Posts Tagged ‘Prospect Interview’

2013 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Miami CB Brandon McGee

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Brandon McGee could turn out to be a Day 3 cornerback steal in the 2013 NFL Draft. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Dan Hope

10 years ago, when the Miami Hurricanes were coming off of back-to-back national championship appearances, it would have been nearly impossible to come out of Miami and be a sleeper. Dealing with scandals, however, has brought the Hurricanes back down to mediocrity in recent seasons, and as a result, Miami’s Brandon McGee may be actually one of the most promising sleepers at the cornerback position in the 2013 NFL Draft.

McGee feels that his stock is on the rise after strong performances at the East-West Shrine Game and the NFL Scouting Combine.

“I definitely feel like I did everything that I needed to,” McGee said in an interview. “Pro day went excellent, the workouts I’ve been doing have been going great.”

McGee did not end up playing in the game itself during Shrine Game week, but had a very strong week in practices according to numerous media scouts who attended, including TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline, who wrote following one practice for that McGee’s performance could be described as “wow.”

McGee said he thinks he “really impressed” the scouts in attendance at the Shrine Game with his athleticism, playmaking ability by forcing turnovers and his understanding of the game.

“Being able to see some of the most talented guys and going out there and just having a great showing, it definitely helped me out a lot,” McGee said.

At the combine, McGee had some issues with catching the ball consistently and looked stiff with his hip turns in drills, but he did display some good athleticism with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, 6.71-second 3-cone drill and 9-foot-11 broad jump.

McGee was a two-year starter at cornerback for the Hurricanes, and those two years were littered with inconsistent play. Nonetheless, he follows a long line of Miami cornerbacks who have gone on to NFL success, including Duane Starks, Phillip Buchanon and Sam Shields.

“It’s definitely something that I don’t take lightly,” McGee said of the defensive back history at Miami. “The guys that came before me paved the way in a sense.”

Buchanon’s career ended at Miami ended with a national championship victory at the end of the 2001 season, after which he, legendary safety Ed Reed and fellow cornerback Mike Rumph were all first-round picks out of the Hurricanes secondary. McGee’s career was not quite as glorious, as the Hurricanes did not play in a bowl game in either of McGee’s starting seasons due to NCAA violations.

McGee said that being part of a program that was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons helped him learn to work through adversity.

“You learn how to be in a situation and just make the most of it, despite the circumstances,” McGee said.

McGee said the experience also taught him how to be a better leader, which was especially important last season given that he was the only senior starter on the Hurricanes defense.

“We had a young team,” McGee said. “Just going out there and leading every week definitely prepared me for what I’m about to get into now, and also just learning how to handle being in the public eye, because a lot of people, they want to talk about the scandal surrounding the school, but as players … it’s our duty to kind of keep our team focused and off a lot of negative energy.”

McGee’s athleticism and playmaking ability make him a likely draft selection, but he believes his intangibles may be his best traits.

“One of my greatest assets is something that can’t deteriorate over time, but actually get better, and that’s my intelligence of the game,” McGee said. “Just being able to understand defenses, understand what I’m doing, being able to learn.”

A likely Day 3 draft choice, McGee said he has received positive vibes from NFL teams.

“A lot of teams are just telling me, they’ve seen improvement in me from my junior to my senior year,” McGee said. “They talk about the East-West Shrine Game, going out there and competing, they also talk about me being able to go out and do what I did at the combine, which also helped me out as well.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback, but at the same time, you know and I know, the draft is unpredictable. It could go any way,” McGee added.

McGee said he wants to make it in the league for his late mother, who he told he would make it to the NFL before she died of breast cancer in 2004. According to an August story from the Miami Herald, McGee’s father is also a throat cancer survivor, though he had to have his larynx removed in 2001.

To be drafted would be the realization of a lifelong dream, McGee said.

“Just being able to be in a position to even have the opportunity to play in the NFL is a blessing,” McGee said. “I just remain humble, and I’ll be ready for draft day, trust me.”

Following the draft, McGee said his NFL goal is “getting there and staying there.”

“When you step on the field, you’re not just playing for yourself but you’re playing in front of all, you’re pretty much auditioning for every team, every game,” McGee said. “(The) NFL is unpredictable … with the new CBA, all these big contracts going around now, you never know when they’re letting go of guys.”

Update: Per a source, McGee has received “considerable interest” from the New England Patriots, and has had private workouts with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and New York Jets.

2013 NFL Draft Interview: Jared Smith (DL, UNH)

Sunday, April 7th, 2013
Jared Smith NFL Draft

Jared Smith is determined to make an impact at the next level. (Photo:

NEPD Contributor: Oliver Thomas

The Division I Football Championship Subdivision is not known for producing many NFL draft picks. But big talent can still come from smaller programs—just ask University of New Hampshire defensive tackle Jared Smith.


Mark Harrison Post-Combine Interview

Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Mark Harrison NFL Draft

Mark Harrison impressed NFL decision-makers at the Combine.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Rutgers WR Mark Harrison is coming off a combine performance so rare, that it can only be compared to that of Calvin Johnson. The big, physical Rutgers receiver has NFL General Managers buzzing about his ability to run in the 4.4s and jump out of the building at 231 pounds. Mark has drawn comparisons to James Jones and is rising up draft boards quickly.

He took time out of his schedule to talk with NEPD about his impressive combine experience, how the Rutgers program is run like the Patriots organization and the type of receiver he can be at the NFL level.

Mark like many other Rutgers players are great character guys and all of them are potential Patriot draft picks due to the Bill Belichick connection.


2013 NFL Draft: Ryan Spadola Post Combine Interview

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola is receiving plenty of NFL interest. 

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola is one of this year’s top sleepers at wide receiver. Scouts and NFL personnel have compared him to receivers like Jordy Nelson and Brian Hartline. Ryan is coming off a great combine performance posting 40 times in the 4.4 range and impressive agility drill numbers. The combine followed up a productive four year career at Lehigh, in which Ryan posted 232 receptions and over 3000 yards. Ryan took time out of his draft training to talk with me about the draft process, what he brings as a receiver and what he hopes to improve on.

Continue to listen to the whole interview.


2012 NFL Draft Interview: Tank Carder (LB, TCU)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Tank Carder has a knack for making big plays at big times

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

TCU ILB Tank Carder, who is probably best known for his outstanding play to preserve TCU’s historic Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, talked with Mike Loyko a few days ago about his college career, the draft process and how he stacks up against the other linebackers in the draft.

Here is the entire Tank Carder interview:


2012 NFL Draft Sleeper: Kourtnei Brown Interview

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Kourtnei Brown is the next in a long line of Clemson pass rushers

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Each year the Clemson Tigers send defensive linemen to the NFL. This year is no different, as they are expected to send four to the NFL. Kourtnei Brown is one of those four and he spoke with NEPD Editor Mike Loyko recently about his journey to the NFL.


James Michael Johnson Interview

Friday, April 6th, 2012

James Michael Johnson is one of the top ILB in this year's draft

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With exactly three weeks to go until the NFL Draft begins, Nevada ILB James Michael Johnson talks with NEPD about the draft process finally coming to an end and how he has put himself in position to be one of the first ILB drafted.


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