Drew, Mitchell ready for shots at NFL

Published 4:44 am Thursday, February 19, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
Former East Carolina stars Davon Drew and Khalif Mitchell have the job interview of a lifetime scheduled for this weekend.
On Friday, the Pirates’ duo will travel to Indianapolis for the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, where they’ll get the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams and will get the chance to interview with the league’s 32 head coaches and general managers.
The two Pirates, who helped ECU capture its first conference championship in 32 years, have already had the chance to impress several NFL scouts at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game late last month.
Both think they helped their draft stock at the college showcase.
Drew, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end, hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass during the all-star contest, while Mitchell, a 6-foot-6, 306-pound defensive tackle, had a sack.
While Drew enjoyed the Texas vs. The Nation game, he believes this weekend is even more important to his future.
Last year, former East Carolina running back Chris Johnson made headlines by running the 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds at the NFL Combine. It was the fastest time ever run at the combine, and it helped Johnson get selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans.
Mitchell believes that Johnson may have opened the doors for guys like him and Drew with his stellar combine workout.
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz believes his former players will do well this weekend.
Mitchell, who missed the Pirates’ final seven games after fracturing a vertebrae in his back against Virginia, is hoping to prove to scouts that he’s healthy. Mitchell had 16 tackles, three tackles-for-a-loss, and a sack in 2008.
Drew, who caught 43 passes for 695 yards with three touchdowns for the Pirates last fall, also says he’s ready to go.
The NFL combine begins today and runs through February 24.
Note: For seniors such as Pierre Bell, Zach Slate, Marcus Hands and Brandon Simmons who didn’t get an invite to the combine, they’ll get a chance to perform in front of NFL Scouts at East Carolina’s Pro Day on March 26.