KFFL.com draft analyst Cory J. Bonini recently conducted the following interview with Alabama defensive tackle and 2011 NFL Draft prospect Marcell Dareus.
1) Have you reached out to any NFL players about the draft process? If so, what advice were you given?
Most of the advice I was given was basically just "take it easy man," just, just try your best to take it all in, because it's going to go fast. I talked to Andre Smith, because we went to high school together, played college ball together, so he just told me to take it all in, do the best you can at the combine, stuff like that.
2) Do you plan to participate in every drill at the Scouting Combine?
3) Tell me about your decision to enter the draft as a junior: Was it an easy decision, and have you had any doubts that you made the right choice?
It was, but it wasn't. I kinda felt like I was ready to, uhm, go ... uhm, got coached by coach (Nick) Saban, so he got me real prepared to go. I was thinking about the pros and cons of it, and I thought it would be a good idea to go. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't hard.
4) You had quite the support system in high school and at Alabama. Talk about Lester Reasor's impact on your life: "Sarge" speaks highly of you and must be proud of your accomplishments.
Yeah, well, he's my godfather, so he's a great dude, man. Uhm, he has pushed me to be a better person, better athlete, all-around good person in the community and whatnot. He really tried his best with me. He really pushed me hard. He always gives me guidance and advice on all the decisions I make before I make 'em, so he's just a real good dude. He helped me and my family out, not just me, but my brothers, my sisters and my mother, too.
5) NFL teams will ask you about the incident that led to your two-game suspension to start the 2010 season. Between that and the unfortunate passing of your mother, what did you learn about yourself during the 2010 season?
Uhm, I have learned everything that seems easy, things that'll come to you easy, it's a lot better - it's not what you think it is. There's always something to it, you know, so I learned to read between the lines, be more disciplined and really focus in on what's more important at hand. Don't make no dumb decisions, really look through what's going on and, ah, make better decisions. Man, I really wasn't thinking, and I apologized to my team about it and moved on with it.
6) What aspect of your game do you feel like you need to improve the most?
I'd like to improve my hands ... I always work with my hands a lot. They're OK, but I want to work on them more.
7) Your style of play best fits that of a 4-3 defensive tackle. Do you think you could play defensive end or even nose tackle in a 3-4 at a high level, and do you have a preference of defensive alignment?
I really don't care what type of defensive scheme I'm in, 3-4, 4-3. Coach Saban ... he used to tell me, tell all of us, "You gotta be able to play both of them anyway." I'm well-prepared for both, most schemes. I really don't care ... I think I'll be a three-technique inside man.
8) Compare yourself to a past or current NFL player: Who would it be and why?
Warren Sapp. That was because I was little <inaudible> playing football. I didn't like it that much, but my dad, before he passed, my step-dad, before he passed, used to watch football. And then growing up, hearing about Warren Sapp, then I saw him play the first time, and learned about him at Miami, I just, uhm, watching him play and watching myself play, he just reminded me of myself. And, like, I just started to go with it, you know, I just feel myself playing like him. Nasty and disruptive.
9) Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the thought of being a top-10 pick in the NFL draft?
Not really. It is overwhelming, but I don't think about it that much.
10) How do you relieve stress and spend your free time?
I like to watch cartoons ... just watch cartoons and movies all day. I don't play the games no more, just watch cartoons.
What's your favorite cartoon?
All of 'em. I love all of them.
11) Do you play fantasy football?
No, sir ... not at all.
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.