NFL Draft Q&A: Darrell Blackman

With his special teams returns skills and his ability as a wide receiver, it's no wonder that teams like the Jaguars, Eagles, Giants, Browns, Saints, Chiefs, Cardinals, Vikings, and Cowboys have shown interest in him in recent weeks. Learn more about him in this exclusive interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson:  How did you prepare for your Pro Day?

Blackman:  I was really excited. I wasn't nervous or anything like that, I was just really excited.  It was a long process of training and going through the same rigorous workouts with weight lifting and concentrating on my 40 start to get my times down. So when the time came I was very anxious to get out there in front of the scouts.

Thompson:  Who were some of the teams who came up and talked to you?

Blackman:  I talked, throughout my day, with the Giants and the Eagles.  Towards the end of the day I talked to the Saints.  The Giants worked me out in special teams for individual workouts with catching punts and catching kicks.  Some of the other activities they were having me do were catching punts. They'd have me lay down and jump up and try to find the ball and catch it clean, and things like that.  They were really impressed with my ability to catch the ball cleanly and not fumble the ball or drop it even though it was windy and not great weather for catching kicks.

Thompson:  Had you ever done anything like that where you had to lie down and get up and try to find the ball?

Blackman:  No, not right on the spot like that.  That threw me off a little bit because I wasn't really expecting they'd have us laying down and trying to stand like a defender waving hands in my face and stuff.  I tried to go out there and just get my attention on the ball, focus on the ball, like in a game-type situation and make the right decisions.


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Thompson:  It had to be pretty flattering to have the World Champions showing that much interest in you...

Blackman: Yeah, I was really excited to be out there and have the opportunity to work out for them because they did just win the championship.  They have a great coaching staff, great players, so I was really excited.

Thompson:  What is it that you do particularly well in the areas of punt return and kick return?

Blackman:  The first thing is secure the ball.  You have to make the right decision on catching the ball and make sure you have it secured before you take off and run with it.  Another thing is just trying to find my crease, making sure to run up the field rather than sideline to sideline.  I try to run north and south to get as much yardage as I can.

Thompson:  What is that you want NFL teams to know about you as a person more than anything else?

Blackman:  I'm a hard-worker when it comes to getting the job done, I'm real laid back, willing to learn, and willing to do what it takes to be successful.

Thompson:  Is there anything else you'd like to pass on to your fans at N.C. State and the NFL fans?

Blackman:  I'm not going to quit.  I'm going to keep working hard until I achieve my goals.  I thank them for their support. Please keep giving it and hopefully I'll be able to make everybody proud and they'll get to see me play again on Sundays.

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 Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.


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