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NFL Draft '99

Draft day approaching fast

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Posted: Sunday April 11, 1999 01:49 PM


Click here if you have a question for Donovan McNabb. He'll answer a question or two in each week's diary entry.

Decision time is coming for the teams at the top of this year's draft, and many are bringing in players for a second round of interviews. I met with the Eagles on Thursday and will meet with the Bengals on Monday.

These second interviews are a lot more personal -- teams want to find out more on the mental side of things. I've tried to convey to them that I'm just excited about the opportunity to be a team's top pick, to be part of a team. All of the top quarterbacks are on the same page, in that we all have the common goal of wanting to win in the NFL.

I still have questions, too -- you sort of wonder why they might ask a certain question, and I still need some answers myself. What are their goals? What is their outlook for next year? How would drafting Donovan McNabb change their offense? I want to see if they're excited about me and I want to show them how excited I am.

If you look at the top two teams, both have new coaching staffs, and the thing that comes to mind is patience -- you don't rush in and think you're going to the Super Bowl right away. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it's important that they're interested in developing and grooming players.

People compare this process to being recruited out of high school, but I think this is more stressful. Out of high school, you have a chance to choose the team that you and your parents think is best for you. Now it's out of your hands -- all the teams have some negative aspects, but you try to search for the positives. It's really been an enjoyable process, and I'm excited to know I will be the No. 1 pick of whatever team takes me.

Draft Mailbag

Donovan, do you talk to old college teammates such as Marvin Harrison or Donovin Darius about old times? -- Bryon Hilton, Guston

I've kept in touch with a lot of them. I've talked recently with Donovin, Tebucky Jones, Nate Hemsley and Antonio Anderson, among others. They've helped me find out more things I can do to prepare myself for next season. They tell me what coaches are looking for, how they're treated in the NFL, how much time they spend in the weight room, things like that. Donovin was picked late in the first round by the Jaguars, and he had to beat out a starter who had been there and was playing well. After hearing what their experiences are like, I get a feeling for what I might have ahead of me.

Donovan, can you talk about Kevin Rogers, your offensive coordinator at Syracuse, who is now at Notre Dame? What did you learn from him and what kind of head coach do you think he would be? -- Steve Monroe, South Bend, Ind.

Coach Rogers and I are very close -- it's really convenient to see him at Notre Dame now from where I live in Illinois. I think he definitely will be rewarded with a head coaching job down the road, and I think he will be a good head coach. He's a great role model for yourself, a player's coach, someone you could talk to about not just football, but life, too, to help prepare you for the future. Syracuse's new offensive coordinator is a man who helped recruit me to Syracuse, George DeLeone, who left two years ago to be the offensive line coach for the Chargers, then came back as our defensive coordinator last year.

Former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb is expected to be a high first-round draft pick in the 1999 NFL Draft in April. Check back each week for another draft diary from him at

Related information
Draft Diary with Donovan McNabb: Working on my accuracy
CNN/SI's 1999 NFL Draft Preview
SI's Peter King: Vikings may steal another quarterback
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