Promising NFL Draft Pick's Gas Mask Bong Video Goes Viral

By McCarton Ackerman 05/04/16

The video surfaced just minutes before the NFL draft and sent Laremy Tunsil from being the top prospect to the 13th overall pick. 

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Promising NFL Draft Pick's Gas Mask Bong Video Goes Viral
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A promising NFL prospect nearly lost his chance to compete in the league after a video of him smoking pot from a gas mask bong went viral on Twitter.

According to AP, the 30-second video was posted to the verified Twitter account of Laremy Tunsil just minutes before this year’s NFL draft took place. The video was quickly deleted along with the entire account, but the damage had already been done as the potential No. 1 draft pick found himself tumbling down the draft board. The Miami Dolphins eventually took him on as the 13th overall pick.

Tunsil soon confirmed that he was the man in the bong video, but insisted that his Twitter account was hacked and that the video was not recent. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier echoed similar sentiments, claiming that the team was already aware of the video before selecting Tunsil, and that it was two years old.

All of the teams who passed on Tunsil denied that the video had anything to do with their decision. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton did acknowledge that the situation was uncomfortable for everyone involved in the draft, calling it “unusual and disappointing. It was a tough deal for everyone just watching and seeing it.”

A league spokesman announced on Tuesday that Tunsil will undergo a clinical evaluation before the NFL decides if he must enter the NFL drug program.

Another NFL prospect that has made headlines for his drug use also ended up being selected by a team. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who was charged last December with possession of marijuana after falling 15 feet at an Atlanta hotel, was snatched by the Arizona Cardinals as the 29th pick in the first round. He described Tunsil’s scandal as “heartbreaking because I love that dude and he’s such a good person. I can’t wait to see what he does in the NFL.”

Other NFL hopefuls have also found themselves in drug scandals around draft time. In April 2015, Missouri defensive end and top prospect Shane Ray was arrested three days before the draft for possessing “35 grams or less of marijuana” and failing to drive in the right lane. He released a statement apologizing for his behavior and clarifying that he did not drive while high. 

One month earlier, outside linebacker Randy Gregory admitted that he tested positive for marijuana at the scouting combine that February. He failed three marijuana tests while playing at the University of Nebraska and was nearly kicked off the team. Gregory apologized for his behavior, but told NFL.com that he hadn’t smoked in months and his latest positive test was a result of lingering marijuana in his system.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.