Draft Prospect Q&A: WR Mike Hass

Mike Hass isn't considered among the top handful of wide receiver prospects in the 2006 NFL draft because he lacks the type of speed that teams love. But before you dismiss Hass as just another prospect, remember that he had to walk on at Oregon State because he wasn't considered a great prospect out of high school, either, and all he did at OSU was have three 1,000-yard seasons and win the 2005 Biletnikoff Award winner. Hass talks about being the underdog, and more, in this exclusive interview.

MIKE HASS Q. What kind of emotions are you experiencing as the draft gets closer and closer?

A. "Anxiety, that's for sure. A little nervous and anxious for sure."

Q. Have you come to relish your role as underdog after coming to Oregon State as a walk-on and leaving as the winner of the 2005 Biletnikoff Award?

A. "I don't know about relish, but it's a role that I've been forced into, that's for sure. I'm used to it. It's fun to prove people wrong, that's for sure. When people doubt you it's just a lot of fun to go out there and prove them wrong."

Q. Does that role get old after a while?

A. "Yeah, definitely. You hear the same things and they're not necessarily true. It's not like I'm slow or unathletic or anything like that."

Q. You are aware, however, that the book on you heading into the draft is that while you have a lot of positives as a wide receiver, you speed isn't ideal for the position. What do you make of that?

A. "Yeah, but there's a lot of guys like that. I'm not the only guy. There's obviously the burners and there's a lot of guys that do other things. I've been successful, that's all I can say about it."

Q. Why do you think you have been able to overcame that lack of ideal speed?

A. "I think I'm quick. I'm quick. I may not be the fastest guy, but I'm pretty quick and a good route-runner with good hands, reliable, make a lot of things happen."

Q. Would you call yourself a "gym rat"?

A. "I guess. I don't know if I'm necessarily a gym rat, but I definitely work out and stay in shape and try to keep my body ready to go at all times. ... It's one of those things where people think that I would have to do that to be successful, and that's not the case."

Q. Is any part of you surprised that you've gotten to this point considering the way you first came to Oregon State?

A. "No. You know, I'm not satisfied yet. I had a good college career, but I want to take it on to the next level. So there's nothing to look back on and say I've accomplished all that much until I go to the NFL and do something."

Q. What NFL receivers would you compare yourself to?

A. "I look at a guy like Ricky Proehl or Anquan Boldin, those guys, they make a lot of plays. Ricky Proehl played for a long time and was very productive in all parts of the field, and then a guy like Anquan Boldin, people questioned his speed out of college and you saw what he did. All he does is catch a lot of balls, and people don't ask anymore about his 40 time or anything like that."

Q. What did it mean to win the Biletnikoff Award?

A. "Oh yeah, it meant a lot. That was kind of my goal coming into the season. I knew I'd be up for it, and it was one of those things where I walked on and then I won the Biletnikoff; it's a pretty cool story for people to hear about. It gives a lot of people in high school a lot of hope."

Q. Any thought on where you might be drafted?

A. "No. I mean, I don't think anybody really knows where we're going to go, except maybe the first-round guys. I don't really know at all."

Q. Do you have a target round where you would like to get drafted?

A. "I don't know. No, I'm not going to say that. I'll be happy to play in the NFL, period."

Q. Are you planning on watching the draft from the start?

A. "No, I don't know, probably not the start. I probably won't even watch that much of it. It's a stressful time, it's hard to watch, especially when you see guys you think you're better than being picked in front of you and things like that."

Q. What teams have shown the most interest in you?

A. "I don't know, there's been a certain number of teams that have shown interest. You interview with every team at the Combine and the all-star games, and the interviews are kind of the same. I think every interview went pretty well. I think I interviewed well and I think it's just a matter of the teams liking me on film and what I do."

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