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Nice to meet you, too
Posted: Tuesday February 23, 1999 12:24 PM
Click here if you have a question for Donovan McNabb. He'll answer a question or two in each week's diary entry.
I had a great time at the NFL combines in Indianapolis this weekend -- I really enjoyed it down there. It was a great opportunity to sit down and get personal with all these NFL coaches we've always visualized ourselves playing for.
It all started with about three hours of medical tests. Luckily, my health isn't an issue -- I was lucky enough to never miss a game at Syracuse. For most of the weekend, I was in a group of quarterbacks like Oregon's Akili Smith, UCLA's Cade McNown and Washington's Brock Huard. To sit down with those guys and just talk was really something special -- we watch each other on TV all the time, but never get the chance to talk to each other.
Throwing with the receivers wasn't a lot of stress for me. I'm generally pretty relaxed about things, so I was out there cracking jokes with everybody. I could tell other guys were nervous, but I just told them, "Hey, let's just go out and do what we've done for years. They've seen film of us, so they know what we can do. Let's just have some fun." The only thing I was worried about was adjusting to receivers I hadn't played with before. Luckily I worked a lot with Kentucky receiver Craig Yeast, who I worked with at the Senior Bowl. The other receivers took a little adjusting, but we got on the same page pretty fast.
I had the chance to meet with a lot of teams and enjoyed talking to all of them. As a college athlete, you watch the NFL and you think, "I could play on that team," and now they're sitting in front of you asking you questions. I was excited to be able to ask some questions of my own. I want to know what kind of offense these teams want to run, what their running game is like and how experienced their offensive line is. That's a big issue for me -- you don't want to go to a team that has nothing on offense. To go in inexperienced and be working with other inexperienced players is a double negative, and that's not a positive thing.
A lot has been made about Tim Couch and Ricky Williams lobbying for why they should be the top pick and go to the Cleveland Browns. I think I definitely deserve a shot at being the No. 1 pick. I've accomplished all that a college quarterback can accomplish. I've shown I can throw the ball in a West Coast offense, and most of all, I think I've shown I can compete. I think I should be up there as a guy who could go No. 1, and I think other guys should be, too -- Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper -- the list goes on.
Williams is lobbying, yes, and he's doing a great job, but it shouldn't have to come to that. How does that make other teams feel? If another team picks you, are you saying you don't want to play there, that you'd be disappointed if it's not Cleveland? The Browns need to have a say in this and say there's not just one or two guys that could be the top pick. If the media continue to say Tim Couch is the guy, what's left for Cleveland to do?
If Cleveland shows an interest in me, I'll do everything I can to show them what I can do. I'd love to be the No. 1 pick, and I'm going to continue to work to be the No. 1 pick. If the draft comes and I'm not the top pick, though, I'm not going to be disappointed, as long as I can say I worked as hard as I could. I might not be the No. 1 pick, but I'll be somebody's No. 1 pick, and I'll be happy to go in and compete to be their starting quarterback.
Donovan McNabb is expected to be a high first-round draft pick in the 1999 NFL Draft in April. Check back each Monday for another draft diary from him at CNNSI.com.
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