Throughout the pre-draft process, Around The NFL's Conor Orr will be keeping tabs on a pair of prospects -- Northwestern State defensive tackle Deon Simon and Michigan State wideout Tony Lippett -- hoping to secure their statuses as Day 1 draft selections. In this week's installment, Lippett gives a first-person account about his optimism stemming from the combine and looking forward to his pro day on March 18.
At the Senior Bowl, I kind of got used to how everything ran, so before the combine I had a meeting with my team and they just kind of let me go.
On the first night -- when all the teams were at the train station hotel talking to prospects -- I grabbed a few offensive linemen and tight ends who were walking around and asked them what the scouts and coaches wanted to talk about. I already had a good idea, but they made me aware of some things. I took it from there.
Some of the linemen I was training with in San Diego, they helped, and told me some of the questions. But the best piece of advice I got from them was just to be yourself. The questions teams ask you, nine times out of 10, they already know the answer. They just want to see how you answer it.
I didn't get any of the crazy questions people always talk about, like how many different things can you do with a brick. I even anticipated how I'd answer something like that. But I didn't get anything off the wall. In my meetings we talked about football and family.
Some guys said they were given five words to remember at the beginning of the meeting and they had to recite them at the end. I was ready for it. All told, I had three formal meetings and over 10 informal meetings.
For me, I was asked about how I understand coverages and all that. I was also asked to draw up my favorite play. They wanted to know, on a given play, which receiver or running back would be targeted based on the coverages.
My favorite play, the one I drew up for them, was an empty set. It was called "X-Match Fade" and it's a good concept vs. a lot of coverages.
I figured they would ask me to draw something up. I heard about the favorite play question but I was ready. The board material concepts come naturally to me.
During the week, it wasn't hard to keep focused, but sometimes it's easy to get star struck. I didn't meet him in person, but I was sitting in the lobby of a hotel waiting to meet with a team and John Elway walked through the door. I just caught myself looking a little too long. I mean, oh man, it's John Elway. Plus, he's a big dude! He's like 6-2, 6-3, he looks pretty tall. Seems like he's in good shape, too.
I thought man, this is crazy right here. But I didn't go up to him and tell him to draft me or anything like that.
After the combine there wasn't much of a rest. My Pro Day, on March 18, that's the next big test.
I'm just working to refine my techniques and put myself in the best position I can. I'm going to work on my 40-yard dash a little more, too. I want to be ready. Ready for anything.