2008 NFL Prospects: A Closer Look
See what some of the nation's top prospects had to say heading into the 2008 draft!
Football fans must go from February to September without the NFL on the field. From the final horn at the Super Bowl until training camp opens toward the end of summer, there is a huge void to be filled on Sundays. Fortunately, for two days in April, NFL fans around the world are given the gift of the draft. Once again, the NFL shines in the spotlight.
And with the draft comes the intense studying, scouting, performances at the combine, everything to give fans the ammunition for their equally intense debates on which player their favorite team should take. Will it be a future Hall of Famer or a draft bust?
As the 2008 draft draws even closer, we've hosted several chats with big names from the experts' big boards. Take a closer look at what they had to say because you might be rooting for one of these guys very soon -- or booing his selection mercilessly come draft day!
Click here for ESPN.com's complete NFL draft coverage.
VA Tech LB
Virginia Tech LB Xavier Adibi
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 220 lb, 4.559
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 84
Caleb (Orange Park, FL): Great job as a Hokie! What is your most memorable moment as a Hokie on the field?
Xavier Adibi: That would probably be after the VCU game, after the tragedy in Blacksburg. We felt such a rush and adrenaline from the emotion that went into that game.
Terrence (Jacksonville, FL): Why are Frank Beamer's players so good on the special teams side of the ball? What is done at Virginia Tech that's not being done at other schools to emphasize special teams?
Xavier Adibi: We spend so much time on special teams, it's almost hard to explain. Anybody who comes through had better get used to spending time practicing on special teams. It translates on to what happens on the field. It's just like running another play for us.
Houston WR Donnie Avery
Ht/Wt/40: 5'11", 183 lb, 4.29
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 80
Brian (Seattle, WA): Scouts claim you are a vertical offense type of receiver. Do you think you could be as productive in a west coast offense?
Donnie Avery: Yeah. I had a real good Senior Bowl in that west coast offense with the 49ers. A lot of people don't think I can be a prolific receiver because of the offense I came out of. But I can be.
Bill (Chicago, IL): Donnie, are you the fastest wide receiver in this draft? Will you play slot or one of the flankers in the NFL?
Donnie Avery: I do feel like I'm the fastest receiver in this draft. I really don't care which one I play, the outside or the slot. I've done both of them.
Hawaii WR Davone Bess
Ht/Wt/40: 5'10", 197 lb, 4.549
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 50
Phil (LA): When did you decide to leave early?
Davone Bess: I decided after my bowl game that I was ready. I had three productive years at Hawaii. I got a pretty good grade from the advisory board. And I was healthy. Those were the reasons I felt I could come out.
Reed (Buffalo, NY): Lined up along side one another, who would win the 40-yard dash: Grice-Mullen, Hawthorne, Rivers, or you?
Davone Bess: You know what, probably Hawthorne, because he's the lightest. He's not carrying much weight.
John David Booty
USC QB John David Booty
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 218 lb, 4.82
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 73
Willie (Portland, OR): What was your most memorable/favorite game?
John David Booty:I think it had to be beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl last year. Being able to come back after our loss to UCLA and give the type of performance we gave was important.
SprungOnSports (Long Island, NY): Have any of the former USC QB's given you advice on the predraft process?
John David Booty: Yes, me and Matt Leinart talk quite often. And the one piece of advice he has given me is just to enjoy it all and not get caught up in what round you may go, or to which team.
Iowa State LB
Iowa State LB Alvin Bowen
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 220 lb, 4.679
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 67
Pete C (Newark, DE): What team did you grow up a fan of?
Alvin Bowen: When I was young, I would just follow my brother. He liked the Jets. But when I started following it on my own, I liked the Broncos, because of Terrell Davis. They won the Super Bowl that year and then the next.
Mark H. (Bowling Green, OH): Who was the toughest running back to tackle that you faced in college?
Alvin Bowen: Adrian Peterson, probably.
Nebraska CB Zach Bowman
Ht/Wt/40: 6'0", 197 lb, 4.389
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 44
Brian (Pittsburgh, PA): Hey Zach, who was your favorite football player growing up?
Zach Bowman: My favorite player was Jerry Rice because I always wanted to be a receiver up until I started playing high school ball.
John (New York): Zack, what was your most memorable moment at Nebraska?
Zach Bowman: My most memorable moment at Nebraska would be coming back from my ACL and patella injuries and getting an interception in the Wake Forest game. That was my second game coming back. It just took a lot of pressure off my shoulders.
VA Tech OT
VA Tech OT Duane Brown
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 315 lb, 5.08
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 79
Randy (New Orleans, LA): So far in your career, who has been the toughest defensive lineman that you had to defend against?
Duane Brown: I'd have to say Chris Long. Going against someone of his caliber was tough, because at the time I hadn't completely improved on my techniques. He has a rare combination of speed, size, and a great motor.
Howie (Los Angeles, CA): What was your favorite moment from college?
Duane Brown: I'd have to say my first start at right tackle going against Mario Williams. I'd only been in the position for a couple weeks and was anxious to see where I stood. I held my own and got the ball rolling out there.
Florida WR Andre Caldwell
Ht/Wt/40: 6'0", 204 lb, 4.37
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 83
Max (Carriere, MS): Which quarterback did you work best with, Chris Leak or Tim Tebow?
Andre Caldwell: I liked Chris Leak a little bit more. We knew he wasn't going to take off and run a whole lot so I got the ball a little bit more.
Jamie (Gainesville, FL): Hey Bubba! I just wanted to ask you what your feelings were about possibly teaming up with or playing against your brother Reche?
Andre Caldwell: That would be great! I never had a chance to play with him before. I think it would be a great opportunity.
Miami DE Calais Campbell
Ht/Wt/40: 6'7", 290 lb, 5.04
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 91
Peter: Would you rather knock a running back's helmet off, or knock a quarterback's helmet off?
Calais Campbell: You get fired for knocking a quarterback's helmet off these days, but if it was not for the penalties I would take the quarterback's. But I love getting big sacks on quarterbacks, and reminding them that I am going to be there all night.
Mitch: Which team in the ACC got you most fired up to play?
Calais Campbell: Without a doubt it had to be FSU. It was just a different week as far as practice and emotion. It is a big-time game, no matter what the records are and when and where it is being played. If you can't get up for FSU, something is wrong with you.
GA Tech RB
GA Tech RB Tashard Choice
Ht/Wt/40: 5'10", 210 lb, 4.599
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 62
Matt (Georgia Tech): What was your favorite game that you played in at Tech? Were there lots of good ones?
Tashard Choice: My favorite game would probably be the first one I started when we played at Miami. They were No. 3, I think. It was the atmosphere and how we played.
Austin Haygood (Atlanta, GA): What was the hardest thing about leaving Georgia Tech and what are you most excited about leading into the draft?
Tashard Choice: The hardest thing about leaving Tech is my teammates. That's very hard. What I'm looking forward to is starting over. A new career in the NFL. Keeping my name from high school to college to the NFL. Going out there and doing well.
UCLA LB Bruce Davis
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 252 lb, 4.78
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 78
Jake (Syracuse): Do you prefer playing in a 3-4 or a 4-3 system?
Bruce Davis: I don't really have a preference. Both have their strong points. I've played in a 3-point stance and I'm comfortable with that. But if I had to pick one, I'd say a 3-4 OLB.
Colin (New Orleans): Do you care what location you end up in? Would you want to stay in the warmth out west?
Bruce Davis: Don't get me wrong, I love this warm, Southern Cal weather (hint, hint, San Diego Chargers), but as long as I get a chance to do what I love, it doesn't matter to me.
Cal S Thomas DeCoud
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 196 lb, 4.559
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 76
Trey (Georgia): What is your favorite thing about playing safety?
Thomas DeCoud: I like being able to mix it up in the run and coverage. I enjoy that I can have an effect on the game in two areas.
Craig: Would you rather knock a wide receiver's helmet off and break up a pass or get a pick six?
Thomas DeCoud: Good question! I would say knock a wide receiver's helmet off. I like hitting. So I would rather knock a guy out. But a pick six is always great! I would be happy with that, too.
W. Virginia DE
W. Virginia DE Johnny Dingle
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 265 lb, 4.95
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 62
Nick (New Jersey): In your opinion, who is the best player in the draft?
Johnny Dingle: I've seen OT Jake Long. I think him, Darren McFadden, and Glenn Dorsey are my top three.
Chris (Raleigh, NC): Who was the toughest Offensive Tackle you faced during your years at WVU?
Johnny Dingle: I can say Georgia. They had one of the toughest offensive lines in the game when we beat them in the Sugar Bowl.
Oregon QB Dennis Dixon
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 195 lb, 4.599
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 56
Paul (Portland, OR): Hi Dennis. What a great season you had last year, ending too early of course. Do you still have a possible pro baseball career as well or are you only focusing on football for now?
Dennis Dixon: Only focusing on football. As far as baseball, that's in the past. My passion and hard work is going to the NFL.
Stuart (Chicago, IL): Where would you rank yourself among the top quarterback prospects this year?
Dennis Dixon: It's kind of hard to answer that question. Everyone brings something different to the game. You know and I know that it all depends on how the quarterback fits the scheme. I have tremendous confidence in my skills and think I belong up there.
Hampton DE Marcus Dixon
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 292 lb, 5.32
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 32
Bill (Georgia): Do you think if you had gone to Vanderbilt you would have been more widely known?
Marcus Dixon: That's a great question. That's hard to tell. I've thought about it before. But I think this is part of the Lord's will. I would have been on TV more, but as far as well known, probably not as much as it is now.
SprungOnSports (Long Island): What kind of player do you think you can become if given the opportunity?
Marcus Dixon: I would definitely be one of those players you can count on, a team guy. I'd put pressure on the backfield. I would get free to make the tackle. I would be that guy that stays in the scheme. I wouldn't be that guy that is out there selfishly. In short, I guess you could say I'd be the dependable guy.
Virginia Tech CB
Virginia Tech CB Brandon Flowers
Ht/Wt/40: 5'11", 192 lb, 4.45
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 87
Brad (Gadsden, AL): Brandon, what NFL cornerback do you compare yourself to?
Brandon Flowers: I would say Asante Samuel, as far as technique and how he breaks on the ball.
John (Reston, VA): Battling NCAA wide receivers is one thing and you were very successful doing it. How do you take that success to the next level where players are bigger and faster?
Brandon Flowers: I think the key to my success is being fundamentally sound and having no fear. You have to be confident in yourself. That is how I made it from high school to college and how I plan on going from college to the NFL.
Cal CB Justin Forsett
Ht/Wt/40: 5'7", 190 lb, 4.549
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 58
Brian (Meridian, MS): What's the first thing you'll buy with an NFL check?
Justin Forsett: I want to buy something out of SkyMall. I always look at it on the plane and I want to buy something out of that magazine.
JJ (Hibbing, MN): What do you bring to a team that others may not bring?
Justin Forsett: I would say versatility. I can do a lot of things. You can line me up outside. I can run inside and out. And I can play special teams.
OSU DE Vernon Gholston
Ht/Wt/40: 6' 3", 255 lb, 4.65
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 96
Joe (Staunton, VA): What's your favorite memory of your Michigan vs. Ohio State games?
Vernon Gholston: My favorite memory would be winning them. I went 4-0 against Michigan. Me being from Michigan, that's a big thing going home. We pride ourselves on beating them. It's great.
Andrew (Medford, NJ): What do you feel is the most important thing you will take away from your experience playing at THE Ohio State University?
Vernon Gholston: The most important, I would have to say, the experiences that you share with the people that you're with. I met a lot of great people that I hope will be with me the rest of my life. I met some of my closest friends here.
Iowa DB Charles Godfrey
Ht/Wt/40: 5'11", 204 lb, 4.299
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 76
Dan (Portland, OR): Charles, what plays to your strengths best: press, man-to-man or zone?
Charles Godfrey: I am a football player. I love to get out there on the island. I feel like I am good at all those things. There is nothing I really like more than another whether it is playing off or coming up in run support.
Miller (Iowa City, IA): Who was the best wide out you ever had to cover while at Iowa?
Charles Godfrey: I would say James Hardy from Indiana. He had size, speed, a long stride. And he caught the ball well. He also ran great routes. He was an all-around great wide receiver.
Miami LB Tavares Gooden
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 234 lb, 4.65
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 79
Marcus (Louisville, KY): What is the best part about playing at the linebacker position?
Tavares Gooden: The best part is being in control of the defense. You have full control over everything that happens on the field. If something goes wrong, it's your fault.
Shawn (Fort Lauderdale, FL): What advice do you have for a young player coming up wanting to play college football?
Tavares Gooden: In order to play college football you have to do something special to be notice. I worked hard on and off the field. I stayed out of trouble, I went to school, and I didn't do drugs. Just stay out of trouble and work hard. You can't just sit back, you have to be a go getter.
Auburn LB Quentin Groves
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 259 lb, 4.57
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 84
Rerun (SU): What's your biggest football superstition?
Quentin Groves: Oh yeah, every player has them. I walk to the 30 yard line on the east side of the field and do one pass rush on each side, left and right. Back in the locker room I pray and do six pushups. I did six in high school and had three sacks in that game, so I've been doing it ever since.
Rick (TN): How much do you think staying for your senior year has helped your draft ranking?
Quentin Groves: It helped me a lot from a mental standpoint. I also got bigger, faster and stronger. I became a real student of the game.
Texas A & M DE
Texas A & M DE Chris Harrington
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 264 lb, 4.849
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 44
Colin (New Orleans, LA): Would you prefer to play as a 4-3 DE or as a 3-4 OLB?
Chris Harrington: Well I have worked out at both positions. I am open to anything though. I have had a lot of fun playing a hand-in-the-dirt DE in the 4-3, but I may be better suited as a OLB in the 3-4. I know there would be a lot of learning involved if I moved to LB, but I am open to anything; I played a little of both in college.
Jordan (Washington, DC): What part of your game do you feel a lot of people overlook?
Chris Harrington: I think working on mixing in a few new pass rush moves is key. I need to refine my technique, because in the past I relied on my motor a lot. But I have learned a lot in these past few months, as far as technique and form.
Florida DE Derrick Harvey
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 250 lb, 4.65
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 93
Wendell (Liverpool, UK): Who is the best player that you have played with through school?
Derrick Harvey: Reggie Nelson, Jarvis Moss, and Ray McDonald are the best three I've played with.
Nick Harvey (Gainesville, FL): Same last name, same school: you got to answer my question. How do you feel about playing OLB in the NFL? What would rather play DE or OLB?
Derrick Harvey: It doesn't matter to me. I can play either of them. I just love playing football. I can be a kicker even, it doesn't matter.
Cal WR Lavelle Hawkins
Ht/Wt/40: 5'11", 186 lb, 4.48
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 84
Joey C. (New York): Lavelle, what are your plans for draft day?
Lavelle Hawkins: My plans are to just be at home chilling', relaxing', watching the draft. I am not going to have a party or anything. At least not until afterwards.
Kevin (Emeryville, CA): Can't wait to see you do "The Hawk" in the NFL! You are gonna keep doing The Hawk, right?
Lavelle Hawkins: Most, most definitely. I am doing it right now in Arizona. I am making everyone do "The Hawk" out here.
LSU FB Jacob Hester
Ht/Wt/40: 5'10", 226 lb, 4.61
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 50
Larry (Charlotte): How do you react to the critics who say you're too small to play in the NFL? I think they're crazy.
Jacob Hester: It's something I've always heard. Coming in to college, I was the lowest-rated recruit in my class, but the first one to play. There are doubters at every level, but I like it that way. I think I'll prove them wrong again at this level.
Merlin (MN): What are your plans for draft day?
Jacob Hester: Every year, I usually watch it at my house. But I'll be nervous this year, so I think I'm going to go play a little golf.
Wisconsin WR Paul Hubbard
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 221 lb, 4.49
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 65
Jamie (Chicago, IL): Give me a scouting report. Why should teams draft you?
Paul Hubbard: A team should draft me because I'm a guy with a tremendously good character and on the field I'm extremely gifted with a lot of great upside.
Nick (Madison, WI): What will you miss the most about the University of Wisconsin?
Paul Hubbard: I'll miss my teammates the most. You're around those guys almost 24/7 and you really create a strong bond with those guys.
USC DE Lawrence Jackson
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 261 lb, 4.919
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 85
Dino (Inglewood, CA): How do you feel you match up against a tackle like Jake Long?
Lawrence Jackson: I played against Jake Long. He's good. Talent-wise, I don't fear anybody. You can be as talented as you want, but it's a technique game we play. I don't think I'm going to get outmatched by anyone technically.
Ben (Portsmouth, NH): What do you feel like you need to do to be successful at the NFL level?
Lawrence Jackson: Just maintain good technique. I think the majority of the guys that make it to the NFL have the talent to play, but it's the little aspects of the game. I want to make sure I'm the best Lawrence Jackson I can be.
Wake Forest C
Wake Forest C Steve Justice
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 293 lb, 5.24
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 76
John (Brooklyn, CT): What words of wisdom do you have for young centers in youth football or early high school years? What are the important things a young center needs to do?
Steve Justice: I would definitely say work on technique. Being an undersized lineman that everyone says I am, I work on my technique so that I can sustain my blocks longer. The biggest thing I learned through college is that perfect practice makes perfect play. I go through at 100 MPH. Go through and make every block as perfect as you can so when you go on the field, you do the same.
Dan (Detroit, MI): Steve, what are your pregame rituls? What's your favorite?
Steve Justice: Every morning I wake up and go to the meetings. About a half hour before we get on the bus, I call my dad and pray with him. Then I call my fiancée and I pray with her. Then when I'm dressed in the locker room, I put a towel over my head and pray by myself while listening to some Christian music.
BYU LB Bryan Kehl
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 242 lb, 4.679
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 50
Ben (Dallas, TX): What are some of the things Coach Mendenhall did to prepare you for the NFL?
Bryan Kehl: I would say the biggest thing is to be a person of character, both on the field and off the field. He emphasized that there's more to life than football. I might play football, but that's not who I am. That's helped me keep things in perspective and helped me realize there are other things in life.
Ryan (Madison, WI): What do you feel like you need to do to be successful at the NFL level?
Bryan Kehl: Good question. Right now, I would say the pass rush because it's the position my defense asked me to play. I think it goes both ways, rushing the quarterback and dropping back into pass coverage. I think I'm a solid run stopper and I have the potential to improve there. I think the team that drafts me will see that and will use me to do both.
Virginia DE Chris Long
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 272 lb, 4.75
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 98
Denny (Chicago, IL): If given a choice, would you prefer to play in a standard "4-3" defense at defensive end or would you rather be an defensive end or a linebacker in a "3-4" defense?
Chris Long: I'm about 270 right now, so I could go either way. I'm open for whatever any team asks me to do. I'd have fun doing either one. It's all football at the end of the day.
Jake (Boston, MA): What was it like growing up around the NFL and how did it help you become a better football player?
Chris Long: It wasn't so much growing up around the NFL, it was growing up around my dad. He was a great professional and teammate as well as football player. I learned so much from him.
Michigan OT Jake Long
Ht/Wt/40: 6'7", 309 lb, 5.299
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 98
Bob (Philly, PA): What was the worst place to play on the road?
Jake Long: It has to be Ohio State. Their place holds 100,000+ and they are really loud and the fans hate us. It is an insane environment.
T.J. (Springfield, MO): Jake, what do you say to the criticisms regarding your footwork against speed rushers?
Jake Long: I just have to work hard on that and correct whatever weaknesses people think I have. I always work hard to correct any mistakes I make, so I do not make that mistake again. People are saying that it is a weak part of my game, so I am going to be sure to work very hard on it.
Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 242 lb, 4.52
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 92
Randy (South, ND): I'm short, fat, uncoordinated, and extremely non-athletic. What advice do you have for guys like me who would like to play college football at the D-2 or D-3 level?
Jerod Mayo: Most definitely! Always go after that dream! A lot of people told me I would never play college or NFL football. Just put everything into whatever you do and you will have a shot.
Hurricane Jeff (Byesville, OH): What are your goals for your rookie season?
Jerod Mayo: First and foremost I just want to win the Super Bowl. For personal goals, I want to be a Pro Bowl caliber LB and win defensive rookie of the year.
Arkansas RB Darren McFadden
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 212 lb, 4.4
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 99
Hiflyer23 (Dallas, TX): A lot of critics have questioned your vision because you mainly ran out of shotgun formation. What is your response to the critics?
Darren McFadden: I hardly ever ran from the shotgun formation. We were a running team. I did run from the quarterback position a lot, though.
Michael C. (Charleston, IL): What do you think of your nickname Run-DMC? Do you like their music?
Darren McFadden: I can't say that I pay much attention to their music, but it's something that comes along with the territory and I go along with it.
NC State S
NC State S DaJuan Morgan
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 203 lb, 4.509
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 80
Brandon (Raleigh, NC): DaJuan, do you think you are the best safety prospect in this draft? If so, why?
DaJuan Morgan: Most definitely. I make plays, I tackle well, and I bring a lot of passion and enthusiasm to the game. I can intercept the ball if need be, and I consider myself a difference-maker.
Zach (Greensboro, NC): What do you mainly see yourself doing in the NFL? Mostly special teams or hard-hitting run stopper? What would you most prefer?
DeJuan Morgan: I plan to come in right away and make an impact, whether it's on special teams or starter. Whatever I do, I'll give my best effort and love doing it.
Kansas State WR
Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 217 lb, 4.509
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 84
Fran (Alabama): Are you friends with Michael Beasley?
Jordy Nelson: I met him, but never really became friends with him. When I met him, I was in the middle of my season and he was in the middle of his. From what I hear, he's a great guy and a great person.
Anthony (NYC): What do you feel is the best part of your game, and do you have to meet with any teams this weekend for interviews?
Jordy Nelson: The best part of my game, I think, is my hands. I catch the ball pretty well. I don't have any plans to meet any teams this weekend, but I just got back from meeting with the Redskins.
Texas DT Frank Okam
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 336 lb, 5.2
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 63
Ken (California): Frank, what do you think you need to work on the most to succeed in the NFL?
Frank Okam: I think the most important thing is applying proper leverage to the top offensive linemen, and using your hands correctly. Everything happens so fast that you have to be able to use your body well in order to dominate.
Jake V (Syracuse, NY): Why should you be drafted?
Frank Okam: First and foremost, you're getting a good character guy, one who takes pride in what he does on and off the field. You also have a very talented guy who hasn't fully reached his potential, has a very high ceiling, and will get better every year. You have a guy who wants to get better every game and will help take a defense to the next level.
NW Missouri St. RB
NW Missouri St. RB Xavier Omon
Ht/Wt/40: 5'10", 228 lb, 4.62
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 50
Will (Charleston, WV): Had you gone to a bigger school, Division 1, do you think you would be in better or worse position in the upcoming draft?
Xavier Omon: Well, if I had the production that I had, I definitely think I would be in a better situation. But so much stuff can happen with injuries, but thank God I wasn't injured in my career at Northwest. If I was as productive as I was here, I think I would be in a better position.
Jake (Syracuse, NY): Coming from a D-2 school, do you feel you're at a disadvantage without all the exposure like the D-1 running backs get on a weekly basis?
Xavier Omon: It is, but you make the best of it. I used it as a tool to motivate myself. They're on TV way more than I am and get more publicity than I do. But once you get to the NFL, there's no more publicity stunts. If you got it, you got it. You're in the NFL.
ASU C Mike Pollak
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 299 lb, 5.049
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 86
Lance (Chicago): I've seen many people rank you as the top center in the draft. What do you think of that?
Mike Pollak: Everybody has their own opinions, but I'm glad people think I'm the number one guy, because that's what I believe myself.
Vance (Philadelphia): What did you learn at ASU that helped you prepare for the next level?
Mike Pollak: Just improving my work ethic. I've prepared second-to-none, and the guys who went through the program at ASU helped instill that.
Rutgers RB Ray Rice
Ht/Wt/40: 5'9", 197 lb, 4.549
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 84
Bee (Providence, RI): Do you think that you will be a first round pick because of your school stats?
Ray Rice: I have to do well at the combine. It is supply and demand in this league. So I will do what I can in the combine and see what happens from there.
Martin (New Rochelle): What most excites you about joining the NFL?
Ray Rice: I dreamed of it as a kid, and now my dream is about to come true. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. I just cannot wait to be there now.
TCU S David Roach
Ht/Wt/40: 6'0", 210 lb, 4.53
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 52
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI): Besides football, what other interests do you have?
David Roach: Really, I have a lot of interest in music. I'm teaching myself to play the piano on the side. It relaxes me.
Brad (Dallas, TX): David, which defensive backs coming up behind you at TCU do you think will follow you into the NFL?
David Roach: We have a couple good defensive backs. Stephen Hodge makes a lot of big plays and is our biggest hitter. Another guy is Steven Coleman, an athletic safety who has the size and range to play as a good NFL free safety.
GA Tech DE
GA Tech DE Darrell Robertson
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 255 lb, 4.75
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 75
Trent: What is the one thing you must improve on to be successful in the NFL?
Darrell Robertson: I would say I have to be strong at the point of contact. The NFL is about reading a blocker and getting off that block, while in college the focus is more on penetration.
Pete: Who do you model your game after?
Darrell Robertson: I say it is a combination of a couple players. These players being Jason Taylor, Jevon Kearse, and a little bit of Dwight Freeney. I mention those players because they are fast and quick and they have to use something other than their size to beat tackles.
Missouri TE Martin Rucker
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 248 lb, 4.7
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 64
Jordan (Slinger, WI): As a player, what are your biggest attributes?
Martin Rucker: Running after the catch, receiving, and my feel for the game.
Nik (Two Harbors, MN): Martin, you are an amazing receiver but your critics say you are a below average blocker. Would you agree with them that your blocking is going to be the No. 1 thing you'll need to improve upon?
Martin Rucker: I do believe that it is the No. 1 thing I need to improve upon, because I haven't had to do it as much in the spread offense.
Boston College QB
Boston College QB Matt Ryan
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 228 lb, 4.95
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 98
Peter (Wabishaw, WI): Hey Matt! Do you think playing your home games in a cold-weather climate throughout college makes you any better prepared for eventual visits to places like Lambeau Field in the late season and/or playoffs?
Matt Ryan: No question about it. When you play in a city like Boston, you have to be ready to play in those types of conditions, because it's different. I had that experience at BC playing in those conditions. You'll experience that in the NFL. You have to be prepared to play in those conditions because of how late you play in the year.
Sam (Chicago, IL): Matt, the story about you and your brother in Sports Illustrated was great. How is your brother doing and what has he taught you that has helped you the most in being successful?
Matt Ryan: My brother is doing well, which is great. He is able to do everything that he wants to do and is healing. He hasn't had any surgery lately, which is good. His advice to me is to enjoy everything. You don't know when it will end. Try to make the most of it.
McNeese State DE
McNeese State DE Bryan Smith
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2", 231 lb, 4.75
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 54
Michael (Shreveport, LA): What words of wisdom do you have for young players that might not go to a big D-1 school and still have dreams of playing in the NFL?
Bryan Smith: It doesn't matter where you play, it matters how you play. Always listen to your coaches, work hard, and never give up.
Chris (Orlando, FL): Are there any advantages coming from a smaller school? What are they?
Bryan Smith: If I had to pick one thing, I think that coming from a small school makes you work harder to prove yourself to teams.
Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart
Ht/Wt/40: 5'11, 233 lb, 4.5
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 94
Brian (Kirksville, MO): You had a great college career at Oregon. What are your goals for your professional career?
Jonathan Stewart: To become one of the greatest running backs to ever play. That's what I want to accomplish. I am not going to put stats on it, because I don't think it comes down to statistics when you come down to the greatest players.
Allan (Seattle, WA): Who was your favorite team as a kid?
Jonathan Stewart: Dallas Cowboys. I'm an Emmitt Smith fan.
Texas WR Limas Sweed
Ht/Wt/40: 6'4", 219 lb, 4.45
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 92
D (Michigan): What is one aspect of your game that you feel a lot of people overlook?
Limas Sweed: I think a lot of people do not think I can run that fast. But I think that is a good part of my game.
Vito (El Paso, TX): Hey Limas, I know a lot of people compare your game to that of Roy Williams. What do you think separates your game from his?
Limas Sweed: Probably the height difference. I try to obviously take some of Roy's game and assimilate it. He's a great receiver. That's a tough one.
USC CB Terrell Thomas
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 200 lb, 4.469
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 71
Daniel (Los Angeles, CA): How do you feel you benefited from returning for your senior year at USC?
Terrell Thomas: It meant a lot. I learned a lot about leadership skills and it also taught me how to overcome adversity when you are projected to win a national title. Overall it also helped me polish my game. I feel I was more complete as a football player and was better able to shut down my side of the field.
Jovani (Los Angeles): I know just being drafted is a great accomplishment, but is there any team that you personally like that you would like to be drafted by?
Terrell Thomas: Not really. Whether it is East or West it does not matter. Any team that drafts me is going to get a great cornerback and a great guy. So I'll just be happy to be in the NFL.
Ariz. St. CB
Ariz. St. CB Justin Tryon
Ht/Wt/40: 5'9", 190 lb, 4.419
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 52
Andy (Amherst, MA): Who in the NFL would you most like to cover one-on-one and how do you think you'll do?
Justin Tryon: I want to guard Chad Johnson. I like him because he talks a lot, so he's going to get you into the game. He's a phenomenal athlete, so I'd love the challenge. How'd I do against him? I think I'd do great. But we'd have to see when the time comes. I think I'd hold my own against him.
Scoot (Syracuse): Which corners do you compare yourself to?
Justin Tryon: I really couldn't say that I compare myself to anyone, because I have my own style. But if I had to pick someone that I get my image from, it would be the best, Deion Sanders.
Louisville WR Mario Urrutia
Ht/Wt/40: 6'5", 232 lb, 4.62
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 37
Tim Dunn (Morgantown, WV): Being one of if not the biggest WR's in this years class, what do you think you'll bring to the team that drafts you?
Mario Urrutia: Just a physical presence and being the physical receiver that I am. Being a threat in the red zone and a reciever that any wide receiver coach would love to have on their team.
John (Coeur d' alene, ID): What do you feel will be your biggest weakness when you get to the NFL and what do you plan on doing to improve?
Mario Urrutia: I would say I've been working on my weaknesses. If I had to pick a weakness, it's just not knowing what to expect. You never know what to expect. I'll just go out and do what I do best and everything will come out the best.
Idaho LB David Vobora
Ht/Wt/40: 6'1", 236 lb, 4.629
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 43
Tim (San Diego, CA): What was your favorite NFL team/player growing up in Oregon? Go Vandals
David Vobora: Brett Favre and the Packers. I was a QB growing up and throughout high school. I was also a 49ers fan but I'm Packers all the way through.
Kyle (OH): What defensive scheme do you prefer, and which one highlights your abilities the best?
David Vobora: I'll play in anything. I will adjust to anything. I played them both but I will say as a MLB the 4-3 scheme is the best for me.
Oklahoma DB Marcus Walker
Ht/Wt/40: 5'10", 191 lb, 4.46
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 30
Sam (Boston, MA): What do you make of this year's defensive back class?
Marcus Walker: There is a good chance that a lot of the defensive backs in this year's draft can be very successful. I worked out with a lot of the guys in Orlando and they are really good. I think a lot of them very are gifted and talented. I would look for them to do some good things in the NFL.
Lisa (Tennessee): Why did you pick Oklahoma?
Marcus Walker: It came down to Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU. One of the things I wanted to do in college was to compete for a national championship. I knew with the guys coming back and the guys coming in we had a chance. I decided to go to Oklahoma and try for a national championship. One year we got a chance to make it and we just didn't win it.
Kent State CB
Kent State CB Jack Williams
Ht/Wt/40: 5'8", 181 lb, 4.29
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 74
Phillip (Miami): Where do you want to see yourself picked in the draft and by what team?
Jack Williams: I really don't have a specific place. I'd like to be picked as high as possible. Ending up on a team is a blessing to me. I'd like to end up on any team, the higher the better. But I'll play for anybody.
Craig (Juneau, AK): What do you say to the critics who say you are too short and there is no way that you could cover receivers like Calvin Johnson or Plaxico Burress?
Jack Williams: What I say to people that ask me about my height, I say it's different when you're on the field. I can jump. I can jump as high as the receiver and it makes it tough for them to catch the ball.
Tennessee OG Eric Young
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3", 310 lb, 5.25
Scouts, Inc. Grade: 60
Kevin (Brooklyn, NY): Why should you be drafted over another offensive guard?
Eric Young: I'm more athletic in pass blocking and run blocking. Moving from outside to inside has helped me a lot and put me ahead of others.
Jordan Mosely (Columbia, SC): Do you have any tips for a offensive lineman transitioning from high school to college?
Eric Young: It's hard. In college its more of a demand with your school work. On the field, the game is faster. Technique wise, you have to work harder because you just can't knock people over anymore like in high school.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- George suffers apparent serious leg injury
- Report: D. Johnson banned for cocaine use
- Wade on LeBron's exit from Heat: I could tell
- Goodell backs Rice ban, says NFL is 'consistent'
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
"SportsNation" on ESPN2!
Tickets To SportsNation
SportsNation on Facebook
THIS WEEK'S CHATS