The NFL scouting combine is upon us, where teams throughout the league will evaluate hundreds, if not thousands, of college players vying to be drafted by the league. As part of the combine, players undergo a drug test, and the results of that test have sometimes hurt a player's chances of being drafted. But that may no longer be the case.
Bleacher Report spoke to several NFL executives who said that testing positive for marijuana at the combine is no longer the deal breaker it once was. In the past, a player's draft stock could tank as a result of a positive test for cannabis. But as popular opinions on the drug have shifted, the opinions of football front offices is evolving as well.
Of course, there's a more practical reason for this change in philosophy. In the past, testing positive for marijuana for the first time led to an automatic suspension. That is no longer the case. The NFL has decreased penalties for positive marijuana tests, which means teams don't have to worry as much about their players using cannabis. Instead, they put a higher emphasis on a player's personal character and criminal history, as the league has begun cracking down hard on players who commit domestic abuse.
That isn't to say that a positive marijuana test is meaningless. A player testing positive for the drug will still be looked down upon, if only because it shows a lack of good judgment. You know for months ahead of time that you're going to be tested at the combine. If you can't stop yourself from using marijuana before the test, that's still not a great look.
And for the record, failing a drug test at the combine does not mean a player will end up a bust. Just ask Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, who did exactly that.
(h/t Bleacher Report)