|NFL Draft Q&A: WR Eric Decker|
WR Eric Decker (AP Photo/PaulBattaglia)
Eric Decker was drafted by the Minnesota Twins to play baseball but he's opted to play NFL football instead. In this exclusive Scout.com interview with Ed Thompson, Minnesota's star receiver talks about what sparked his record-setting career, what he expects to do at the NFL Combine, and much more.
Eric Decker answers additional questions in this two-minute audio clip exclusively for Scout.com subscribers. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound receiver talks about how he's dealt with his season-ending Lisfranc injury and how he's progressing, his skills as a wide receiver and some of his top accomplishments from his career at the University of Minnesota: Listen to Audio
Ed Thompson: As a three-year starter, you kicked things off in your sophomore year when you set a single-season catch record with 67 catches, did you feel at that point that you had truly arrived and you had a bright future ahead of you?
Eric Decker: After the end of my freshman season, I felt more comfortable with the playing time I got and the athletes I was surrounded by. Going into my sophomore season, we had a transition to a new system offensively and I felt at that point I needed to step up my leadership as a teammate and take that role on and off the field. I felt like [Adam] Weber and I had a very good relationship that showed on the field--he trusted me, I trusted him, and we understood where we were going to be in certain situations. I definitely felt my sophomore year was a coming-out year for me.
Thompson: You were a two-sport star as a very-fine baseball player and you were drafted by the Minnesota Twins. When you heard that news, what went through your head?
Decker: It was exciting. Leading up to the baseball draft I was telling scouts and teams that I was going to put my focus on football. I think it might have hurt me baseball-wise, but my heart and soul was in football and I didn't want to give up my summer to play in the minor-league system. I wanted to get ready for football in the fall and the opportunity I had with everything there. I was thrilled to be drafted by my home-town team, but at the same time my focus was always on football.
Thompson: You're progressing well from your Lisfranc surgery, but do you think you'll be able to do any testing at the NFL Combine?
Decker: Yeah, upper body-wise I'll do the 225 bench lift and a Cybex Test--which is a sitting hamstring and quad exercise. But as far as running, I haven't been cleared by Dr. Anderson, so I won't be doing any of that testing.
Thompson: You'll also have the opportunity to meet with NFL head coaches and personnel evaluators. Talk about that opportunity and what you expect out of that interaction.
Decker: I'm thrilled to be able to show my face and introduce myself to all of the organizations and coaches and owners. It's really a job interview, being able to present and sell yourself to the teams. I'm looking forward to that.
Thompson: You went to high school in Minnesota and played your college-ball in Minnesota. What are you going to do if you get drafted by New York or Miami or any other team that takes you far away from Minnesota?
Decker: [laughs] I'm more than excited to play for whichever team needs my help and do whatever else I can next year and beyond. I'm a Minnesota born-and-raised kid, but I'm also independent and adventurous and can handle east coast, west coast, south, north, you name it. I'll be alright.
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You can follow Ed Thompson on Twitter (@Ed_Thompson). A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.