Atonio Mafi NFL draft diary: UCLA professional day

As offensive lineman Atonio Mafi transitions from UCLA to the NFL, he’s sharing his journey with Times employees author Ben Bolch by a weekly diary main as much as the April 27 draft. This week, Mafi discusses the significance of a superb displaying at the Bruins’ professional day.

It was a bummer not getting invited to the NFL mix, however that’s OK.

I’m going to make UCLA’s professional day on Wednesday my very own mix. I really feel like I’m prepared to indicate the scouts what I can do.

Since the season led to late December, I’ve been coaching for this second. I spent just a few months in Florida earlier than just lately coming again to Westwood in preparation to show all of the methods I’ve improved.

I’ve gotten good suggestions alongside the way in which, incomes reward from coaches on the East-West Shrine Bowl and my mentor in Florida, former Cincinnati Bengals left sort out Willie Anderson. He instructed me to double down on what I’m assured in, being a run blocker — everybody’s going to count on that from me, so I’ve to verify I proceed to indicate that. We additionally did a whole lot of work on my move units and I’ve simply bought to have the ability to show that at professional day, present that I’ve gotten higher with move blocking and utilizing my fingers.

Atonio Mafi’s NFL draft diary

Chip Kelly has additionally given me an enormous confidence enhance. He instructed me to not fear about getting handed over for the mix and that I used to be nonetheless going to get drafted. Coach has a whole lot of expertise with sending gamers to the draft, so I’m certain he is aware of what he’s speaking about.

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I noticed one draft projection that had me going as excessive because the third spherical. That can be superior, however I do know that’s simply anyone’s guess and I have to show I’m value being picked that prime. I’ve simply bought to verify I keep humble and centered on the work that must be accomplished.

I’m actually trying ahead to seeing everyone ball out on Spaulding Field at professional day. It’s going to really feel like a reunion with so many people Bruins again collectively. The different guys who’re coming are Kazmeir Allen, Stephan Blaylock, Jake Bobo, Bo Calvert, Zach Charbonnet, Michael Ezeike, Jon Gaines II, Azizi Hearn, Jack Landherr IV, Raiqwon O’Neal, Mo Osling III, Shea Pitts, Jacob Sykes and Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

It was so cool seeing Dorian, Jon, Jake and Zach kill it on the mix and now we’re all going to do our greatest to impress alongside them. I’m going to do the place drills and the raise and perhaps even run the 40-yard sprint — my agent and I are nonetheless speaking about whether or not that’s a good suggestion, so it will likely be a game-time determination.

I’d really feel assured working it as a result of I’m in the most effective form of my soccer profession, all the way down to 333 kilos. My purpose within the raise is to bench press 225 kilos 25 occasions, which might be a stable quantity. In the place drills, I need to present my athleticism and lateral quickness along with the facility I’m recognized for.

I gained’t be missing motivation. I ought to have been in a position to present the scouts all this similar stuff on the mix.

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