Mekhi Becton’s potential loss could be the Kansas City Chiefs‘ gain, Kelly Thompson of Arrowhead Addict wrote over the weekend. He pointed to similar situations that occurred in the past to show why Becton’s failed drug test could become a big benefit for the Chiefs.
Thompson said fans of the NFL have seen plenty of big-time talent get caught with a drug test and have their draft stock plummet. Front offices often see a positive test result as indicative of a lack of responsibility, maturity, and trustworthiness. While the format for what happens once a player is suspected of having drugs in his system has changed, the league is still flagging those who come up positive in a test.
Although there were numerous players that had their drug tests flagged, Becton appears to be the only one who was considered a Top 10 pick. The offensive tackle from Louisville now goes into what is called “stage 1” of the new rules that govern this kind of result. In the past, the league could suspend a player for a certain number of days, but treatment is the new way of dealing with issues like this under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Because Becton is considered one of the top prospects in the draft and the Chiefs have the very last selection in the first round, fans had written the offensive lineman off. Now, Thompson wrote, they could end up seeing Becton get passed up by teams who don’t want to deal with the potential of a “problem child.”
The Chiefs have taken advantage of this before. Back in 2011, linebacker Justin Houston was considered a potential first-round pick. A failed drug test caused him to not get picked until the third round. By then, the Chiefs were willing to take a gamble on him staying clean.
That gamble paid off, as Houston went on to play eight seasons for the team, starting 10 games in his rookie campaign. In 2014, he posted a career-high 69 tackles and led the NFL in sacks with 22.
Thompson pointed out there are times when taking a player that failed a drug test before the draft didn’t pay off. The most notable example is Randy Gregory out of Nebraska. Once thought to be a first-round talent, a failed test dropped him to the second round, where the Dallas Cowboys picked him up. Since then, he’s failed several more tests and is currently indefinitely suspended.
The Chiefs may be willing to gamble on Becton if he’s still available so late in the first round, as he’s not considered a repeat offender. Ian Rapoport posted on Twitter that the offensive tackle isn’t thought to have failed a drug test in college.