential to be an impact rusher in the NFL. Gregory is deserving of a top-25 grade and looks like he has Pro Bowl potential for the NFL.
Player Comparison: Von Miller. The style of play for Gregory is similar to Miller. Both are dynamic athletes with dangerous speed off the edge. Miller (6-4, 250) and Gregory aren't the biggest of defenders, but they have functional strength to shed blocks in the pass rush. Miller was the second-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Gregory probably won't go that high.
NFL Matches: Tennessee, Jacksonville, Oakland, New York Jets, Chicago, Atlanta, New York Giants, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
There are a number of a lot of teams in the top 25 that could fall in love with Gregory. If the Titans decide to trade down and address their defense, Gregory would make a lot of sense as an edge rusher for Dick LeBeau's 3-4 scheme. Gregory would be a great fit in Tennessee and would help the Titans to try to stop Andrew Luck.
In a trade down, Jacksonville could consider Gregory as a replacement for Chris Clemons. The Jaguars have needed a long-term answer to their edge-rushing issues for years. Gregory could play end or the LEO linebacker in Gus Bradley's scheme.
Oakland would be a fit for Gregory as well. He could form a dangerous pass-rushing duo with Khalil Mack.
The Jets also have to improve their edge rushing. Sheldon Richardson led New York in sacks with eight in 2014 while none of the team's edge rushers totaled seven sacks. Since the Jets look poised to miss out on a quarterback, they could improve their pass rush, plus if Gregory gets to them, he's probably the best player available.
Chicago could use more young edge rushers. Willie Young was a great signing, but the Bears need a long-term edge rusher to replace Jared Allen.
Atlanta would be a great landing spot for Gregory. The Falcons have to improve their pass rush, and Gregory could be perfect for that. Like the Jaguars, Gregory could play the LEO linebacker - though in Dan Quinn's defense.
The Giants could lose Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency. Even if they bring him back, they could look for another edge rusher to pair with him.
The Browns could use a pass-rusher. Gregory won't fall to Cleveland's first pick, but with two first-rounders, the organization has the ammo to move up if it wants Gregory badly enough.
Staying in the AFC North, the Bengals have to get another pass-rusher to pair with Carlos Dunlap. Gregory could fill the role they envisioned for James Harrison. Speaking of Harrison, he won't play forever, and the Steelers are still missing what Harrison brought them five or six years ago. Gregory could be a great value for Pittsburgh later in the first round.