Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 7/15/12

The Cleveland Browns took many risks when they selected wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of last Thursday’s supplemental draft. The Browns are forfeiting a second-round pick in next April’s draft after choosing Gordon, who admitted he was “shocked” by the decision. They also are taking a player who has a history of failing marijuana tests.

From Albert Breer at NFL.com:

According to sources with four NFL clubs, Gordon failed three drug tests as a collegian. The first two came at Baylor. The latter, according to these sources, came after charges were dropped in his marijuana-related arrest of 2010, and that led to his dismissal from the Baptist school, which has a reputation for being tough on drugs. That led to his transfer to Utah, where he failed another drug test.

Gordon disputed Breer’s report, telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he never failed a drug test at Utah.

“The whole time I was in Utah, I never ended up testing positive for any administrative test given by the administrative people there,” Gordon said Thursday. “It was just their choice to test me and just make sure I was staying clean.”

Gordon didn’t end up playing for Utah, but they tested him to make sure he was clean, and he never failed one of the tests? That doesn’t exactly add up. However, Gordon did pass a drug test prior to the supplemental draft, and he told NFL teams that the failed tests are behind him. The Browns seem to believe him.

“To be honest with you, I couldn’t find anybody to say one bad thing about the kid,” Browns GM Tom Heckert said during a conference call. “I really enjoyed meeting with [Gordon]. It’s something that is out there that we have done our homework on. To say we’re 100 percent, we’re not 100 percent on anybody in the draft, but we felt good enough that he’s going to be a positive influence on our team.”

Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and 7 touchdowns as a sophomore for Baylor in 2010, so he has shown some promise. But this is a big risk for a team that’s trying to rebuild its offense, and not one I would have taken. Players who have a history of smoking weed in college don’t always change when they turn pro. The Detroit Lions could tell you a lot about that.

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

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