When it comes to preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft, Stanford center Sam Schwartzstein has a plethora of highly-drafted recent Cardinal teammates he can turn to for advice.
Four Stanford players were taken in the first 42 picks a season ago. That group included No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), guard David DeCastro (24th, Pittsburgh Steelers), tight end Coby Fleener (34th, Indianapolis) and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin (42nd, Miami Dolphins).
Being an offensive lineman, Schwartzstein says "mostly I talk to David DeCastro and John Martin about what the process is."
Schwartzstein, 6-foot-3, 302 pounds, is not as highly-regarded as four Cardinal players taken in the 2012 draft. Some mock drafts have him being selected in the sixth or seventh round -- including one seven-round effort I came across that had the Giants taking him in the sixth round. Many scouting reports or prospect lists, however, expect him to be an undrafted free agent.
Schwartzstein, who can also play guard, says what he really wants to know from his former teammates is "What are the steps you have to take physically, as well as how does the mental game change?"
Schwartzstein was a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy prior to the 2012 season. That award is given to the best center in the country.
When the 2012 season began, Walter Football called Schwartzstein a "sleeper center prospect who deserves more attention."
Schwartzstein says he tries not to pay attention to the draft chatter.
"In high school our coach used to say stay away from your newspaper clippings, don't buy into what they say about you online. That's the mentality I've had ever since," he said.
"I try not to think about it because it doesn't matter what the speculation is on draft day. I've just gotta worry about the numbers I can put up now to help what I did on tape."
Could the Giants take a late-round flier on a player like Schwartzstein? Center does not appear to be a position of immediate need, and Schwartzstein's ability to play both guard and center might make him a guy who could compete with someone like Jim Cordle for a backup role.