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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Niko Padilla, DT, Columbia University

Niko is a big boy that is a force on and off the field

Niko Padilla is a big boy that is a force on and off the field

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? 

Niko Padilla

What is your Height/Weight? 

6’0.5″ 300 lbs

What is your position? 

Defensive Tackle

Where do you play college football?

Columbia University

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

I enjoyed being a guest speaker at the 2014 NFL Sports Career Sports Expo, where I was able to speak to over 500 high school athletes about preparing for academics and athletics at the collegiate level.

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

Literature Humanities

Where are you from? 

Dallas, Texas

Who is your role model, and why?

I am fortunate to have many role models in my life, but my mother is probably the most prevalent.  She is a single parent that has done everything that she can to provide for her son.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I competed briefly in track and field and powerlifting in High School, but focused mostly on football.

Did you play any other positions in football?

Yes: Defensive End, Linebacker, Full Back, and Offensive Line.

At your position, what separates you from others?

My explosiveness off the snap of the ball and ability to get in the backfield and recreate the line of scrimmage.

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

I study the sets of offensive linemen and the primary blocking schemes that I should expect.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Tyler Varga, a running back from Yale, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts.

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

I think I’m most comparable to Akeem Spence from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We have a very similar frame and style of play.

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

Transferring from Little Elm High School to Parish Episcopal after my sophomore year was somewhat difficult, but I was fortunate to have a great amount of support from family, teammates, teachers, community members and coaches that helped my transition.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I listen to “Blowin’ Money Fast” by Rick Ross

What is your biggest strength?

My explosiveness off the snap of the ball and ability to get in the backfield.

What is your biggest weakness?

Something that I feel I can improve on is my counter pass rush moves when my initial move does not work.

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

I’m an explosive and powerful interior defensive lineman that can cause havoc in the backfield. I’m very coachable, hard-working, and team oriented. I want to create a winning culture where ever I play.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?

La’roi Glover and the Dallas Cowboys

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

Teddy Roosevelt, Tupac, and Stone Cold Steve Austin

What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?

A house for my mom.

Rapid Answers:

  • Tupac or Biggie?
  • NFL Network or ESPN?
  • Coke or Pepsi? Neither, I don’t drink soda
  • Pizza or Burgers?
  • Dogs or Cats?

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 [email protected]

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