Cole Ready To Play
Considering the fact that Audie Cole may have been NC State's most versatile linebacker in the past two seasons, it's not surprising that the Ohio native isn't a huge combine-style workout fan.
Cole sees himself as a football first, and that's what he said he hoped scouts saw Wednesday during his pro day workout.
"I'm just glad to get done with this and get back to playing football instead of training for 40-yard dashes and things like that," he said.
Cole said the feeling was similar during the NFL Combine in February. After three days of medical tests and interviews, the workouts on the final day were a welcome sight.
While some of Cole's workouts didn't go as well as he would have liked -- he ran a 4.81 40-yard dash and benched pressed 225 pounds 15 times -- just finishing the process felt like an accomplishment.
"You can run in practice and everything, but once you get there, it's different. The days are long, you don't sleep much. They get you up early in the morning, you stay up late at night. They try to wear you down."
As for his draft prospects and what he's heard from scouts and teams, Cole said it's similar to his career at NC State.
Teams think he's versatile enough to play several different positions in different schemes. Regardless of where he ends up, Cole said he's ready to earn a spot on a roster by playing any position coaches want him to and performing on special teams.
"I've heard 3-4 outside, I've heard 4-3 inside or outside. Right now, all I know is I'll probably be in the special teams and I'll have to earn my job. I enjoy rushing the passer, but I'm open to whatever. It's just playing football."
Kuhn Feels Like He Stacks Up
On the other end of the NFL Combine perception spectrum, German-born defensive lineman Markus Kuhn said his trip to Indianapolis was great, even going so far as to question why everyone else gets stressed out.
"Everybody is trying to make it stressful, but honestly, it's four days of your life," he said. "You work for this for so long, you have to go in there with a positive mindset. My dream was to be invited to the combine, and I was prepared, so that's why I was having a good time."
Kuhn said the training sessions leading up to the NFL Combine -- he worked out at the IMG Academy in Florida -- also backed up the belief he had about his work ethic while in college. He also had a familiar face to sweat with, as former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson joined him in Florida.
"It shows me how I work and then I compare it to how other guys work," he said. "I'm happy with the way I handle things compared to how other guys handle things. I was always in good shape here at NC State. If you work had every day you aren't going to be in bad shape."
Moving toward draft day, Kuhn said teams have said they see him as a 3-4 defensive tackle or a three-technique in a 4-3 scheme.
"I'm excited," he added. "Right now I'm back in Raleigh, which is my home, and I'm just waiting to see where I will head next."
Manning Looks To Silence Rumors
Many of the questions about Terrell Manning's size were answered quickly in February when he weighed in at 237 pounds at the NFL Combine. He was close to that Wednesday, saying he checked in at 235. If he holds around 235 or even gains a few pounds, Manning could have the potential to be an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense.
On Wednesday, Manning said he hoped to build on what he called a 'decent' performance in Indianapolis.
"I answered a few questions, a lot of people thought I would be undersized. I weight in at 237. I ran a decent 40-yard dash time, at least from what I've seen of the unofficial times. I had a decent performance."
"Indianapolis was one of the worst experiences I've ever had in my life," he said. "It was cold, they wake you up early in the morning for medicals, you have those all day. Then they expect you to go out and perform at your highest level. It was a bad experience, but I'm glad it was one I got to do."
As for the dreaded interviews, Manning said he felt like several teams -- including the Carolina Panthers, his favorite team growing up -- showed interest. Another squad that may be interested in his services is Denver, where former NC State linebacker Nate Irving found a home last year. Manning also mentioned the Seattle Seahawks and Peter Carroll.
"I got a few interesting questions, some of them I'm not going to say," Manning said. "But the craziest thing that happened, I was a big [Panthers] fan for a while, and I walked in the room with Denver, and John Fox is sitting there with John Elway. That's when it hit me."