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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Melvin Taveras, DB, South Dakota State University

taveras 2Every year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you. 

What is your name?

My name is Melvin Taveras and I play football at South Dakota State University

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Out of high school not many schools were recruiting me because of my grade point average so that’s why I went to a junior college in California (Ventura College.)

How did you choose your school?

I chose South Dakota State because it was the best fit for me. I wanted to play at a high level and the Missouri Valley conference had the exact football I was looking for.

Where are you from?

I’m from Lynn Massachusetts

Who is your role model, and why?

My role model is my older brother because he is everything you want in a person.

Have any scouts met with you yet, and if so what are they saying?

At the moment no scouts have met with me but my coach did say some were interested in me. They saw my junior day numbers (40 yrd dash & measurements.)

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Growing up I played a lot of sports. But my main ones were football and track.

Did you play any other positions in football?

In football I played running back and wide receiver and on defense I played corner back.

At your position, what separates you from others?

At my position I separate myself from other because I will do anything to win the play. I have a knack for the ball and will compete my tail off to be respected.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When breaking down film one thing I look for is the quarterback; who is his favorite target, route combinations, receiver releases, receiver tendencies, receiver splits from each other, linemen stances and quarterback hand signals.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

If I could compare my play with someone in the NFL it would be Earl Thomas because how how aggressive I tend to play. I take risk and I’m not scared to fill in for the run.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle I had to overcome was going all the way to California for school. I went there with 6 other guys from Massachusetts and they all ended up leaving after the first semester. It was tough for me because I didn’t know if was going to make it. Thankfully I had a loving support system who encouraged me to stick it through and ended up getting a couple scholarships.

taverasDo you have any pre-game rituals?

Before a game I always like to put my headphones on, close my eyes and sit in my locker. I listen to a little bit of everything and think about how blessed I am to play the game. I also always run through the call sheet and visualize plays in my head.

What is your biggest strength and weakness?

I would say my biggest strength would be my feet. And my biggest weakness at times could be my eyes. I tend to look at too much sometimes and that leads to being a step late.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

If you were a GM and you gave me one second to sell myself I would say you need a guy like me because I will give my all for my teammates on and off the field and I will seek wisdom from teammates because I want to be great.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite player in the NFL will have to be Charles Woodson and my favorite NFL team are the Patriots.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

If I could choose three people to have dinner with dead or alive I would choose Christepher Wallace, Dion Sanders & Bill Gates.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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