Leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, current and former Steelers’ players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories, starting from the time they went to the NFL Scouting Combine, through the moment they were drafted. In this installment, Steelers guard
The combine was miserable. For a west coast guy it’s horrible. I got like three hours sleep the first day. They woke me up about 4:30 in the morning for a drug test, and that is 1:30 in the morning west coast time. I think it’s a big mental test because they want to see you perform under the worst conditions ever. I am glad I did it once and I am glad I never have to do it again. It’s stressful because you are interviewing with teams, in front of the president, general manager, head coach, and you are changing scenes every 15 minutes. The key is you treat them like a normal person and talk to them face to face and just be honest. You can’t be too nervous, you are going to have some nerves but you have to be as genuine as possible.
Some teams will quiz you and ask you weird stuff. The Steelers were great. It was extremely laid back. There are some teams that do things different. They make you memorize random stuff at the beginning and ask you it two minutes later. They weren’t like that. They just talked. Some teams will watch film with you, but they just talk to you and get to know you as a person.
The combine is four days of being in a stressful environment. It was a job interview for a great job. It all worked out.
I had no idea if the Steelers were interested in drafting me. There is so much smoke and mirrors being played. I tell everyone that asks that that I had no clue. You couldn’t even think or worry about who was going to take you, being there are so many trades and variables and things that can happen and needs can change around by the time of somebody’s pick. I didn’t even worry about it.
On draft day I went to class and worked out. I just wanted to get it over with. I wasn’t nervous. I just wanted to have a team. The process is really drawn out with the training, combine, pro day. I just wanted to get it over with and get started on what I would be doing.
I watched the draft at the house of the host family I lived with during the summer. I went over there and my parents came down. My family was there, a couple of buddies and my teammates. It’s nerve-racking when you start watching because you are seeing your name up there and you are thinking just let me get picked.
My phone rang around pick 20 and I was picked 24. I saw a Pennsylvania area code and was thinking, the picks are so far off, but that must have been it. I answered and it was Kevin Colbert and everyone. It was just a blur. It was like what is going on. It’s nice once it’s over with. My dad was quiet; that is how he is. My mom might have cried a little bit, that is how my mom is.
I was ecstatic to go to a good team. Everyone was texting me telling me how lucky I am to be going to such a great team. Like I said all along it’s a just a start. There was still a lot of work to be done and there still is.