Former Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt is looking forward to a change-of-pace NFL draft weekend after a very busy schedule of visits and workouts.
"I'm going to be at home with my family and relatives," he said. "I'm going to relax and take it all in."
The 6-foot-8, 332-pound lineman shouldn't have to wait very long to hear his name called, especially if his recent activity is reflective of the level of interest from NFL teams. He worked out for the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams. And he had visits with the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens.
"A lot of teams have told me that they're really impressed with how I run-block and the way I finish in the passing game as well. They think I can play both right and left tackle," he said during an exclusive interview.
When Loadholt visited the Vikings, he walked into a situation that was very different from what he experienced with the other three teams.
Phil Loadholt battles Texas defensive lineman Brian Orakpo.
Photo: OU Athletics
"There were about 30 people out there and I didn't realize they did it like that, so I was surprised," he said. "But it was really well-organized. We got on the board, I spoke with the offensive line coaches, Coach (Brad) Childress and the GM for a while."
During the NFL Scouting Combine, Loadholt had an opportunity to meet with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and the pair got reacquainted during his Pittsburgh visit.
"He talked to me about the kinds of players they have out there in Pittsburgh. They have passionate players who love the game and who want to work hard every day," Loadholt said. "We talked a bit about him and the staff there, and what they expect from players and rookies coming in."
During the lineman's visit to Baltimore, head coach John Harbaugh struck Loadholt as "a players' coach" and a person who had great passion for the game. The thought of practicing daily against a stout defense like the one the Ravens have put on the field year after year was exciting for the future rookie.
"It would be a dream come true to practice against one of the best defenses in the league." he said. "I think that would be the best way to prepare to play in the NFL. It would be a great opportunity."
In Oakland, Loadholt was told that he could play on either side of the offensive line for the Raiders—and that they saw him as a player who could come in and have a real impact. He also got a sneak peek at what it will be like to be working for an NFL club.
"The Oakland visit was a bit unique in that I got to watch some OTA practice and got the opportunity to watch the O-line go through some drills," he said. "I got on the board, watched some film. It was a really fun visit."
Where Phil Loadholt will end up after NFL Draft weekend is anyone's guess. But the team that selects him is going to have a mountain of a man who has shown potential for a very successful NFL career.
Read more about Phil Loadholt through the links on his Scout.com profile page.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email through this link.