The NFL Draft is only two days away as it steps into primetime on ESPN this Thursday night, April 22nd. Fans across the NFL will be downright giddy as their NFL teams paint a bright or bleak future for their franchises. The decisions of GMs, owners, and scouts will ultimately decide their own fate. In the cutthroat league that has been dubbed the "No Fun League" by many, it certainly won't be a fun next couple of years if they happen to draft the next Ryan Leaf.
On the other hand, if a decision maker can land the next Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, bust out the champagne bottles and get the party started because good years are ahead.
Fans nationwide will tune in to see what prospects the decision makers of their team have chosen. When it comes to the first round, most football fans will know the Sam Bradfords and the Jimmy Clausens of the world, but when the later rounds develop is where the guys in the NFL war rooms truly make their money. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to crown Sam Bradford as the next Joe Montana--his football excellence is blatantly clear.
Where NFL GMs will truly make their money are on prospects such as Ohio University's Thad Turner, an under-the-radar prospect who recently exploded at his pro day in Athens. His numbers were very impressive--at 5'11, 185 lbs. he ran a 4.46 40 yard dash time, posted a 41-inch vertical leap, posted a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches, and had 14 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press.
Turner is a prospect who has improved drastically at the position during his days in Athens, Ohio and will likely surprise some people heading into rookie camps and training camps.
Q: You've told me that you have gotten to train with running back Javhid Best of Cal when preparing for the NFL Draft. What has the experience been like--training down in Florida around players of his caliber?
A: Training with Jahvid and others that are regarded as the best college football players of last year really just pushed me. Every day we hit the gym and rather you were tired or not one or all of these guys would just naturally push me to keep going. It was basically all of our competitive nature that pushed each and every one of us. Other than that getting a tip or two from Jacoby Ford about running my forty yard dash or watching Eric Berry during DB drills and how he attacks the balls when it is in the air surely helped and when help in the future.
Q: Your pro day numbers were excellent at Ohio University. Did you hear any buzz from scouts or from any NFL organizations after your pro day?
A: Yes, after my pro day there was definitely some positive buzz about me in the NFL circle. I have been on a couple visits to teams and a couple private work outs since and just did the Atlanta Falcons Local Pro day for prospects of Georgia residents which I think I did well in also.
Q: Play Mel Kiper or Todd McShay for a minute for us. Give us your top three quarterbacks in the 2010 NFL Draft and a breakdown of them.
A: Sam Bradford - a very accurate thrower which is the most important attribute as a NFL QB. On top of that he would have been a top pick in the last year draft. The extra year of college grooming only helps.
Colt McCoy - his high completion percentage shows he makes the right decision, though this was due to him throwing a lot of underneath passes I actually believe in the “throw short to run long” theory he bought into. He will have to be able to complete the long ball throughout his career. However the success of a rookie QB comes when throwing less than 22 balls a game and not turning the ball over. Colt will manage the game well early in his career and will grow to a Drew Brees caliber player.
Tony Pike - this guy looks like a NFL quarterback to me. Tall kid with a strong arm; definitely won’t be the third QB taken but should. He will fit perfect in a situation where he has a chance to start but wont and the competition will push him to a better player, but I see him having a long a prosperous NFL career and may out last all of the quarterbacks in this years draft.
I would be remiss not to mention Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. If I were Tebow I wouldn’t even play football, not because of his skill set but because people love him so much. He could do whatever he wanted like be the president or walk on the moon with no space suit. I’m only kidding but Jimmy Clausen I like him, but his deep ball seems to float in the air and that will be intercepted everyday of the week in NFL.
Q: You had to guard WR Blair White of Michigan State for most of the East West Shrine Bowl. Why don't you talk about him and tell us if you think he will be a good receiver in the NFL?
A: Blair is a good player, those college all-star games make it tough to defend guys because of the rules that they put in place we only played one defense which was cover 3 and we were not able to press the Receivers which I feel is my strength however playing against him and others that are considered the best was a great experience.
Q: What's the biggest surprise you've had throughout the experience of training for the NFL Draft?
A: Every day I learn new things about the NFL. The main thing I have learned and I am constantly reminded of is that it is a business and should be treated as such. Everything I do as a future NFL player could affect my future in the league. Now when i wake up in the morning and work out it is me going to work and me fighting for a job.
Q: Everybody has an opinion on Tiger Woods. What's your opinion of him after the scandal?
A: Tiger has never been an open book and has in general been hush hush about his personal life. So for people to be in shock by the news of him cheating on his wife, that's based on the assumption that we as a public knew him to be a morally good person and we didn’t. It kind of bothered me when I heard different analysis and people saying Tiger owes us an apology.
Tiger does not know owe anyone anything. He has proven he is a great golfer, and I would consider him the best and that is why we love him. Charles Barkley said it best in his campaign in the 90’s “I am not a role model”, I am just a good athlete. People feel they know a athlete personally because they like what they do on their playing field before ever shaking their hand.
Q: Let's say you can throw a party with five people throughout the course of history--any five people--dead or alive--who do you choose and why?
A: Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson - great personality, seems like a great person to have fun with.
Hugh Hefner - he is going to bring the women, duh.
T.I. - to do a mini performance and seems like someone who knows how to party
P Diddy – his parties are legendary so you know he knows how to party
Tiger Woods- he obviously would be a great wing man
Q: What's your favorite memory from your collegiate playing experience as an Ohio Bobcat in Athens, Ohio.
A: The people I was able to meet while playing in Ohio. Going to school in South East Ohio put me in a different environment that I was uncomfortable with as a freshman but i learned to love it and some of my teamates such as Mark Parson and Chido Nwockocha will be lifelong friends as many others.
Q: You get to choose any actor to star in a movie made about your life--The Life and Times of Thad Turner--who do you choose to portray you in the movie and why?
A: I think I could be the perfect actor in the movie about myself. I would be great crossover athlete breaking into the Hollywood world. I loved Ray Allen in “He Got Game”. That could be me.
Q: You mentioned in your last interview with me that you would make your "special lady" sign a pre-nuptual agreement with you if you happened to find her. Is that still what you are interested in and do you have any more interesting takes on women?
A: With so many cases against professional athletes and problems with women I can’t help but to be even more cautious. Instead of going to college women are going to clubs and nice hotels waiting to pick up a rich guy to have a baby with or call rape to get paid. It’s a sad world. Everybody is trying to get a piece of the pie.
That's it for now folks! Be sure to look for more articles from me in the future!