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What stands out to you the most from your Draft Day experience?
Jeff Cross: “Not much to be honest with you because I was in the middle of final exams. All I know is that I didn’t go the first day and I was disappointed, but when I did go I went to the Dolphins and at the time they weren’t one of the better defenses so I was kind of excited because I felt like I had a chance to make the team. Being a ninth round draft choice I knew I had a better chance of making the team.”
Where were you on Draft Day?
Cross: “I had finals and I was on campus so I just remember I was trying to graduate. I was trying to get out of school and at the University of Missouri, their rule was the minute I got drafted, even though I didn’t have an agent, my scholarship was terminated. So that was it for me. I wasn’t coming back on their dime and finishing.”
How did you celebrate being drafted?
Cross: “I didn’t. I was just focused on showing up and making the team. Being a late round draft choice it’s a much different state if mind I think than being a first, second or third rounder. You’re just worried about making the team and you can’t wait to kind of get out there, put on some pads and start competing. When you’re a first or second rounder you’re already talking about buying houses. When you’re a late round draft choice you just can’t wait for training camp to start so you can start competing.”
What did you personally do in preparation for the draft to help your draft position as far as special workouts, etc.?
Cross: “I just got back from the Combine and just continued to work out. I personally don’t think there’s a whole lot you can do once football season is over other than working out and staying in shape.”
Was there something about your interviews with prospective coaches before the draft that stood out?
Cross: “The process is a lot more extensive today than it was back then so there wasn’t a whole lot going on beyond the physical stuff that they were asking you to do. I think most players just felt like they needed to stay in shape and continue doing the drills.”
What advice would you give to this year’s class of draft choices?
Cross: “Lower your expectations and be ready to compete because the two games, there are a lot of differences. Your learning is just beginning. I don’t care how good you are, you’re learning is just beginning and the heavy lifting is ahead.”