Year after year, a cluster of prospects either dramatically boost or hamper their stock at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin is among the former.
Godwin, who declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season at Penn State, ran a 4.42 40-yard dash over the weekend in Indianapolis.
The performance put Godwin on the national radar, moving him up from a third-round projection to the first or second round by some experts. He shocked many — but did he surprise himself?
In a phone interview with The Centre Daily Times, Godwin — who won’t be running the 40-yard dash at March 16’s Penn State Pro Day — reflected on the NFL Combine and what it might mean for him moving forward.
CDT: You were one of the bigger stories from the NFL Combine as your 4.42 40-yard dash caught national attention. What was that entire experience like, and have you been able to reflect on it at all?
Godwin: It was unbelievable. It was something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a child. Every year, you’ll watch the Combine with hopes of being there one day. Just the fact that I was able to get the opportunity was awesome — but to perform the way I did, it was even better.
CDT: There’ve been draft experts saying you might be a first- or second-round pick now after the Combine. From your perspective, what’s been the reaction throughout the NFL community, and how do you kind of handle that?
Godwin: The reaction’s been mostly positive. I performed better than some people were expecting. At the same time, I knew that I put in some hard work, and I knew to expect a little bit more than what they were projecting for me. That’s neither here nor there. I don’t worry myself too much with all these mock drafts and projections. At the end of the day, all that really matters is what happens on the field. I try not to get too caught up in any of that stuff.
CDT: So were you expecting that performance?
Godwin: Yeah, I mean it’s all stuff that I’ve replicated throughout my training. At the end of the season, I knew that I was capable of running a 4.40 and jumping how I did. It was just a matter of putting in the work to make sure it happened. I don’t hold anything against anybody. I didn’t go in with a chip on my shoulder or anything. I just went in to do me, just like I normally do. I like to control the controllables throughout the whole process and especially at the Combine.
CDT: Outside of the 40-yard dash, what part of the Combine do you think made the biggest impression on scouts and coaches?
Godwin: Probably the interviews. I felt like I did pretty well in the interviews, and that’s really where teams get to evaluate you as more than a player, more as a person as far as my football IQ and my personality.
CDT: What teams did you meet with at the Combine, and have any new teams reached out or expressed interest since your Combine performance?
Godwin: I met with the majority of the teams in the league at one point or another, whether it was formal or informal, upwards around 20. There have been a couple teams that have contacted me post-Combine, and I’m expecting to hear from a couple more over the next couple weeks.
CDT: After that kind of showing in Indianapolis, what do you feel you still need to prove at Pro Day?
Godwin: I feel like, every day I go to work out, there’s always one small thing. I’m looking forward to showing my route-running ability, and that I’m explosive in and out of my breaks. I want to show the ability that teams are looking for as a route-runner in the league.