Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo will hear his name called in the first round of this month’s NFL draft. Throughout the week, he’ll share his insight with NESN.com about the pre-draft process, from hiring an agent to the work he’s done behind the scenes to prepare himself for life in the NFL. The idea is to give the readers an inside look at a player’s life in the months before the draft.
With the grueling part of the pre-draft process in his rearview, Anthony Castonzo could settle down a little more while preparing for his pro day at Boston College.
After the combine, Castonzo returned to the training facility at IMG Academy for the third time since his collegiate career came to a conclusion, and he spent three weeks focusing on football-specific activities. Because he was done with the 40-yard dash and drills of the like, Castonzo joked during his pro day that he was “no longer a track athlete.”
During Castonzo’s last three weeks at IMG, he transitioned to conditioning drills that — to his delight — had nothing to do with 40-times. He continued to concentrate on his explosion, and he did a lot of one-on-one work with Boston College teammate Mark Herzlich, a linebacker who will be taken in one of the middle rounds.
“We got to watch film of that [one-on-one work],” Castonzo said. “It was basically like regular football, and it was fun.”
BC held its pro day on March 23 at Alumni Stadium in front of at least 20 NFL scouts and coaches, and the Patriots had four members in attendance, including offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, two scouts and Bill Belichick‘s right-hand man.
Castonzo was a spectator for the early portion of the workouts, while the rest of the prospects ran through their combine drills. He spent most of his time on the opposite side of the field, stretching, listening to music and staying out of the way.
Eventually, he was the center of attention when Scarnecchia gathered the half dozen offensive linemen. The long-time coach gave a lengthy speech — a mix of instruction and motivation — before running through 20-30 minutes of drills. Scarnecchia tested their flexibility and agility before pairing them up with another player, and Castonzo drew BC interior lineman Thomas Claiborne.
They worked on exploding out of their stance to maintain a block and push the acting defensive lineman backward, and they also went through a drill that tested their balance and recovery.
Castonzo appeared to perform well as the entire pro day came to a halt to focus on the offensive linemen. After the conclusion of his pro day, he returned home to the Chicago area.
“[The pro day] was way more relaxed from the combine because, to tell you the truth, I was actually sitting around for like three hours before we actually did our drills,” Castonzo said. “The on-field drills were great. Coach Scarnecchia was basically coaching us as we went along. It wasn’t just, ‘All right, here’s the drill. Let’s see how you do it.’ It was like a practice scenario where he was actually coaching us as we went through. It was really good. I actually learned some stuff.”
Check back Friday for the last installment of this week’s series with Castonzo.
Monday: Castonzo took care of business early to give himself the opportunity to focus solely on football as a senior at BC.
Tuesday: Castonzo solidified himself as a first-round pick at the Senior Bowl. Afterward, his masseuse likened him to a car accident victim.
Wednesday: Castonzo enjoyed his time at the combine and got a kick out of one bizarre line of questioning.
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