NFL Draft hopefuls gear up for now to impress scouts
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The work doesn’t stop. In fact, it’s only just begun.
Their college football careers may be over, but now the roster is focused on their two — maybe just for a moment — impressing NFL scouts.
“I always tell them, ‘Make your mistakes now,'” said Shaud Brown, owner and chief performance officer of Athlete Innovations. “Learn about it. Stack it day after day and master one thing at a time each day.
“My 40-yard sprint is very important, showing scouts that I’m a fast guy for being so big,” former Miami defensive end Deandre Johnson said. “I just want to get stronger in the weight room, make my body look good, so you know when I walk in the room they know for sure what position I’m playing.”
At Athlete Innovations, 15 former college football players are busy completing their NFL training program.
“As far as that goes, it’s kind of like the football SAT,” Brown said. “So there are standardized tests. Everyone’s body is different in the way it would move, so we like to call our program “one but unified”.
“I feel like I’m getting better every day,” former South Florida defensive tackle Kelvin Pinkney said. “Every day (I focus) on the little things I need to progress and prepare for the best experience at the next level.”
It’s essentially a full-time job, logging countless hours and rehearsals.
“I always tell them the 10,000 hour rule,” Brown said. “We’re going to do it 10,000 times before you get it right, so you want to make sure every time you show there’s no miss.”
“We’re probably going to represent the 40s as a million times before we get to the actual 40s that we need to run,” Pinkney said.
“At least about, I mean a few thousand (times),” Johnson said. “Just repeat it every day, every day. When I come home in the evening, I rehearse again, just trying to make sure it’s something that becomes second nature when I go out for my Pro Day.
“It’s over and over and over again,” Brown said. “It’s a constant process, but you know it only builds their confidence as they approach their day – their day of testing, their day of judgment – they’re convinced they’re good to go. ”
If the guys are lucky enough to be invited to the NFL Combine, this is their first test. Then comes the Pro Days, which might be their only opportunity to leave a good impression.
“If you’re not going to the Indy combine, it at least limits an opportunity for scouts to physically examine you and examine you, or even prepare you for an interview,” Brown said. “So every time you get to your Pro Day you have to be even more focused because now you don’t have two shots. You only get one. So the magnitude of the opportunity is all the greater for guys to make sure they look perfect that day.
All of this, to hopefully fulfill their childhood dreams of playing in the NFL
“It’s been a dream since I was four,” Pinkney said. “I told my mom that one day I hope to play in the NFL and I’m working on it right now, so it’s great to make my dreams come true.”