Nate Gerry is surrounded by NFL personnel this week in Mobile, Alabama. Time to impress beyond what he's already put on tape.
You can see what he does on the field this afternoon when he participates in the Senior Bowl, kicking off at 1:30 p.m. on the NFL Network.
But it's the stuff behind the curtain that is just as important for Gerry this week.
The former Husker safety was, by all accounts, prepared also for the questions about his two suspensions at NU, including missing his final game due to academics.
“I was disappointed in myself,” Gerry told Yahoo! Sports. “ … I missed a chunk of my group project and I came up three credits short from an online class.”
Gerry also explained that he understood the frustration from some in the fan base when his suspension from the Music City Bowl was announced.
“You just have to swallow the bullet sometimes,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think a lot of them appreciated the work that I put in over my four years.”
It certainly was a strong four years on the field. Gerry earned all-conference honors the past three years. And the 6-foot-2, 214-pound has drawn his share of notice this week.
Like this one from Pro Football Focus:
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Or this one from a Bleacher Report columnist:
Nate Gerry is harder to pin down stock wise, but superb coverage safety with great size (6017, 214). #Bears— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) January 25, 2017
Pro Football Focus put Gerry No. 9 on its list of 10 players to watch at this year's Senior Bowl.
He’s picked off 13 passes and gotten his hands on 11 more over the last three years, showing his playmaking skills on the back end. Gerry cut down on his missed tackles in 2016, finishing with seven after combining to miss 25 over 2014 and 2015, and that improvement was important in his development as an all-around player. The safety class appears to be deep, and Gerry looked like a viable option for teams playing more two-high safety looks.
How many Nebraska players will be drafted is a tough guess, but Gerry will be one of them. Now it's about making that stock rise. A big part of that, one as important as all the on-field tests, will be face-to-face interviews.
The bowl game suspension is hardly the kind of think that collapses a guy's draft status. But it will be part of the conversation, and a question he's ready for with good answers.