NFL Draft Diamonds Spotlight Interview: John McNabb, LB, Jackson State
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
I was not heavily recruited out of high school. Jackson State, Central Arkansas, Alcorn and a few jucos in Mississippi.
How did you come to make your college decision?
Jackson State was the only school that was going to let me play football and baseball. I eventually gave up my baseball scholarship to focus just on football.
Where are you training, and what are your goals for pro day/combines?
I’m currently training in Hattiesburg, Ms, but I’m working on getting out to California to finish up before pro day. My main goals for pro day are to run a 4.5/4.6 40yd dash and hit at least 28 reps on the 225 bench.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
I haven’t met with any.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
My versatility and my knowledge of the game is what separates me from other LB’s. I can play middle and outside in many different type of defenses.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
When I break down film I first think about the different type of defensive formations I can line my defense in on certain offensive formations. Then I think from an offensive coordinators standpoint to see what type of offensive plays can be a weakness on each different defensive formations. That gives me a clue on what the offense thinks they can beat us on, therefore, i will already be expecting it. Then I go on to breakdown certain situations and down and distance. Last I breakdown every offensive player looking for certain signals or tendencies.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
Terron Armstead (UAPB) was a great offensive tackle that I’ve faced. Isaiah Crowell (ASU) and Arnold Walker (Alcorn) were good running backs that I faced also. But I honestly believe that some of the toughest players that I have faced have been in my own practice. (Rico Richardson, Tommy Gooden, Rakeem Sims)
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I would probably compare myself to Mychal Kendricks of the Philadelphia Eagles.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Making the decision of giving up baseball my freshmen year was pretty tough. I prayed on it and decided that whatever I chose I would go with 100% with no regrets.
What system fits your style of play the best?
Like I stated before I am very versatile so I believe I would adapt to any system just well.
What is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength is my awareness.
What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness is fighting off lineman during pass rushes.
If I were a GM and gave you a minute to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would ask to do more showing than telling. I don’t have much to say but if I was given a chance to prove myself you wouldn’t regret it.
Growing up, who was your role model?
Growing up I looked up to my father.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
My favorite team was the Philadelphia Eagles and my favorite player was Brian Dawkins. I loved the way he played the game passionately every single play.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Ray Lewis, Alicia Keys, and Michael Jordan.
What would you buy with your first NFL paycheck?
I would put it in the bank and act like I never got it.