Cooper Kupp played wide receiver at Eastern Washington, where he set 15 FCS, 11 Big Sky and 26 school records during his career. The FCS' all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions, touchdown catches and yards per game, Kupp was a consensus All-American in each of his four seasons and is projected to be an early-round pick in April's draft. This is the third draft diary entry for Kupp, who is documenting his NFL draft experience at FOXSports.com.
After more than two months of preparation for the Combine, it's finally time to head to Indianapolis, and I'm really excited to show the NFL who I am as a person and the type of player I can be.
It'll also be a unique opportunity to see how I measure up and how much I've improved when it comes to some of the drills I've been focusing on with the Combine specifically in mind.
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Most mornings I'm on the practice field by 8:30, and we usually start each day with an hour to an hour-and-a-half of speed work. Every day is different in terms of whether it's a 40-yard dash day, a 5-10-5 day or an L-drill day, and throughout each week we make sure to hit all those drills because they're all important.
As you might expect, these drills are a little different from what I'm used to, because they're not exactly football-oriented, and if anything, it's kind of like running track, or completing a difficult obstacle course. But ultimately my primary focus is getting my steps down and my technique perfect, because eliminating even one step in a rep can cut a tenth-of-a-second off your time.
After speed work, we typically shift to position work, perfecting the routes I'll be running at the Combine, and then we move on to lifting. In the weight room, it's a balance between pushing myself as hard as I can and making sure I'm able to build my body back up for the next day, but at the end of the day I love the grind, and I think my training has been going well.
That being said, I do believe the Combine is about more than just hitting specific times and measurements.
Certainly, I understand why the Combine is in place. It's a privilege to be invited, and my goal is to excel in everything I do. But I also know the numbers won't define me as a player. Instead, my approach, as a competitor, is that I'm doing this for myself. I'm going out there and saying, "You've put in this work, so now go out there and let's see the results."
So while it's important that I have a good showing, I won't get caught up in what my metrics mean to other teams. Because, when it's all said and done, football is not a straight-line sport. When you step on to the field you've got to be a football player. You've got to understand the game, and I believe my film and the impression I make when I meet with teams will speak for themselves.
That's not to say I don't have specific goals, of course. It would be huge to break into the 4.4s in the 40, and in the 5-10-5, I'm looking to beat records, trying to be low 3.9s. Same goes for the L-drill, where I hope to be mid- to low-6.5s, and in the broad jump, where I hope to get as close to 10 feet as I can. But those figures won't determine whether my Combine was a success or not.
For a lot of people, there's no middle ground, and the perception is that you've failed if you don't hit your marks. But as long as I know that I've given everything I have to this -- that I've put everything I know I could have into being the best at the game God created me to play -- then I'm going to leave Indy feeling good about myself.