I caught up with Maine cornerback, Kendall James after his pro day earlier this week. I spoke with him about his performace, how he feels he can impact the NFL in his rookie season, and his opinion on ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranking him as the eighth overall cornerback in the class.
There were eight NFL teams in attendance: Buccaneers, Raiders, Colts, Eagles, Patriots, Chiefs, Chargers, and Browns.
First off, how do you feel you performed today?
“I think I did really well. I improved my 40 time. I’m tired of hearing 4.4 because I know I’m faster. I know some scouts clocked me in the 4.3 range today. I feel I looked good in my drills and caught the ball well. So I think I did a good job.”
How does your hamstring feel?
“It’s still nagging. But I made it through today, so thank god for that. It’s still there, but hopefully it goes away some time soon. It’s definitely coming along.”
What separates you from the other cornerbacks in the draft?
“My speed, my smarts, and my tenacity. I’m just a good overall football player. I’m good on special teams too.”
What do you feel is your best fit on an NFL team?
“At corner, wide receiver, gunner, kick and punt returner. Anything they want me to do.”
What are you doing to prepare yourself before the draft?
“Keep working out and working hard. Keep stretching and get this hamstring right. And definitely watching more film to see how I can improve from last year.”
What do you think you need to improve on most?
“Probably my strength. That would be the biggest thing, but that’s coming along well.”
Which teams talked to you today?
“All eight teams that were here today talked with me individually.”
Are there any former University of Maine players in the NFL that you keep in touch with?
“I speak with Jerron McMillian every week and he has definitely given me some words of advice and wisdom.”
What did you take away from the scouting combine?
“It was exciting. It was fun to see all the players you watch on TV. Seeing all the top prospects and seeing Jadeveon Clowney every day was exciting. It was very cool and a good time.”
Mel Kiper has you listed as the eighth ranked corner in the class, what do you think about that?
“That’s what he says, but Kiper is not an NFL general manager, so it really doesn’t matter.”
What sort of impact can you make in your rookie season?
“I definitely know I can play special teams. Hopefully I can get on the field and play a little nickel as well.”
James was very down to earth throughout the entire day and during the interview. He also backed up what we all see on tape during his drills. He has blazing speed and the ability to be a playmaker on the ball. I was surprised to see the number of NFL teams that showed up to see him perform. James is definitely a sleeper to watch for on draft day.
Thanks to the students of the New England School of Communications for providing me with the audio of the interview after I had some technical difficulties.