Citing NFL sources, FoxSports is reporting that Georgia linebacker Justin Houston tested positive for marijuana at the combine in February. Given that the draft is two days away, such news could have broken at no worse time — for Houston, if not for the teams that might have been interested in him.
Drafting Justin Houston just got riskier. I can’t see the Falcons picking him now, at least not in Round 1, and I’d be surprised if he’s taken by any team before Round 2. Which would be a shame. He’s a big-time talent with a huge upside. (Sorry to lapse into draftspeak.) All NFL teams cast a critical eye on the draft — this is, after all, their business — and at the moment every franchise has to look at Houston and wonder: “How many guys put themselves in position to flunk their audition?”
This doesn’t mean Houston won’t get drafted somewhere by somebody. This doesn’t mean he can’t become a productive professional for the next 10 days. But it does mean he’s not going to make the money as a rookie he could have.
The difference in being a first round draft pick and a second round draft pick can mean a lot of money; possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. I just hope it was worth it.