Before this year’s class of rookies goes through the biggest workout of their lives, let’s take a look back at some of last year’s biggest stars. From Evan Engram to Marcus Maye, we got a chance to chat with tons of huge names. It was easy for us to see that they had the mindset, talent, and smarts needed to make it at the next level. Here were some of our favorite interviews:
Former Mississippi TE
New York Giants First-Round Pick
His Time At Ole Miss
“It helped me grow a lot. I came in as part of a great recruiting class, and we really pushed each other. The guys and the coaches set a standard for us, and we just got better each and every day. Without all of them, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.”
Advice To High School Athletes
“The biggest thing I learned right out of high school was to not get caught up in every recruit’s ranking. You hear about all these 5-star, 4-star guys, but none of that matters when you step on campus. A 2-star recruit will have the same opportunity that a 5-star does. So, just block all that noise out. Find a part of your game every day that you can get better at, outwork your competition, and surround yourself with good people.”
-It’s safe to say that Engram’s work ethic translated well to the pros. In his first year in New York, he put up 64 catches, 722 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Looks like Big Blue found a weapon for years to come.
Former Florida S
New York Jets Second-Round Pick
The Florida DB Brotherhood
“Vernon Hargreaves, Keanu Neal, Brian Poole — I talk to those guys all the time. They all just had their rookie seasons, so they’ve been giving me a lot of tips and advice. We’ve been good friends since high school, and to this day, we can call each other up and still talk about whatever.”
The Type Of Player He Is
“A competitor. A guy who is willing to do whatever needs to get done. I’ll be a great locker room guy. I’m ready to play ball and listen and learn.”
-First round pick Jamal Adams may have been the bigger name, but Maye had an equally outstanding season in New York’s secondary in 2017, tallying 79 tackles and 2 picks. Gang Green should be set at safety for quite a while.
Former Wisconsin OT
New Orleans Saints First-Round Pick
Biggest Difference Between DIII (UW-Stevens Point) and DI Football (Wisconsin)
“Probably the speed of the game. When I first got to Wisconsin, the first snap I took, I was like, ‘Whoa, everything is moving so fast and the play is already over.’ It took a couple of weeks to catch up, settle down, and get used to it. You really had to settle your brain down and try not to take in everything that’s going on at once.”
Eating Regimen At Madison
“I was on a program where I tried to get about 7000 calories a day, especially during practice because it just takes it right out of you. It’s hard to eat that much, but they guided us on what to eat, and it was really helpful.”
–Ramczyk was part of an outstanding rookie class in New Orleans. He was a rock along the line, starting all 16 games and excelling in both the pass and run game. If it took Ramczyk a while to adjust to the speed of the game at the pro level, it sure didn’t show on the football field.
Former North Carolina-Charlotte DT
Cleveland Browns Third-Round Pick
Choosing A Small College Like UNCC
“I didn’t take up football until my sophomore year of high school, and at that point, I was 350 pounds and couldn’t even get into a football stance. I’m obviously way different now, but that took a lot of hard work. Choosing North Carolina-Charlotte meant I could prove that it’s not where you start, but where you finish. It was a blessing being there and helping it grow.”
How He’ll Survive The Jump From Conference USA To The Pros
“People are going to see what you do in the light, but sometimes they won’t see what you do in the dark. But to make that step, you need to do what others won’t do. Those long hours and late nights — you’ve got to do that if you want to show up when it matters most.”
-Cleveland uncovered a gem in the third round with Ogunjobi. A raw athlete from a small school, the 23-year-old seemed to get better and better each week. He finished with 32 tackles and a sack, and figures to be a major player along the team’s stout defensive front moving forward.
All of these players are destined for great careers in the pros, just like many of the players from the upcoming 2018 rookie class. Who would you like us to talk to this year at pro football’s biggest scouting event? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check our Content Hub for live updates on all of this year’s action.