Teams Have Hard-Party Drug Concerns with Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott
Updated March 15, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Eastern Kentucky edge rusher Noah Spence was a standout pass-rusher at Ohio State before positive tests for the party drug ecstasy led to him being kicked out of the program. At the Senior Bowl, teams interviewed Spence about his issues at Ohio State, and while he wouldn't name names, he said that he wasn't the only Buckeye player who was using ecstasy while partying. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, two of the players that teams suspect for that type of partying are defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
To be clear, neither player had a positive drug test for ecstasy or molly (MDMA). However, Bosa was suspended for the opening game of the 2015 season. Ohio State didn't clarify the exact offense for the suspension, but Bosa told teams during the NFL Combine interviews that he was suspended because he refused to take a drug test. That counted as a positive and thus he was automatically slapped with the suspension.
Bosa told teams that he wouldn't take the test because he was going to test positive for adderall. He is said to have ADHD or ADD, so teams wouldn't have held that positive test for adderall against him and they feel he should have just gotten a prescription for the medication. Teams believe that Bosa knew he was going to test positive for worse drugs and that is why he refused to take the test. Bosa wouldn't admit to using ecstasy or molly, but he did admit that he likes to attend raves. He claimed that he likes going to raves for the "music," which teams found to be very questionable. Molly and ecstasy are common drugs used at raves.
At Ohio State, Bosa was a roommate with Ezekiel Elliott. Apparently, their shared place was a party destination, and Bosa told teams that he had to move out and get his own place to get away from all the parties that Elliott had going on. Sources say they suspect that Elliott was also using molly and ecstasy while parting. A number of Elliott's teammates in the Combine interviews told teams that Elliott was a partier, and a unique individual. They said they hung out with him some, but he rubbed some the wrong way. Sources from multiple teams said that Elliott didn't interview well at the Combine, while Bosa had mixed feedback. The skepticism of why he goes to raves and the refusal of the drug test bothered some evaluators.
Lastly, teams said they don't expect these concerns to have an impact on the draft stock of either player. They firmly expect Bosa to go in the top 10 and Elliott to be selected in the top 20. Sources don't believe either is a candidate to slide. Teams in the 20s expect Elliott to be long gone, while sources with the Titans have said that Bosa is still in the running for the No. 1 overall pick to Tennessee, but Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey is the current leader with the Titans (see below).
While teams suspect Bosa and Elliott of using those drugs, they don't have view them as risks like Randy Gregory last year. Teams don't think that Bosa and Elliott are serious candidates to be landing suspensions and testing positive in the NFL. Thus, both should be high draft picks in the 2016 NFL Draft.