Learning Lessons

WVU's all-time leading tackler learned a lot from his participation at WVU's Pro Day and his interactions with NFL scouts.

"What I'm coming to learn is that I hope they look at what you did in your career than what we do in drills, but I don't know if that's always the case," Grant Wiley said of his workouts and dealings with the NFL. "You get all these guys that come out and kill in drills but aren't great football players. I see that some guys get drafted on that - on their potential."

That observation is certainly not a new one for many college football fans, but it's a tough lesson for standout college players to learn. And to be honest, it's a difficult one for many college-based observers to assimilate as well. Many players never even get the chance to pove themselves in the NFL because they are deemed too short, to slow, or too whatever by the guys that dominate NFL scouting. It seems as if those guys want to be able to cover mistakes by saying 'the guy looked good' or 'he tested well'.

While those aren't Wiley's words, you can hear the sentiment behind the ones he does use as he talks about the drills and tests he underwent at the Senior Bowl and at Pro Day.

"Some of the drills are relative to football, but they need a barometer to put your play on the field back into the mix," Wiley noted.

At WVU's session, Wiley did linebacker drills, but also worked out with the defensive backs. Of course, that doesn't mean he's changing positions, but it did give a nice indicator to pro scouts, in that Wiley kept up with the DBs during many drills.

"One of the big question marks they had on me was that I wasn't very athletic," Wiley said as he talked about an NFL sterotype. "They look at me and see a stocky guy and assume I can't move. But I had a good workout, so I hope I changed a lot minds."

Wiley ran anywhere from 4.55 to 4.62 on his first 40 yard dash (which shows the vagaries of handtiming), and from 4.64 to 4.73 on his second.

"They had me estimated at 4.85, so no one expected me to run what I did," a pleased Wiley said of his times.

The Pennsylvania native also completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.3 seconds and the L-Drill in 7.03. He hit the vertical mark at 10 feet, 4 1/2 inches.

With those tasks behind him, Wiley won't slack off, however. He notes that one or more teams could call him for another workout, so he wants to be ready to go at a moment's notice. His agent is also gearing up, sending out highlight films for teams and working the phones to keep him in the limelight.

Like his teammate Quincy Wilson, Wiley, a low-key guy off the field, hasn't made plans for the NFL Draft.

"I don't even know if I'm going to watch it," he said. "I won't sit there and grind and stress out about it. I've done as much as I can do on the field and on Pro Day, so basically its a crap shoot from now on."

Wiley said he has had interviews with several pro teams, but is keeping that information close to the vest. However, he is encouraged by one bit of news he has heard.

"From what I hear, everybody needs linebackers. So, I hope a coach or a general manager sees how I play and likes my style. Even before a pro day or combine, teams know a lot about what you have and what they want, but it could be any team that comes along."

WVU fans that have watched Wiley tear up opposing ball carriers for four years know what Wiley has. Now, if only the NFL scouts learn it in time.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories