2004 Draft Prospect Interview: Christian Ferrara

Ten percent is all that is left on the slate for draft picks headed into the 2004 NFL Draft. After spending four seasons with the Syracuse Orangemen, Christian Ferrara is setting himself up for his Pro Day on March 17th. The second team All-Big East defensive tackle was selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star game and East-West Shrine game, marking the start of the final ten percent of his draft grade.

As a senior at Christian Ferrara finished the season tied for third among Big East linemen with 5.2 tackles per game. His 2003 total of 16.5 tackles for a loss (five came in one game) of 43 yards is the third-highest single-season mark in Syracuse history and he closed his career ranked fifth on the Orange career tackles for loss record list with 30.

His 139 career tackles ranks ninth on Syracuse's annals for tackles by a down lineman. With a stellar career behind him, Ferrara headed into the offseason with visions of grandeur. He played in the Blue-Gray and East-West games and thinks it has helped his status.

"From what I heard it helped a lot," says Ferrara. "I got a lot of positive feedback out there and found out some things I have to work on and get better at."

Every prospect needs to get better at something. It is a fact of life as they head into the NFL. What does Ferrara need to work on then?

"My pass rush, I could definitely get better in my pass rush. That is a big part of the game these days. I was taught to play the run ñ you are the man in the middle so nothing goes in those A-gaps."

Ferrara is working out as his school in preparation for his Pro Day and the draft. His goals are to get his endurance up and focus on what the scouts will be looking at when they come see him.

The first hurdle Ferrara had to jump is over. He was not invited to the Indianapolis Combines. It is something that could bring a lot of prospects down, but Ferrara is not among those that are deterred.

"I don't get down about that," Ferrara said. "I said, 'they are going to come see me March 17th and I will put on a show for them then.' It motivates me. I am going to prove to them that I should have been there and I am going to turn some heads."

Ferrara is ready to put it all on the line. He realizes scouts will want to see his progress from those early January games and practices to his big day in March.

"When I was at the All-star game, they said 90% of your grade is already done," Ferrara recalled. "And they said 10% is your workouts, how you pay attention in drills and how you test out when the pressure is on.

"I want to be the best in everything I do. I don't want to be average. I am going to try and compete for a starting job and if I get that chance I am not going to back down. I am going to put it all on the line."

It is hard not to believe Ferrara, who was named Syracuse University's Ben Schwartzwalder Award winner for being an exemplary football player.

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