"I Was Going To Fail:" Unique Pre-Draft Experiences On "Q&A With Quintin Mikell, Jason Avant"
Coming out of Michigan in 2006, wide receiver Jason Avant trained for the NFL Scouting Combine with one objective in mind. He needed to run sub-4.6 in the 40-yard dash. "I know that I'm not fast," Avant said while sharing his pre-draft experience on the latest "Q&A" on the Inside The Birds platforms. "I've never run a 40 or track or anything like that. So my pre-draft experience is very, very nervous. I know I have the requisite skills on tape. I know that I'm better than every person they think is better than me – that's the way I thought about it, right? – when it cam to technique, route-running, and catching. But I knew there was a bunch of guys that could run faster than me." Avant trained all off-season but only managed to reach his goal on a really hot day. The thought of going over 4.4 in Indianapolis at the Combine consumed him. "It was very, very stressful for me because the only thing they care about for a receiver is how fast they run," he added. "You can drop, I would say, a good 10 percent of your passes but as long as you can catch the deep ball they're gonna draft you now. When you don't run fast they look at you like you damaged goods.
"So for me it was stressful. I knew God didn't bless me with that particular deal, so my draft experience for that reason was very, very tough for me mentally. I realized for the first time I was going to fail at something." Find out more about the craziest question someone asked Avant during the pre-draft process and about why Quintin Mikell needed two Pro Days before going undrafted, along with their thoughts on the Eagles' draft trade, Joe Flacco and the art of route running.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the "Inside the Birds" podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.