2014 NFL Draft: Clemson’s Watkins overcomes 2012 marijuana possession charge, garners No. 1 projected WR ranking

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins made the news in 2012 after a marijuana charge resulted in a two-game suspension during his sophomore campaign with the Tigers.

Two years later, Watkins finds himself at the top of projected rankings at wide receiver as the 2014 NFL Draft looms around the corner.

According to CBS Sports, the former Clemson WR rebounded with ease after his 2012 suspenion forced him to the sideline — bouncing back in 2013 with 101 catches for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns (Waktins racked up 1,219 yards and 12 TDs on 82 catches as a true freshman in 2011).

At 6’1″ and 211 lbs, Watkins posted a 4.43 in the 40-yard-dash and is expected to be drafted in the first round (No. 1 at WR on CBS Sports).

The 2014 NFL Draft is on May 8, as Watkins leads an impressive and elite group of receivers predicted to be taken in round one.

Marijuana, a legal recreational drug by adults in Colorado and Washington and medically recognized in 22 states, has often been a debatable topic in NFL circles to treat injuries sustained in football.

And although the league is highly unlikely to change the NFL’s stance on marijuana, commissioner Roger Goodell has at least admitted to questions pertaining to a positive impact from the drug — although he still chose his words wisely when asked about his stance on the subject at the Super Bowl this past season.

“This has been something that has been asked several times and I’ll try to be as clear as I possibly can: It is still an illegal substance on a national basis,” Goodell told CBS Sports on Jan. 31, 2014. “It’s something that’s part of our collective bargaining agreement with our players. It’s questionable with respect to the positive impact but there is certainly some very strong evidence to the negative impacts, including addiction and other issues.

“We’ll continue to follow the medicine,” he continued. “Our experts right now are not indicating we should change our policy in any way, we are not actively considering that at this point and time. But if it does down the road some time, that’s something we would never take off the table if we could benefit our players at the end of the day.

“So I don’t see any change in the near future.”

Denton Ramsey, a cannabis columnist and activist for many years, hosts a podcast called CannaTruths (available for free on iTunes) and may be reached via email at CannaTruths@gmail.com

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