What NFL team wouldn’t like a wide receiver with running back size and vision after the catch? That is exactly what Nebraska wide receiver Niles Paul brings to the table. The 6’1″ 224 pound Paul has had a very solid career with the Huskers, even though injuries stunted his senior season.
The versatile performer took a few minutes to talk to NFL Mocks about the pre-draft process and reveals who he think will be the best pro among his teammates (not named Prince).
I first asked Paul what the pre-draft process had been like to this point:
NP: It’s really been a different experience. I don’t think I was really prepared for all of it. It has definitely been a real interesting process to go through.
The pre-draft process can be arduous, but what really matters is what you get done on the field. I asked Niles what he brings to an NFL team:
NP: I’m not your typical receiver. I bring a real physical game to the receiver position, and I catch the ball really well. I am bigger than other receivers, other than a couple of guys like Jon Baldwin and Julio Jones who also have good size, but I’m just different physically in that way.
Now that the Combine has passed, I talked to Niles about what NFL teams had talked to him, and if any stood out:
NP: No team really stands out right now because I talked to every NFL team at the combine and mostly every team’s receivers coach that I can think of.
Now that he’s about to realize his dream of playing professional football, I asked him what his defining moment was as a Husker:
NP: I think it was the bowl game in my junior year. I scored on one of the better corners in the draft that year, and it was a really long pass too. I flexed in the end zone, and I kind of felt then that I could play at the next level.
I also asked Niles who the best player he played against in college was:
NP: I would say Prince Amukamara. You know, he was my teammate, and he really challenged me every day.
So other than Amukamara, who does Niles think is going to be the best Husker at the NFL level from the class of 2011?
NP: I would have to say Roy Helu Jr. He is a monster, and he’s really not getting the credit he deserves. I think he will be great at the next level.
What does he see as being the toughest transition to the next level?
NP: Definitely the speed of the game. It’s the same for college coming out of high school. The speed definitely catches you off guard, and you can fall flat on your face.
Is there a player he’s looking forward to competing against in the NFL?
NP: No specific players really, in the NFL, everyone is good, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
What was his favorite game at Nebraska?
NP: I would say it would be this year after the Texas game. A lot of people said I didn’t have a great game, and a lot of people blamed us losing that game on me, questioning me, so I kind of went to practice that week with a different mentality. I came into the Oklahoma State game and had probably the best game of my career.
Paul certainly had a great game against the Cowboys, catching nine passes for 131 yards in a 51-41 shootout victory for the Huskers. He is currently rated as a pretty much consensus top 15 receiver, and could go as high as the third round in the up-coming NFL Draft. Niles Paul is certainly a name to watch.