KFFL.com recently had the opportunity to interview University of Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem. Rated the second-best receiver by KFFL Staff, Meachem will almost certainly be picked in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The junior had a great showing at the NFL Combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds.
Meachem was a two-sport athlete in high school, playing both football and basketball. A Parade and SuperPrep All-America selection as a senior, SuperPrep rated him the second-best wide receiver prospect in the country.
Meachem played in 37 games with Tennessee, and he started 15 times. He became the sixth player in the school's history to gain more than 2,000 yards receiving. In his career, Meachem caught 125 passes for 2,140 yards with 17 touchdowns. He broke out in 2006, catching 71 passes for 1,298 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Michael Egnak: Where do you expect to go in this weekend's NFL Draft?
Robert Meachem: High.
ME: Do you have any idea of where you might go or which teams are looking for you?
RM: That I don't know. Everybody says they want you, but you don't know until they pick.
ME: What teams have you visited with before this weekend's draft?
RM: I visited with the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
ME: Have any of those teams shown more interest in you than others?
RM: In a way I guess, because I went to visit with them.
ME: Any specific team or region you would like to play for?
RM: Wherever the good Lord sends me to, that's who I'll play for.
ME: Do you think you improved your draft stock with your performances at the NFL Combine and your Pro Day?
RM: Yes. A lot of people thought I would run a 4.4 (40-yard dash), and I ran a 4.3. I showed good hands, showed I was coachable and that I was a humble guy.
ME: What skills do you have that separate you from other receivers in this year's draft?
RM: Yards after the catch. You ask a lot of the scouts, and they'll say yards after the catch set me apart.
ME: What areas do you feel you still need to improve at?
RM: Probably my route running and down-field blocking.
ME: For fans not familiar with you, what do you bring on and off the field that you would like them to know about you?
RM: I'm a humble guy, always work hard and do my best to not get his team in trouble by doing anything stupid.
ME: Do you feel with (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell trying to clean up the NFL that will benefit you more in this year's draft?
RM: That will help a lot of people out. What he's doing is trying to help the NFL get a better image.
ME: What influenced your decision to declare for the Draft after your junior year?
RM: I prayed about it, prayed about it, prayed about it and took a day of fasting and asked God to help me make the right decision. He told me I need a new challenge in life, so that new challenge is going to the NFL.
ME: You didn't feel you would benefit from another year at Tennessee?
RM: Maybe, maybe not. I don't know.
ME: With the team switching between Erik Ainge and Rick Clausen at quarterback from 2004-06, do you feel the lack of consistency kept your numbers lower early in your career with the school?
RM: The reason my numbers were low was the receivers kept rotating. We had great rhythm with the quarterbacks; it was just that we were rotating.