NFL Draft Q&A: LB Robert James

LB Robert James (Scout.com/Miller Safrit)

The Packers, Colts, Falcons and Giants worked out Robert James, a linebacker who earned the nickname "The Beast" from his teammates for his aggressive and fast style of play. Learn more about him in this exclusive interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson as we await the start of NFL Draft weekend.

Ed Thompson:  Talk about your Pro Day...

Robert James:  The Pro Day went well.  I came back, I weighed in heavier, did more reps on the bench.,After the Pro Day I had a workout with Green Bay, the Colts, and the Giants.  This past Sunday I had a workout with the Falcons; their linebacker coach came and worked me out.  It's looking good right now, I've been working out everyday to get ready for camp.

Thompson:  How important do you think your Pro Day was versus some of those private workouts?

James:  I think the private workouts were more beneficial than the Pro Day because they can basically do a little mini-practice with you. I think they get a better feel of what you can do.

Thompson:  What are you hearing from teams as far as what they see in your skill set that will translate well to the pro level?

James:  They're saying my speed is going to be a prime factor and that I'll be able to get out there and play a Cover-4 defense and Quarters.  I can get out there and get in the curl and defend receivers and add to the running game.  That's what they're telling me so far.  They say I have a good nose for the ball and they like the way I run around the field.

Thompson:  What have you been trying to make sure they know about you as a person?

James:  I've been trying to let them know that I have good character.  They won't have any problems with me on or off the field. I don't drink or smoke, so that won't be an issue.  Also that I'm a hard worker and I'm coachable.  So if they pick me up on their team, there's nothing negative I'm going to bring to the team.  I'm willing to sit down and watch extra film and learn the defense and help contribute to the team.


Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Thompson:  Is it finally hitting you that this is going to happen this weekend?

James:  It hasn't really hit me yet.  It didn't hit me that I was really participating in the Combine until I actually got on the plane to go. So I'm thinking it won't hit me until I'm actually on the plane going to the practice and mini-camp.  The whole year my brother's been like, "man you ballin', you ballin.'" And I'm like, "Hey man, I'll look back at the end of the year and say, hey, I really was." But until then I'm going to stay humble and play the whole year hard.  After the season's over I'll look at my cut and say, "Wow, that was some great stuff."  Now I'm just looking forward to seeing who's going to pick me up. The draft is tricky.  You know there are guys who go in front of you that you don't believe are better and then there are guys who are good who don't even get picked up.  You're like, "Man, what happened?  You guys were all-this and all-that, defensive player of the year and you didn't get picked up."  You never know what will happen, so I'm hoping for the best and hoping I get picked up.  I'll just make the best of whatever happens.

Thompson:  You mentioned the linebacker coach came in from the Falcons. Is that who came from the Giants, the Colts, and the Packers?

James:  They were all scouts who came in to work me out.  The Falcons coach came out and we sat down for two hours going over plays, drawing up formations, checking the pass slots, and run-gap responsibilities.  Then they taught me some other defense and we went out there and got on the field to run out the actual plays they just taught me.  They wanted to see if I could learn defenses, if I could do what he was coaching me to do.

Thompson:  The Colts run a Cover 2. Did you get to talk to the Colts' scout much about that?

James:  Yeah, I talked to him.  He said they have players on their team that are about my size. And they like watching my film, they think I can contribute to the team.  They think I fit their scheme and style of play, so I'm just excited.  Football is what I love to do and I'm hoping for the best so I can keep doing that.

Thompson:  Is there anything else you want the fans to know at this point?

James:  Let them know I'm still working hard, I'm going to be out there, I'm going to elevate my game and play even harder in the NFL than I did here last season.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.

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