NFL Draft Q&A With CB Fred Bennett

At 6-foot-one, South Carolina's Fred Bennett believes that he has an edge in this year's NFL Draft. Find out more about this speedy cornerback, who's been showing interest in him, his Pro Day memories and much more in this exclusive interview with's Ed Thompson

Ed Thompson: What are you doing now that your Pro Day is over and you just have to wait. What's been going on?

Fred Bennett: I'm just learning, staying in shape, kicking back, relaxing and enjoying my family.

ET: Do you have children?

FB: I have a daughter, she's four.

ET: How big of an advantage do you think you have in this draft since you're one of the larger cornerbacks at 6-foot-1?

FB: I think the NFL is sort of moving toward the taller, much bigger corner.  You've got the guys like Terrell Owens and a couple other big receivers that are like 6-foot-4 and they're big and strong.  So no knock on the smaller corners, but I think the NFL is looking for taller, bigger corners.

ET: Let's talk about that. You're going to be facing some big guys in the NFL, some great talent.  You mentioned T.O., for example.  Have you been able to wrap your head around the fact that you could be lining up right across a guy like that within a few months?

FB: Yes, those guys have got to eat and I've got to eat too.  I'm a competitor and I accept any challenge that is put in front of me, I never back down from anything.  I have confidence in my ability and I think I can be a great NFL corner.

ET: Nine interceptions during your career.  Did most of those interceptions come from baiting the quarterback a little bit or just staying tight on your man?

FB: Man-to-man coverage. We play a lot of tight man-to-man coverage so most of my picks came in that coverage.

ET: I also noticed you blocked kick a kick when you were in college. How much special teams work did you do?

FB: I did a lot of special teams work. For four years I did kickoff, punt, punt return; so I've got a lot of experience and I told these teams if it takes me coming in and playing special teams to make their team, that's what I'll do.

Fred Bennett picks off a pass intended for Troy's Eugene Hampton (AP Photo/Perry Baker)
ET: Have any of the coaches mentioned that they like that you have game experience at both of the cornerback positions?

FB: Most teams asked if I'd ever played both sides and we also talked about the fact that I was a starting nickel for three years. I think they were pretty impressed with that.

ET: Who did you get to sit down with for formal interviews at the Combine?

FB: I talked to the Giants, Saints, Redskins, Panthers, Rams, and Falcons... I talked to a bunch of teams, the list goes on.

ET:  What was that like for you?

FB: It was a great experience going in those meeting rooms.  Not only head coaches, but some teams had their GM's in there, their secondary coaches and a bunch of coaches in there.  It gave me a chance to show them my knowledge of the game of football and to show them I have the smarts to play in the NFL.

ET: What was it like talking to Tom Coughlin, head coach of the Giants?

FB: It was interesting, just knowing those guys are on the sidelines on Sunday, coaching an NFL team and I'm sitting there in a chair and he's asking me questions, knowing that I'll possibly have a chance to play for his team.  Just the thought of him wanting to interview me was exciting.

ET: Let's talk about your Pro Day. I know your results from the Combine were so good, you let those results stand. But tell me about what happened that day that was memorable.

FB: I just went out there and I think it was the Houston Texans' defensive backs coach that worked me out.  There were only two DBs and I think I was in good shape, so they just worked us out and did some drills.  Just seeing all those team's coaches there, it was just amazing to see that many coaches come to our Pro Day.  It gave me another chance to show them that I can play in the NFL.

ET: What do you think you did during your Pro Day that really would've stood out to them?

FB: I think my ability to stay down in my backpedal and come out of my breaks.  Like I said, for a 6-foot-1, 200-pound corner, I think I've got a lot of upside and at my Pro Day I think I showed them I can stay down and play with much smaller receivers and come out of my breaks just like a smaller DB.

ET:  Who is on your visits list?

FB:  And I've got visits with the Chargers and the Giants.

ET: Is there anything else that you think is important for the fans and teams to know about you?

FB: Just know that whatever team that drafts me, I think they're getting a good corner. I've got a lot of confidence in my abilities and like I said earlier, I think I can be a great NFL corner. Coming from the University of South Carolina, we have a history of putting out great DBs, so I just want to keep that tradition alive and keep it going. I think I've got all the qualities and abilities to do that.

Learn more about Fred Bennett by visiting his player profile page.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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