Kendall Joseph enjoyed participating in Clemson’s Pro Day on Thursday at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility with two dozen of his former Tiger teammates.
“It was good just to get around my brothers again,” Joseph told reporters afterward. “I came here to compete, and I gave it all I got. I prepared extremely hard and had a good time out here today.”
With that said, events like the Pro Day and NFL Scouting Combine that Joseph competed in earlier this month are admittedly not the former Clemson linebacker’s forte.
Instead of being evaluated by the so-called “underwear olympics” and drills such as the 40-yard dash, vertical/broad jump and bench press, Joseph would rather NFL coaches and scouts judge him by the film he compiled as a three-year starter from 2016-18 on a Clemson team that won two national titles in that span.
“I’m not going to wow you out here today doing that kind of stuff,” Joseph said. “But when it comes to just playing football and being able to be a true linebacker, I think I can do that with anybody. So, I’ll always be confident in that. I think the coaches, they know good football when they see it. I’ll just stand on that, and when I get the opportunity I’ll be ready.”
Still, Joseph understands that NFL teams needed to see him run the 40-yard dash and go through the three-cone shuttle and 60-yard shuttle drills at Clemson’s Pro Day, and he feels he showed well.
“Teams wanted to see me run. They definitely wanted to see me run and just move within the drills, and I think I showed them I can do that,” Joseph said. “What you see is what you get, and let’s go to work. That’s how I feel.”
While Joseph believes his film is king and hopes that is the chief criteria he is evaluated by, he knows that interviews with NFL teams are an important part of the draft process as well.
“As far as communicating with teams, really just telling them about who you are and getting to meet with them and show them your intellectual ability on the board and show them what you can do on the football field,” he said. “The tape is always going to be the top thing that they want to see, and I have confidence in my tape. I met with a few teams and had good interviews. So, it’s been good.”
As he prepared for the combine and Pro Day, Joseph reached out to get advice from former Clemson linebackers Dorian O’Daniel, Stephone Anthony and Ben Boulware, all of whom were in his shoes at one time and could give him an idea of what to expect.
“I was really just talking to those three guys and trying to get a feel for it and get some tips, get some guidance from guys who have been there before,” Joseph said. “So, now I’m done with this, and I’ll just keep training and get in even better shape now. We’re done training for the (underwear) olympics, now we can train for football. So, I’m happy about that, and we’ll just get back to work.”
Joseph played in 48 games and made 40 starts during his Clemson career that ended with 306 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, 39 quarterback pressures, four caused fumbles and a pair of interceptions.
The Belton, S.C., native has heard he could be drafted anywhere from the fifth to seventh round, but realistically does not know when or even if he will be selected when the NFL draft rolls around in June.
He is just hoping for a shot and believes he can bring a lot to the table for an NFL team in the middle of a defense.
“You’re just going to get a consistent player, somebody that understands how to be consistent day in and day out,” Joseph said. “I think that’s the biggest quality of being a great leader is being consistent. Anybody can just show up and have a good day here and there and make a lot of noise, but can you do it day in and day out on the practice field, on the game field, in the meeting rooms and in the weight room and off the field? I think I can bring that to the table as well as just a linebacker that plays extremely fast and understands the game. Those two qualities, with just being a blue-collar guy, that’s what you get from me.”
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