Offensive linemen and tight ends met the media on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here are some of the things draft prospects had to say.
Hobart offensive lineman Ali Marpet is trying to make the jump from Division III to the NFL. Your New York Giants are one of the teams known to be interested in Marpet, who measured in at 6-foot-4, 307 pounds. Marpet knows he's in a much different world now than he was at Hobart, a tiny college in upstate New York.
"It's cool. All this, the interviews, it's cool. All the Under Armour gear, that's new," Marplet said. "The Senior Bowl was an awesome process, and this is awesome, walking around with the best players in the country."
Marpet impressed NFL teams at the Senior Bowl, and admits his performance there boosted his confidence.
"I think the Senior Bowl was the biggest thing -- playing against SEC players and other top players. It was important for me to go out and actually play against the best players in the country," Marpet said. "I thought I could match up against some of the top players, but to actually go out and do it, that was something else. That was huge for me."
Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams grew up around the Giants because his dad, Brian Williams, played center for the Giants from 1989-1999.
"It was a great experience having my dad play in the NFL and growing up around that kind of atmosphere, being in the locker room and seeing what the game's all about, actual inside the NFL, what football truly is. I think that's helped me in my career knowing that I know what it's like and I can fall back on my dad if I have any questions. He's one of those guys I've always relied on for those questions because he's been there, he's done it, he's succeeded at the highest level," Williams said.
"He's taught me how to be a pro. 'You've gotta be a gentleman. He's told me my whole life, 'Be a gentleman. Present yourself so people think you're a gentleman.' The biggest advice he gave to me is take it day by day. You can't worry about what's going to happen the next day. You worry about what's happening that certain day and go from there. So that's how I went about the process of knowing when I wanted to declare. Take it day by day. I knew how to get through the season without getting hurt, how to get through the bowl game. And after that I proceeded each day."
Miami tight end Clive Walford, who will likely be the second tight end drafted, seems like a typical player from the U. Meaning that he is full of confidence:
"I am the best tight end in this draft. I can block, I can catch, I can run after the catch, do everything that a tight end is expected to do."
Walford said that he believes he can be "A dominant player. A dual-threat tight end."
Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat on the notion that he isn't mean enough on the field:
"I beg to differ on that. I feel like I'm a tough player so I don't know what to say to that. I just go out there and play and play as hard as I can."
Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary disputing the idea that his route-running isn't good enough:
"I think I run better routes than a lot of them [other tight ends], and I think I've got better hands. All these guys are good down here. They wouldn't be here if they're not good.
"I feel like I can do it all. People say my route running is not that good. I feel like it is. There are a lot of guys at Florida State who weren't able to cover me, and guys we played against. We'll see how it is."
Penn State tight end Jesse James on entering the draft despite being told by the advisory committee that he would be better off to return to school for his senior season:
"I feel like I'm prepared and very confident in my ability to play at the next level. I feel I'm ready. The coaches that I've had in the past in my three years at Penn State prepared me for this and I'm ready to go ... I don't see a risk in going against what they say. It could work out either way. I'm just really confident in my ability to make the step."
LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins on having the versatility to play tackle or guard:
"When you're inside, you're going up against pretty big guys, bigger guys, more stronger, but when you're out there on the island, you're going against fast guys with speed and you have to be able to understand where you're at on the field and the personnel you're going against. Since I played both positions, I understand them very well."
NOTE: Giants coach Tom Coughlin will meet the press at 12:15 p.m. ET Thursday. NFL Now will stream that live.