Matt Daniels caught up with former Illini and current Texans lineman Graham Pocic
What was last weekend like watching the NFL draft?
It was kind of nerve-wracking watching the draft, to be honest. I got injured during the season and played with it throughout the year, so I wasn’t expecting to go as high as I had probably expected to before the season. I started getting calls around the sixth round from different offensive line coaches, and they were telling me how they wanted me and how much they were fighting to draft me. Knowing that you’re a better player than some of the players who did get drafted, that’s frustrating.
Once it turned out I wasn’t going to get drafted, my agent, Vance Malinovic of LMM Sports Management, ended up doing a great job charting who drafted what and at what positions. Houston turned out to be the best opportunity. I signed literally five minutes after the draft ended. I talked to (former Illinois defensive end) Whitney Mercilus right after it happened. He texted me and congratulated me. We’ve been talking ever since the past couple days. It was pretty funny because all my family and friends were pretty upset about me not getting drafted, but right after the draft we got the deal done. Everyone went from real upset to happy and excited about it.
What’s the next step?
I’m flying down there May 9 for rookie minicamp. That’s about all I know at this point. Getting passed up by every team multiple times leaves a big chip on your shoulder, but the Texans only have one center. I’m going in as the backup. It was probably the biggest reason I signed with them. It’s a great situation, and one of the best things about going as a free agent is you get to pick and choose the place you can go play. They’re such a great team, so it would be awesome to make the team.