NFL Draft Q&A: WR Eddie Royal

Virginia Tech wide receiver and return specialist Eddie Royal got an up-close look at some NFL teams during his official visits. Find out what he learned during his trips, which coach he was surprised to find so easy to talk recently, what he'll be doing this weekend and more in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson:  What have you been up to over the last few weeks?

Eddie Royal:  I actually went to visit the Tennessee Titans, the Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Giants.  They all went well, they invited me to talk with all the coaches, see the facilities, meet some of the players, and I can see myself fitting in with any of those organizations.

Thompson:  Did you have a chance to talk to Jeff Fisher and did he give you an indication of how they saw you fitting into their scheme?

Royal:  I actually had the chance to sit down and talk to him for between 45 minutes and an hour; we sat and talked and had a great conversation.  He said I could come in and contribute right away with returning punts and kicks. And they said that I would be a slot receiver and a guy who could move around and catch the ball on the run and make plays after the catch.

Thompson:  Were there other wide receivers there or were you the only one?

Royal:  Devin Thomas was also there, and he may have been the only other receiver there at that moment.  It was good to see him again, I had a chance to talk to him at the Combine and we get along pretty well.  It was good to see him out and about.

Thompson:  What was the Giants visit like compared to the Titans?

Royal:  It was great. I spent a lot of time with the receivers coach and the special teams coach.  We put on the film and went through some work and they showed me that they could plug me in right away as a return man and I could work my way in as a receiver.  The coach just walked us through what the first meeting would be like.  He walked us through some plays and we reviewed them afterwards, so it was pretty business-like with the Giants.

Thompson:  That's great. So you got a first-hand feel of what it would be like to work for them...

Royal:  They move quickly running about fifteen plays. So if I go to the Giants, I'm going to have to ask for their playbook in my hands right away.

Thompson:  How cool was it to be thinking about the possibility of catching passes from Eli Manning?

Royal:  It really was.  I actually bumped into him while we were eating lunch.  He came in and sat down and ate lunch. He was chatting with the coaches, so I didn't have a chance to have a conversation with him, but he was just there and around and it was good to see him and some of the other guys.  It was a good locker room. The guys were joking around with us here and there, I could tell I would fit in well with the Giants.

Thompson:  Who were some of the other prospects there with you at that visit?

Royal:  The big offensive tackle from Boston College (Gosder Cherilus), Mario Manningham was there — he was my roommate.

Thompson:  With you and Mario both trying to get drafted at the same playing position, how did rooming together work out?

Royal:  It was good.  He was another guy who was in my group at the Combine, so I kind of knew him.  We just talked about what we had been through, the places we'd visited, where we were headed, and the whole experience and the process.  It was a totally different world for both of us and it was good to hear all of the things he had been through.

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Thompson:  Minnesota brought in practically everybody on the same day correct?

Royal:  Yeah, it seems like they brought in all thirty of their guys in one day and got it all done at one time.  They actually did a good job of organizing it, it was a lot of people moving around, but it seemed real organized.  We each had certain time slots and we met with each coach and they did a good job running it.

Thompson:  Did you have the opportunity to sit with wide receiver coaches at dinner, or were you with some coaches who really didn't have much to do with your position?

Royal:  I sat down with some personnel people. I had a chance to speak with the receivers coach and Kevin Rogers, the quarterback coach there. He was a quarterback coach here at Virginia Tech while I was here.  So I was able to sit down and talk to him and have a good conversation with him.

Thompson:  Talk a bit about your Pro Day...

Royal:  I actually didn't participate in it.  It was more like part of the interview process for me. I wanted to stay with all of my numbers from the Combine.  I got a chance to talk with all of the coaches.  I did a little work with the Giants. But it was just another chance to talk football with all of the coaches. I got to meet Mike Tomlin, it was a great chance to meet him and have a conversation with him.

Thompson:  He's a pretty impressive guy...

Royal:  Definitely, he's real laid back.  He looks pretty intimidating. You would think he's difficult to talk to, but man, he made me feel like I had known him for years.  I really felt very comfortable with him.

Thompson:  What are you doing this weekend?

Royal:  I don't know.  My family is going to come into town and I have a few friends here — nothing big.  I want to wait until I'm actually drafted to do anything because you never know how the draft is going to play out.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and at You can contact him by email through this link.

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