(Portions of this entry appeared in Monday’s daily rundown)
The selection of Ted Karras will go down as one of the more interesting selections during the 2016 Patriots draft, primarily because it’s always fun to have guys who are a little out there, bringing attitude and a bit of an edge with them.
It’s always nice to see a little intensity added to the locker room and Karras certainly brings that. The former standout from Illinois is known for his pregame rituals, where he pours water over his head and yells “like a Viking”, but the thing that was interesting listening to him during his press conference is the fact he’s a guy who has enjoyed what he’s been doing from a young age.
From the time he was young Karras has loved his position and worked hard to grow and bulk up in order to play it well. He spent his days drinking a gallon of milk each day heading into high school as he tried to add weight and put himself in position to continue the family tradition. Karras had seven family members play football in the Big Ten, with four more making it to the NFL. Karras’ achievement this weekend made him number five.
He loves football. He’s tough, and he loves being an offensive lineman. Those are exactly the traits you look for at that position, which should make him a fun guy to follow in the coming months.
“We’re a tough family. We’ve all played and everyone’s an interior lineman,” said Karras during his conference call. “That’s kind of been our MO throughout me growing up. I knew I was going to be a lineman early and they’ve been giving me tips throughout each stage of my career and I’ve been able to deliver so far.”
Playing up front doesn’t exactly get guys a lot of glory, but being a quarterback or a running back never entered Karras’ mind. That’s something you don’t expect to hear from a player, but from the time he started playing at eight years old in third grade, His mind was made up.
“Never. I never had the fantasy of being a quarterback,” said Karras when he was asked about it over the weekend. “I knew from an early age I was going to be a lineman. My first position was nose guard. My first [jersey] number was in the 60s, so it was pretty predetermined for me. I knew what my role was going to be on a football field.”
In a lot of ways he’s sort of reminiscent of former offensive lineman Logan Mankins, who brought a toughness and attitude that made him a great asset during his time in New England. Mankins was a first-round pick while Karras was obviously a late-round selection. The two are obviously very different players, but Karras seems to bring a similar drive.
“I felt I was a leader. I felt I brought a hard-nose attitude,” said Karras. “I worked every day, maybe not considered the most elite athlete but I got the job done and excelled at the job. I not only got the job done but did the job well. That’s kind of how I’ve always been.”
So what he says he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in hard work and determination. You’ve got to love having a player like that on this football team, and hopefully he’ll be as good or even better than Mankins. In a league where guys who work hard often outlast those who don’t, that should give Karras an opportunity to be successful at the next level.
Posted Under: Patriots 2016 NFL Draft
Tags: 2016 Patriots Draft Ted Karras