Session Sits Back And Waits

PITTSBURGH -- One former teammate is rated among the top players available, while another has bloodlines that make him a top prospect as well, but former University of Pittsburgh linebacker Clint Session believes that he has as good a chance as cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker H.B. Blades to be selected sometime during this weekend's annual NFL Draft.

Revis, from Aliquippa, Pa., is among the top cornerbacks and projected to go in the first round Saturday. Some believe he could be taken by his hometown Steelers at No. 15. Blades, whose father, Bennie, and uncles Brian and Al all played in the NFL, is a possible mid-round pick. Bennie was chosen third overall by the Detroit Lions in 1988, while Brian was taken 46 picks later, in the second round, by the Seattle Seahawks. Al wasn't drafted in 2001, but signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.

Session probably won't be taken as early as his former Pitt teammates, but he is likely to go on Sunday when the final rounds -- four through seven -- are conducted. And until that happens, he'll just sit back and relax with family and friends at his home in Pompano Beach, Fla. There will be no party, Session said, until his name is called.

"I've been getting some calls from a lot of different teams,'' Session said. "The Jaguars, the St. Louis Rams, the 49ers, the Eagles, there's been a whole bunch of teams that are interested. That's pretty cool, to me, to know that somebody is looking at you. It feels pretty good.

"I don't have a particular team in mind. I just play football. I love to play football, so anybody who allows me to play for their team and show them my God-given talent I believe I can excel at it. So, I think I could play in any system, and I just want somebody to give me a chance.''

Session has remained in Florida, training and "taking advantage of our good weather,'' after leaving Pittsburgh earlier this year. Before he left, however, he worked out for a large contingent at Pitt's Pro Day March 16 at the UPMC Sports Complex. While Session wasn't invited to the NFL Combine earlier in the year, he excelled on this stage.

Session, who played inside and outside linebacker for two seasons each with the Panthers, was measured at 5-feet, 10 1/2 inches and 237 pounds. There are taller linebackers available, but Session said he hasn't been told he's too short lately. And he ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.5-4.6 range and came back with a 4-second shuttle run. That's pretty quick at any size, let alone someone who weighs nearly 240 pounds.

Session has been projected as an outside linebacker, due to his running ability and pass-coverage skills, but he also has been looked at as an inside linebacker for another trait that he possesses.

"I'm a physical guy,'' Session said. "Anybody who has watched me play knows that I like to bang, so I think I can play either inside or outside. I think I showed that I can play at a very high level. I would say that I can hit harder and run faster than anybody else who's taller than me.

"I can make tackles, and I can make plays. I'm a smart player, as smart as anybody taller than me. I don't think you can measure a football player by his height. I know you can measure me by my heart, and I bring everything to the table that anybody who's 6-1 or 6-2 can bring and even more.''

Session noted that some scouts have told him that he definitely will get picked at some point during the draft, but he did not know a specific round. Most mock drafts have him going in the later rounds Sunday or possibly as an undrafted free agent, but Session said he is on some teams' draft boards and had no doubt that he would be selected.

"A lot of people don't know much about me, so I guess you could say that I've been under the radar,'' Session said. "But I showed that I can play. I proved it throughout my four-year career at Pitt and at our Pro Day, and I believe that I developed into a pretty complete linebacker. I can play at the next level.

"I'm fast enough and tough enough, and I believe I have the potential the same as any first-rounder. I don't think anything else really matters. Basically, it's out of my hands now. So, I'll just sit back and wait for my name to be called. I just hope I don't have to wait too long.''

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