Chris Kelsay Diary
This is the second in a series of features leading up to the 2003 NFL Draft. In this series for Huskers.com, former Husker Chris Kelsay shares his thoughts and experiences on preparations for the draft and the NFL Combine, his meetings with NFL coaches, scouts and executives and other events in preparing for the start of his NFL career. In the first segment, Kelsay covered the first month after the conclusion of the Husker football season. In this segment, Kelsay talks about how he feels heading to the NFL Combine which began in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
The next update from Chris will come shortly after the NFL Combine. Kelsay's written accounts will be available on Huskers.com, but to receive exclusive video and a live video chat with Kelsay in coming weeks sign up now for HuskersNSide.com.
Feb. 18, 2003
I leave for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis first thing Wednesday morning. I'm pretty excited and confident about how things will go. Honestly, I'm looking forward to getting it over with and moving on.
I've been down here in Bradenton training for about two months now. I feel as prepared as I can be for the Combine, and I'm ready to go up there and show what I've got. The knowledge the IMG people have about the Combine has been very helpful. I feel like I'm prepared for the types of drills I'll be doing not only physically, but mentally as well.
I'll be about there for about 3 ? days and my schedule is pretty well booked. The first day up there is pretty much all medical tests. The first thing they'll do is go through my injury history, and then if a team wants you to go to the hospital to get an injury checked out, you pretty much have to go. I've heard stories of guys spending five or seven hours in the hospital going through tests, so I'm prepared for whatever is thrown at me.
The first night is the first time I'll probably have one-on-one interviews with individual teams. My agent will prioritize those so that I'm meeting with teams that are really looking for defensive ends or seem to be really interested in me. They've told me that it's not unusual for players to meet with 15 to 20 teams during the Combine. Right now, there are a few teams that seem to be really interested. Kansas City needs a defensive end really bad, the Chicago Bears have talked to me, and I just interviewed with the New York Giants. The interviews are supposed to be over by 10 or 11 at night. Last year, Tracey Wistrom roomed with Roy Williams (Oklahoma DB), and Tracey said Roy didn't get done with interviews until 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning.
The second day they will take all my measurables-height, weight, flexibility tests, stuff like that. I'm up to about 273 pounds right now, so I'm happy with that. I played the bowl game at about 266, so I've added some muscle in the past couple months. The second night will probably be just more interviews with teams.
Friday is the third day and that's when I'll do all the physical testing...40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump. That is the also the day when I'll do position drills with the other defensive linemen. I head back down to Florida on Saturday around mid-day, but I might be asked to work out individually with a team or do interviews right before I leave.
The workouts I've done down here have really paid off. I've always been a good tester and I think I'll do well again this week. My 40 time is the fastest it has ever been, I've increased my strength in all areas, my vertical jump is better-really I'm not worried about the physical tests. I know going in that physically I've done everything I can to prepare myself, now it is just a matter of going and doing it. The body already knows how to do all the tests and drills. I'm really just planning on going there and trying not to think about anything.
I have a pretty good idea what to expect at the Combine. I know it is not going to be a lot of fun. I'm planning on a tiresome, grueling three or four days. But I know how important it is. Right now I'm hearing I could go as high as the middle of the first round, but there is still a long time before the draft. Grant Wistrom went into the combine projected in the middle of the first round a few years ago, had a great combine and ended up being picked sixth.
I'm ready to get the Combine out of the way. My brother is coming down here the middle of next week. We are planning just to relax and enjoy the weather, maybe do a little jet-skiing and take it easy for a few days. I'm looking forward to that.