With so much on the line for former college football players wanting to play in the NFL, the league’s annual Scouting Combine can be extremely nerve-racking. For former Cal Bears Running Back Daniel Lasco, the NFL Combine was something he wanted to participate in his entire life, and following an injury-filled 2015 season, he was just thankful to get an invite.
“I went in with a smile with everything and was just happy to be there,” Lasco told The Jim Rome Show. “I was amazed and shocked I got that combine invite with such little productivity I had this past season. So I went in there and was enjoying the whole process, enjoying everything, just walking around the place and seeing such great talent that was there, all the coaches, growing up watching certain people, sat down and got to shake John Elway’s hand. There were just little things like that. It’s just a blessing.”
Although, Lasco was aware the Combine is one of the last evaluation steps for NFL teams to prepare for next month’s draft, and the prospect didn’t want to undermine the seriousness of the event.
“It’s a process. It’s the biggest job interview we all have, and as coaching staffs, that’s them recruiting and trying to figure out what type of player you are. So everything is a big business there,” Lasco said. “You have to take it with that mentality when you’re going in and sitting down with teams. You want to be all eager to meet them and shake their hands, get their autographs, and things like that, but then you have to take a step back and realize nah, this is a business, this is real.”
As for the on-field drills, Lasco’s broad jump of 11’ 3”, was the best of any running back at the Combine in at least a decade, a fact Lasco didn’t learn until after he left Indianapolis.
“I didn’t know it was the best until after the fact, coming home seeing it on TV, and the analysis and things like that, that people were talking about,” Lasco said. “I’m an athlete. I go into everything and give it my all, and I like to compete, and I think Derrick Henry had a 10’ 10” or something like that, and he was a couple people in front of me, and so I was like you know what, I have to be better than that. I’m going to compete to be the best at every single position that we do, every single drill that we do, and I’m going to give it my all. And I just went into it knowing that all my training and preparation was good throughout the past weeks and months, and I was ready for that opportunity and honed in on it, and I grasped it.”
Lasco also talked about his college teammate, Jared Goff, who many believe is the best quarterback available in this year’s draft. Lasco couldn’t help but laugh about some saying Goff’s small hands may be a red flag for teams.
“I think it is funny, to be honest with you. I think it’s a way for analysis and people to just kind of undermine one of the best people coming out of the draft, and they just want to find any reason to knock him down and bring him down and let other quarterbacks jump ahead of him, but I believe he had a tremendous workout and he proved himself,” Lasco said. “He performed at a very, very high level. His passes were on target. He ran 4.82 [in the forty-yard dash]. We were always giving him a bunch of crap for not being able to break 5, under 5 seconds, but he went out there and proved it, he proved us wrong.”