When millions of dollars are funneled into the high-stakes NFL Draft, the team is using its resources to ensure that they find the right player to match their profile.
By looking more closely at multiple players, they can make contingency plans and have a bevy of prospects to choose from their short list.
Although Pool did not work out at the Combines, he has been steadily rising up the draft boards in what is considered a weak safety class. Admittedly, it was one of the reasons he decided to leave school early.
"I felt like I could be at the top of my position," Pool said.
Pool led the Sooner defense in tackles in 2004 while intercepting two passes and defending nine others. He also contributed five tackles for a loss.
The prior year, as a sophomore, Pool picked off seven passes, had 68 tackles, nine for a loss, and added two sacks.
The disparity between his sophomore and junior campaigns had more to do with the talent around him. He lost a lot of talent at the cornerback position heading into the 2004 season.
"Those guys were really good. They had been in the system for five years," Pool said of the graduating members of the secondary, which included Derrick Strait and Brandon Everage. "We had younger guys that were talented but I caught myself not reading my reads and trying to help other guys. It was a product of us not playing together very long."
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 201
Forty times: 4.52/4.54
Bench Press: 11
Vertical Jump: 39
Broad Jump: 10-8
Short Shuttle: 4.50
|"Excellent athlete with top cover skills. Reads the quarterback, displays sideline-to-sideline range and quick locating the ball. Explosive up the field in run defense and takes good angles to the action." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview|
A member of the Associated Press All-Big Twelve Conference team, Pool is a true free safety that can cover a lot of ground – something that has been lacking in San Diego.
With the Chargers trying to find a way to upgrade the position – shown by bringing in Bhawoh Jue and re-signing Jerry Wilson – Pool would seemingly be overkill. But his talent level is tough to ignore and he would likely be slotted in as an immediate starter next to Terrence Kiel.
Pool will make the trek to San Diego in the early part of April but he has not taken a gander at the team, and more specifically the secondary.
"I haven't studied what they do," Pool said of the Chargers secondary. "I am pretty sure I am going to get a feel for that when I come. It is going to be fun to sit down and talk to the coaches and find out ‘this is what we are going to do.' Hopefully, I fit well with them."
After interview sessions in the meat market that is the NFL Combines, having a personal meeting with coaches can be a little overwhelming. Not so, says Pool:
"I don't think it will be intimidating. I think the process will be fun to sit down in a room with coaches and talk football, a game they love. They are getting paid to coach and they love the game. I think it will be fun."
As with any prospect, there will be competition. The Saints, Dolphins and Packers have also expressed interest in Pool.
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