NFL Draft Diamonds Spotlight Interview: Derek Graves, WR, South Dakota School of Mines
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
Out of high school I had no looks, due to the fact that I missed a really bad my freshman and sophomore year of high school.
How did you come to make your college decision?
Coming out of JC Idaho State was only team that offered me. After I left Idaho State, South Dakota school of mines the best fit I felt.
Where are you training, and what are your goals for pro day/combines?
I’m currently training in Modesto California at Bonsu elite athletics. My goals are to run a 4.4. And hit two 225 15+ times.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
I have not talk to any scouts as of right now.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
I have a great feel for the game, make plays & can play outside and slot.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
The first thing I look for is there coverages they like to run and then I like to evaluate each player in the secondary and linebackers to see that weaknesses and strengths.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
My friend Demaria Nelson who’s at Arizona State. We play on the same team in High school. Going against him everyday made u a lot better.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
AnQuan Boldin. I feel like a lot of things I do is similar to his game.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Growing up in Stockton, California. It’s real easy to get caught up and go down the wrong path. With family and sports I managed to stay out of trouble.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I’ve play in pro style and spread. I feel vet comfortable in both.
What is your biggest strength?
My work ethic, hands down.
What is your biggest weakness?
There’s always room for improvement in each aspect of my game.
If I were a GM and gave you a minute to sell yourself, what would you say?
I’m a team first guy, I’m gonna go hard everyday and make my teammates better during the process.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My mother, because she always been there for me. She’s a beautiful person and always stays positive. She gave me more than I ever needed and thought me the core values of life.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
The 49ers & Jerry Rice. I just grew up with my family being 49er fans and when I was a kid I idolized Jerry Rice.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Jay Z, Floyd Mayweather & Mohammed Ali.
What would you buy with your first NFL paycheck?
Take my family shopping, pay my bills and save majority of it.
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