Drake Dunsmore runs after making a reception in the first half against Michigan. (Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE)

Inside Preparations For NFL Combine


The NFL scouting combine kicks off in just 11 days. The talk may be about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but there are 300+ other athletes who have hopes and dreams resting on their performance in Indianapolis.

“I’m a little anxious, but I’m more excited than anything though,” Northwestern tight end Drake Dunsmore said after he ran through Loren Landow’s mock combine Thursday in south Denver.

Landow thinks that Dunsmore could be a sleeper this year. He capped off his senior year with 45 receptions for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns, but more importantly, he’s a tremendous all-around athlete. At 6’3″, 235 lbs., he runs great routes, has solid hands, and he’s a good blocker.

As for the best advice that Dunsmore has received regarding making the transition from college to the pros, he’s keeping that in.

“I’ll tell you if I get there, when I get there,” Dunsmore said.

Along with Dunsmore, 29 other athletes made it a point to work with Landow as they prepare for the combine and pro days.

Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Cooper arrived in Denver just last week.

“I needed to get a little work in, get away from Stillwater, avoid all the distractions,” Cooper said. “I’ve only been here for a few days, but I’m getting my work in. That’s the first time I got to do those drills up here. Still got a lot of work, but I’m getting better each day.”

Cooper had 71 receptions for 715 yards and 3 touchdowns in his senior year which helped lead the Cowboys to the Fiesta Bowl. There they beat Stanford 41-38 in overtime.

As big a game as that was, Cooper knows that the pressure will keep piling on, but he’s got his nerves in check.

“There’s some nerves there, but it happens in everything you do,” Cooper said. “Nerves, if you play through it, it makes you perform better I think.”

These athletes have to be on top of their game on the field and behind closed doors.

At Landow’s mock combine, CBS4 sportscaster Vic Lombardi sat down with a few players to ask them made up Wonderlic questions. Identify all from the Kardashian clan, or which came first, the chicken or the egg?

“Any question you get asked, you’ve got to know the correct answer to,” Cooper said. “Just be yourself and quick witted.”

Quick witted and quick footed will propel any player up the draft board, or at least get their name up there in the first place.

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Tags: Drake Dunsmore Josh Cooper Nfl Combine