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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Emmanuel Graves, LB, Colorado School of Mines

Emmanuel Graves is a feisty backer with good tackling skills

Emmanuel Graves is a feisty backer with good tackling skills

NFL Draft Diamonds and our staff have been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 2 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers. We have tons of NFL staff that read our interviews, and we actually received several of the questions from NFL scouts we speak too. This gives them a little bit more information regarding your character. We hope to bring you more than 300 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season. You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner.

What is your name?

Emmanuel Graves

What is your Height/Weight?

6’1″ 235 lbs

What is your position?

Outside Linebacker, Inside Linebacker, Hybrid

Where do you play college football?

Colorado School of Mines

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?

Participating in the San Antonio Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner was a great experience. I was able to help with providing senior citizens and the less fortunate with food and drink.

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?

Physics II

Where are you from?

San Antonio, TX

Who is your role model, and why?

Sandra Graves, my Mom. No matter how difficult it was for her to migrate from Panama and raise me on her own, she didn’t allow any obstacles to stand in her way. She brought me up to believe in myself and know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes, I ran track, competed in wrestling, and played basketball.

Did you play any other positions in football?

Back in the day I was a running back (#26), ever since I’ve found ways to help my team wherever I can. Fullback, Outside Linebacker, Inside Linebacker, LEO Linebacker, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End.

At your position, what separates you from others?

My athletic ability is what separates me. I utilize my quick footwork to shoot gaps and change direction while being elusive in my pass rush. I’m explosive at the point of contact and use my hands and physicality to shed blocks. I trust my instincts and attack whatever is in between me and the ball.

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

I look at the feet of the O-linemen. I study his posture and if he leans during movement, if he’s stiff, if he stands straight up and where he shoots his hands. I check for any giveaways, like if he tilts or aligns a certain way in run vs. pass and also where the back is aligned. I analyze how the quarterback drops in pass and how he reacts to different pressure off the edge or in his face. I look for weaknesses to exploit, and I game plan my pass rush and reads accordingly.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Aaron Green

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

Von Miller is someone I love to watch. He’s relentless, quick off the snap, and has fast hands to match his feet. Von Miller is an athlete..!

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

One of the biggest obstacles in my life was growing up without my father. After learning from his mistakes, it taught me how to grow up and be a father figure to my sister while making sure I set a positive example for her.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I usually listen to some Logic or some other hip hop/trap music to get the JUICE flowing..! I pray to God before the game.

As a small school football player what obstacles do you feel you have to overcome?
I chose Colorado School of Mines because of the value placed on being one of the top engineering schools while having a winning football program. The obstacle is definitely getting exposure and being able to showcase that I’m not defined by my competition. It’s about proving that I can compete at an elite level.

What is your biggest strength?

Mental-toughness. If there’s one thing you learn from going to Mines it’s that you must be mentally tough to preserve through the difficult courses, especially as a football player.

What is your biggest weakness?

Perfection. I always strive to be perfect in everything I do, and when I don’t meet my expectations I am very hard on myself.

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

I’m a versatile and explosive team player who will provide relentless effort from start to finish.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?
I have favorite people. Brian Dawkins’ passion, Ray Lewis’ motivation and Patrick Willis’ perseverance. I haven’t had a set favorite team, it’s usually whoever I can win with in Madden..!

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

Jesus Christ, Brian Dawkins, Steve Jobs

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

I would save up and help pay off my Mom’s mortgage.

Rapid Answers:

  • Spongebob or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Backstreet Boys or One Direction? 
  • Lifetime Channel or HGTV? 
  • Waffles or Pancakes
  • Snakes or Spiders
  • Madden or Mario? 

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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