WalterFootball.com is proud to introduce our 2012 NFL Draft Diary with TCU linebacker Tank Carder. Throughout the draft process, Tank will be sharing his experience with the readers of WalterFootball.com. Tank will hit on the East-West Shrine Game experience, team interviews, the NFL Scouting Combine, his pro day, pre-draft visits, and of course, his draft day experience.
Carder was the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of they Year the past two seasons. He also was the Rose Bowl Defensive MVP in TCU's win over Wisconsin at the end of the 2010 season.
Carder totaled 228 tackles with 25 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 19 passes broken up and four interceptions with three returned for touchdowns in his collegiate career. Carder is a hard-nosed football player who should have an interesting draft experience in 2012.
WalterFootball.com would like to thank Tank Carder for his participation. We would also like to thank Tank's agent, Kelli Masters of KMM Sports, for helping to facilitate Tank's draft diary. Carder and Masters are readers of this Web site, so it was a natural fit to approach them about having Tank's draft diary here. We are thrilled to have Tank share his journey with all of you. Now, let's let Tank take over.
After getting back to San Diego, I've been working hard in preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine. Looking back at the Shrine game, it was a great experience and lot of fun to get in some more hitting and tackling before the long offseason. You're going against people of a caliber that will be in the NFL. It's cool because you think to yourself that I can play with these guys. It gives a different type of confidence to your game. There were a few tackles I felt I could've made, but that is all part of it. It is all an experience in the process of becoming a pro.
Right now I'm working hard for the combine with some other future draft picks. We have some NFL vets around as well. Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been around. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is around. There are a bunch of guys from the Broncos. There are all kinds of world-class athletes working out here: some pro baseball players, golfers, tennis players and others. It is a lot of fun talking with the different guys. We're all hanging out with the NFL vets. We talk some about football, but for the most part we're talking about life.
Training is going well. I feel good about where I'm at, and right now I probably need to work on my 20-yard shuttle. My times across the board are looking pretty good, but my main focus is on my pro agility and I need to get that to be a better time.
We work on the 40-yard dash everyday, and I feel pretty good about my 40 time. I feel like I'm poised to run well. I'm naturally fast, so I'm hoping for at least a 4.5 in the 40.
Since the season ended, I've bulked up and I feel good about the bench press. I'm gradually getting stronger, and getting a lot stronger from where I was at the end of the season. I feel good about all the tests and times. I still have three weeks of hard work so I can make it that much better.
Aside from getting ready for all the workouts, I'm preparing for the interviews at the combine. We do practice sessions for the interviews and work on the wonderlic every week. The East-West Shrine Game was huge with a lot of help for the whole interview process. The combine will be more stressful and there will be more nerves because there will be general managers and head coaches in the interviews, but I got some what of an idea of the process and structure at the East-West Shrine.
Everybody has heard about some of the crazy and strange questions. I have a strategy for how to handle those and I'm definitely not going to wing it. You don't want to rush into answer and then have to keep on going with that answer and end up saying something you're going to regret. So you want to listen to the question, think about it for a second and then give a thoughtful answer.
So in a nutshell, that is my mental prep. I think there is nothing wrong with a little silence. Just sit there for a few seconds and take a deep breath and think through it. It is always better to sit there in silence than to rush into a stupid answer with something that you regret.