Earlier today, yours truly (you know, the guy who is an 'editor' here even though he rarely posts) was given the opportunity to interview several of the college prospects who will attend the 2011 NFL Draft in NYC. The NFL held a Play 60 event this morning, which featured the prospects coaching little kids in flag football. After the event, the prospects were made available to the media.
Well, all expect Auburn's Cam Newton.
Curiously, Newton ducked out the moment the media were made available to prospects. He wasn't available to chat with, as all other prospects were (including A&M's Von Miller), and more than a few people in the media found the move just a tad bit interesting. I'm not 100% certain why Newton was not made available, but I have my suspicions. Last year, at the same event, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (who went No. 1 overall to the Rams) was made available.
- I spoke with Tyron Smith earlier in the media session. He told me his knee was fine, but that the knee injury had made things very difficult during the workout process (he missed the Scouting Combine because of knee). He also told me that sometime right before or after the Combine, his knee swelled up. Now, it's apparently good.
- Smith told me he is the best left tackle in the draft. He credited Clay Matthews for helping to develop him into a better left tackle. Matthews played at USC from 2005-2008.
- Von Miller said he was in the courtroom when the decision on the Brady v. NFL case was read. Said the decision gave him 'goosebumps.' Miller is the only rookie named as a plaintiff in the case.
- Miller said he wouldn't be disappointed if he's not draft in the top five as long as the Dallas Cowboys took him at No. 9. However, if the Cowboys pass on him, he hopes the Redskins take him at No. 10 so he can 'beat up on' the Cowboys twice a year for passing on him.
- When Miller was asked about he and the other prospects meeting with Commissioner Goodell early in the morning, the subject of the lawsuit was brought up. Miller gave no details. He said there was 'no need to breakdown and lecture about it' with the Commissioner.
- Miller said he felt 'great' when he heard Nelson's decision. 'I've never been in a courtroom. I've never ever sued anyone. It's all brand new to me. And it was great to get the injunction. Now, we just have to keep working on the mediation.'
- For Miller, being in the courtroom was 'extremely nerve-racking.' Miller stated that Mike Vrabel and Vincent Jackson were two players that helped 'explain' the events happening in the courtroom.
- Akeem Ayers thinks he can play both as a rush DE or as a MIKE or SAM backer in a 4-3.
- Ayers has 'no idea' where he will be drafted. He did not speak to anyone from the Colts or another AFC South team. He did speak with Ted Thompson of the Packers and Martin Mayhew of the Lions.
- All Danny Watkins talked about was how awesome Baylor is now. He said he and teammate Phil Taylor rarely practiced against each of at Baylor.
- Taylor considers himself a run-stuffing DT. Stopping the run is his priority.
- Ryan Kerrigan said he could play as a 3-4 rush backer or as a DE in a 4-3, but stated he's more comfortable as a 4-3 end.
- Patrick Peterson said he would not be disappointed if he were not picked No. 1 overall.
- Peterson models his 'swag' after Deion Sanders.
- Peterson said the labor situation does not affect him at all. 'This game will get underway soon.'
Look for more interviews with prospects and NFL personalities here at Mocking The Draft.