Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley is regarded as a rising draft prospect who significantly boosted his stock with a strong Senior Bowl week.
The 5-foot-10, 182-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, also registering a 31 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 9-6 broad jump, a 6.99 three-cone drill, a 4.50 20-yard shuttle and bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times.
Dwight Bentley finished his collegiate career with 232 tackles, 13 for losses, 1 1/2 sacks, seven interceptions and 20 pass deflections.
Last season, he was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference as he recorded 71 tackles, five for losses, six pass deflections, three interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, including one against Oklahoma State, and two forced fumbles.
Bentley won three state championships at Pahokee High working in tandem with cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
He had six interceptions as a senior and was named second-team all-state.
Bentley has visited the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts and met with the Atlanta Falcons.
We caught up with Bentley on Friday for the following interview:
Scout: How's the draft process going?
Bentley: "I'm still enjoying it. I'm trying to take every piece of it and enjoy it and soak it up. I'm getting a lot of opportunities and I'm taking it all in."
Scout: What are you hearing from teams as far as feedback?
Bentley: "I'm getting a great vibe from teams. I'm hearing second or third round. That's a bonus coming from where I came from at the end of the season. It's going great. Teams said they like my film, my personality and my coaches said great things about my attitude. It's all good. They said they like me a lot."
Scout: What do you see as your strengths?
Bentley: "My strengths are my passion for the game, my route recognition, how fast I see things, my instincts."
Scout: Do you like run support?
Bentley: "You got to do that, come up and make a good tackle. It doesn't have to be that big blow, but you have to make a good form tackle and slow them down until pursuit comes."
Scout: What are your goals as far as getting involved in the community when you get into the NFL?
Bentley: "I want to take my team to a Super Bowl on the field. Off the field, I want to help as much as I can and be a positive role model and show support for the community and show that a guy from a small school can make it big. I'm all about hard work."
Scout: Does coming from a small school provide motivational fuel for you?
Bentley: "At one point, it did. I still like to show people what kind of player I am and that football is football at any level."
Scout: What did the Senior Bowl week dor for you?
Bentley: "It was a great experience. I met some great All-American players and I took full advantage of it and I had fun most of all."
Scout: What is it about Pahokee as far as producing a lot of NFL players like Anquan Boldin?
Bentley: "Just coming from Pahokee, there's not too much to do but play football, basketball, baseball and run track. We compete every day. That helps us prepare and stand out. Muck City players want to win at everything. It makes us special."
Scout: What was it like in high school playing in the same secondary with Janoris Jenkins?
Bentley: "In high school, Janoris was already known as a shutdown corner. People tried to throw at me and I made the most of it. I returned three interceptions for touchdowns. I wasn't complaining. It was a heck of a tandem."
Scout: What's your take on what's been reported about Jenkins as far as his character?
Bentley: "That's my best friend. I feel like people are messing with him right now, but he's okay. He knows how to handle adversity. He's not worried about it at all.
"People have the wrong idea about him, but he can't control that. He's become a better person, not saying he was ever a bad person. He's a great person who's made a couple mistakes in his life. He's a great person, a loyal person."
Scout: Have teams put you on the chalkboard much to discuss coverage schemes?
Bentley: "In football, knowledge is power. You've got to be smart and a student of the game."
Scout: How much did you do on special teams in college?
Bentley: "I was on kickoff, punt, punt block. I'm looking forward to doing that a lot in the NFL. I'm a gunner and I can't be blocked."
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