INDIANAPOLIS – Terron Armstead thinks he has that “wow” factor and is anxious to prove it to NFL teams.
After impressing scouts at both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, the next step for Armstead is hopefully doing the same in front of NFL decision makers at the NFL Combine inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I just want to display my talents and abilities the best way I know how,” Armstead said Thursday afternoon. “I’m focused, ready and been training really well to look fluid and look smooth.”
The 6-foot-4, 306-pound offensive tackle has been training in Pensacola is projected as a third-round pick, but believes he can go higher.
“I think I’ll put up some numbers that will impress,” said Armstead, who said he expects to achieve a vertical leap of at least 35 inches and a 40-yard dash time in the 4.7-second range. “I’ll raise some eyebrows.”
It was a hectic two weeks at the end of January moving from one all-star game to another, but Armstead said he needed it to “knock off some rust” and get his feet under him. Armstead played most of the 2012 season with an AC sprain suffered in the season opener, but still helped lead the Golden Lions to a SWAC championship.
“It was tough to play with in those all-star games,” he said before adding that he’s not worried about the long-term effects of the injury and said it will heal on its own. “I had to get it taped up, but that’s what I had to do.”
The opportunity to compete against some of the nation’s best players showed Armstead belongs. The Cahokia, Ill., native thinks he’s not the only Golden Lions player who will wind up playing on Sundays and was shocked that teammate Brandon Thurmond did not receive an invite.
Thurmond was snubbed despite 16.5 sacks from his defensive end position. The UAPB Pro Day is March 4 and Armstead expects Thurmond to put on a show, along with linebacker Bill Ross, safety Jarvis Webb and running back Dennis Jenkins.
“We have some talent down in Pine Bluff,” Armstead said.
Despite getting passed over on scholarship offers from Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State, he ended up at Pine Bluff as a late qualifier.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Armstead said.
An accomplished shot putter for the Golden Lions, Armstead is now completely focused on football. Longtime NFL draft analyst Gil Brandt thinks Armstead may be the best small-school player in the 2013 draft class. And the feedback he’s been getting from NFL teams has been positive.
“They like my athleticism,” Armstead said. “They can tell I understand the game, my football IQ. I just want to keep working, keep working on my technique.”
Despite such praise, Armstead is not resting on his laurels, saying he still needs to improve every aspect of his game – in the classroom and on the field.
UAPB coach Monte Coleman spent 16 seasons with the Washington Redskins and Armstead said playing for Coleman has helped prepare him for the NFL.
“He knows what it takes to get to the NFL,” Armstead said. “He taught us a lot, not just about football, but about being a man in the community.”