Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod on radar

Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod has garnered consistent interest from at least three NFL teams that interviewed him at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine. Sherrod said he met with the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears at both venues. The 6-foot-5, 321-pound blocker has a 35 3/8 wingspan, and plenty of confidence.

"Personally I feel like I fit in at the top," Sherrod said. "We have a pretty good offensive tackle class this year and I came here to compete with everybody that's here. I plan on coming out on top. I'm very much a very physical, competitive, intelligent offensive tackle that can come in right away and help out whatever organization that I'm with. I plan on going in right away and help out as much as possible."

Sherrod is regarded as a potential late first-round draft pick. He grades out highly for his intelligence and intangibles.

A team captain who won the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Award that includes an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, Sherrod graduated with a 3.54 grade point average. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration.

"It helps me a lot because as an offensive lineman you have to be in sync with your other four offensive linemen, then you have to go and read your opponent very well on the defensive side and know them thoroughly," Sherrod said. "As an offensive lineman you have to be on the same page. If you know something, your fellow offensive linemen have to know it also. Football is mostly mental most of the time. If you do your homework and study and know the ins and outs of the game, you're going to be well prepared."

A first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, Sherrod started 47 of 50 games during his career. He was a high school basketball player who also played along the defensive line and had a 3.5 grade point average. He was offered football scholarships to Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan, Louisville and Ole Miss Sherrod said he prefers to play left tackle at the next level.

"I am very NFL-ready at left tackle," Sherrod said. "That's the position I plan on going in and playing at." When told that Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi boldly declared that he's the best tackle prospect, Sherrod had a quick reply.

"If that's his opinion, that's his opinion," Sherrod said. "I feel otherwise, and that's my opinion."

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