By Kyle Casey |
NFL Draft — 25 April 2012

With the NFL draft set to kick off tomorrow night, End Zone Report is presenting readers with its final pre-draft interview.

Today’s interview is with former Nevada wide receiver Rishard Matthews.

The 2011 All-WAC First Team selection led the Western Athletic Conference in catches and receiving yards in his senior season.

He is projected to be drafted in either the third or fourth round.

Here is the interview with Matthews:

1. What was the pre-draft process like for you?

“The pre-draft process was like watching a dream become reality. I think every athlete wants to play at the professional level, but it really starts to kick in when you’re training for the NFL combine. You realize how much harder the workouts are, and what it takes to perform and be successful at the next level. I’ve enjoyed this time and I believe that I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way. I have especially learned more about being a professional.”

2. Do you think leading the WAC in catches and receiving yards helped your draft stock?

“I’m thankful that I was able to achieve that accomplishment, but I feel like at this stage in your career the scouts and NFL teams are able to look at players and verify strengths. I feel like I have excellent balls skills and the ability to make plays after the catch. The game film is really an indicator.”

Matthews was a star at Nevada.

3. How do you think you stack up against the other wide receivers in the draft?

“There are a lot of good receivers coming out in the draft this year. As far as seeing how I stack up, I don’t really pay attention to that. I can only control what I can control. I just try to be a complete receiver. I’m a larger receiver that is not afraid to take a hit by going across the middle. This is a fun time for everyone though, and I wish everyone luck in the draft.” 

4. Are there any NFL wide receivers that you watch in order to learn from?

“Definitely, I’m the kind of guy that goes and watches a bunch of highlights from different receivers. If I had to make a choice, I would say Anquan Boldin. He’s a receiver of my build and a play maker. He is also a complete receiver.”

5. Your former teammate James Michael-Johnson is considered a talented prospect as well. How do you think he will fare in the NFL?

“James-Michael is an unbelievable athlete for his size. He was a captain during my two years at Nevada. He handles himself well on and off the field. His hard work ethic coupled with his long-term goals will help achieve anything that he sets out to do.”

6. What are your plans for draft day?

“On draft day I plan on being with my family and just enjoying myself. It’s going to be a stressful time. I’ve done everything that I can do and now I just have to sit back and hope for the best.”

7. What kind of player does an NFL team get when they draft Rishard Matthews?

“NFL teams will be getting a player that is ready to come in and contribute as much as possible. I just want to do anything that I can to be a team player and represent my organization in the best way that I can, on and off the field.” 

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Kyle Casey

Kyle is the Editor of End Zone Report. He is an avid football fan who has a dream of becoming a sports journalist one day. Follow him on twitter: @kylecasey094

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