DeMarcus Van Dyke, DB, University of Miami
While a potential lockout looms over the 2011 NFL season, the NFL draft will be business as usual between April 28th-30th at Radio City Music Hall. Like last year, I’ll be bringing you a special Rookie Roundup series, with intimate profiles featuring several of the names you’ll hear called in late April. Today’s rookie…
Career Statistics: 80 tackles, 3 interceptions
Draft Projection: 6th or 7th round
DeMarcus Van Dyke Q&A
Melissa Jacobs: You’re headed to the Combine on Saturday. Who are you most looking forward to meeting there?
DeMarcus Van Dyke: I just really want to meet the other cornerbacks and safeties. The guys I’ve been hearing about like Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara. It will be fun to see how they play.
MJ: What has your training been like for the Combine?
DVD: It’s been a long process getting faster and stronger. But I’m really excited to put these numbers we did at a mock Combine to the test on Saturday.
MJ: Pretend I’m an NFL scout at the Combine. Tell me why I should draft you in 30 second or less.DVD: I’m a great guy, a good team player, a character guy. I’m a hard worker and will do anything to help the team win. I’m a playmaker.
MJ: You’re known for your sheer speed. Is there anything you think you’ll be able to do to surprise people at the Combine?
DVD: That’s hard to say. My goal is to go out and have some fun, show off some footwork. You mentioned my speed but I’m hoping the footwork gets some attention, too.
MJ: The scouting report on you is that you have raw talent but need polishing. What are the skills that you need to hone to make yourself a higher draft pick and ultimately succeed at the next level?
DVD: I need to go out there at the Combine and show everyone that I’m a football player, not a track guy. But that said I need to impress them with my broad jump and my vertical.
MJ: And not to focus on your track side to much but who’s faster, you or Devin Hester?
DVD: That’s really hard to say since we’ve never raced but he’s a fast dude.
MJ: So are you saying he’s faster?
DVD: Well, I’m just going off his Pro Day where he ran a 4.27. Yeah, that’s pretty fast.
MJ: Who’s the best player ever to come out of Miami?
DVD: That’s hard to say because there’s so many great guy but I’d have to say Sean Taylor. He’s just a guy who always made plays all over the field.
MJ: Are there any NFL teams in particular that could use a player like you?
DVD: I really like the Packers because my ex-teammate Sam Shields is doing crazy things up there. And I like how the Cowboys play. I’m a big fan of their secondary.
MJ: How does the looming lockout affect you as you prepare to turn pro this year?
DVD: Right now the NFLPA and the owners are really going at it and I do faith in those guys getting things done. But other than that, I don’t think about it too much since it’s something I can’t control. I’m just focused on doing well at the Combine and hopefully by the draft, the whole lockout will be over with.
MJ: I know the NFLPA holds conference calls for players and is trying to provide frequent updates, but are they doing anything in particular to put you incoming rookies at ease?
DVD: Actually this past Monday my agent, Drew Rosenhaus, handled a conference call with De Smith. And after the fact Drew have me a good feeling about everything that’s happening.
MJ: On to less serious subjects. Who’s the better Van Dyke: Dick or Jerry?
DVD: (laughing, luckily) I have to say Dick Van Dyke. I mean the guy’s a legend
MJ: I’ve heard you’re quite the video game aficionado. In the words of Cee-Lo Green, are you more Xbox or more Atari?
DVD: I’m more of an Xbox guy. Usually I play NCAA Football 2010.
MJ: Thanks for your time, DeMarcus and good luck in Indy this weekend.
DVD: Thank you.
Van Dyke INT against Duke