You'll obviously become a better player when you face off against an all-american in practice every day for half a decade.
Villanova's Brad Seaton is one the most intriguing NFL Draft prospects entering tonight's opening round. He's 6-foot-9, 329 pounds and has quick feet — everything an NFL coaching staff would salivate over when it comes to adding a young offensive tackle to the roster. During practice with the Wildcats, he routinely dealt with fellow NFL Draft possibility Tanoh Kpassagnon — the defensive lineman who is expected to be one of the first four FCS prospects taken this weekend, possibly as early as the second or third round on Friday night.
So Seaton had his hands full in college, literally. And he couldn't be more thankful to his teammate and buddy. It is a similar situation to Chattanooga D-end Keionta Davis and O-lineman Corey Levin, who both will be wearing NFL jerseys next month, too. They also matched up in practice early in their careers.
"Tanoh made games easier for me," Seaton told HERO Sports this week, in between calls from NFL teams. "It's awesome to go against a player of his caliber the past five years. To grow with someone like that is huge. I told the (Houston) Texans recently, if you can block a guy like that, who can't you block? He made me better."
Maybe that's why the aforementioned Texans — along with the Titans, Patriots, Bills, Eagles, Jets, Giants and Lions — have all asked for private workouts or pre-draft visits, eh? This activity has truly ramped up all spring long, as teams become more and more curious about the basketball-sized tackle who comes from what most people consider a basketball school — Villanova. Yet, the Wildcats may have two NFL Draft picks this weekend in Kpassagnon and Seaton, and linebacker Austin Calitro is also turning a lot of heads and will be in an NFL rookie mini-camp somewhere during May — that much is certain.
In two Mock Drafts (NFL.com and CBS), Seaton is projected as a 6th rounder, with NFLDraftScout.com, he's a 7th rounder. Some have him as a high priority free agent.
"It has been awesome," Seaton continued. "I definitely didn't have a lot of options coming out of high school, but it's a lot different now. Being around NFL coaches and scouts and being so close to the draft, with these men having conversations with you? It is similar to the recruiting process. They talk to you, and on your visits you look around to see where you want to be, whether it's a place you would like."
As it turns out, Seaton hasn't been disappointed during his travels around the country, checking out facilities, etc. He remarked about the top-notch training facilities, the fantastic meals that are prepared for the teams, the people he has met. Though the NFL is obviously big business, he has also tried to soak up these moments — experiences only a finite group of people ever get to go through. So yeah, he's a player first … but there's still a bit of 'fan' in him, too.
Obviously, Seaton knows why the teams are buzzing around him like honey bees around a field of flowers. Though he obviously has played some basketball in his day, football has always been his focus — but somehow he has always had 'basketball feet'. It's something coaches talk about when describing the guys who man the lines, the ones who can scoot well for big men. These are the skills that help a big tackle pick up a quick defensive end, or maybe a linebacker coming in for the kill. It is essential to have those kind of feet, and Seaton does. He was 6-foot-3 as an eighth grader, he told HERO Sports … he's used to all this.
"They love my size first of all, and the athleticism that comes with it," Seaton said. "They've said they feel there is a lot to work with, and that I can help out their organization a lot. The funny thing is, I haven't really grown in college. I was always this big. I was blessed, because I never really remember going through an awkward stage growing up."