DiLauro: 'I don't look at any of the mock drafts'

DiLauro: 'I don't look at any of the mock drafts'

Christian DiLauro is trying to reach the NFL. And the 23-year-old former Illinois offensive lineman is giving The News-Gazette a weekly look into his journey. Here’s his sixth entry (catch the whole series here):

The process of actually realizing that I could potentially play in the NFL didn't happen until after I arrived at Illinois.I went up against a lot of good players throughout my five years at Illinois. With that, I was able to see a good amount of those guys get drafted or even just sign as a free agent.

Being able to compete with those guys at such a high level in the Big Ten was an eye-opener for me that the NFL could be a possibility when my career ended at Illinois.

The hardest defensive linemen I blocked against during my time at Illinois is a toss-up between my former teammate, Dawuane Smoot, and former Ohio State lineman Joey Bosa, who are both in the NFL now.

I had a lot of matchups against Smoot in practices over the course of our time together at Illinois, and we were always a pretty even matchup. Bosa, on the other hand, I didn't have as many reps against, but I did play in two games against him. He was always a good battle on every snap.

Both Bosa and Smoot had a good first step coming off the ball, but what separated them from everyone else was their use of their hands and the ability to fight for inside hand position. That's what made it tricky at times, but also a good battle.

I definitely talked about the NFL with my family when I was at Illinois, but nothing too in-depth. A lot of it had to do with my family joking around and telling me I had to go specific teams that had a dome or just somewhere warm.

I don't look at any of the mock drafts or things like that.

I know that I may have my doubters out there, but at the same time, I know that I have so many people in my corner that believe in me.

Right now is kind of a dead period in terms of hearing from teams, but I have had plenty of conversations about when things start to pick up, they will be in contact with me to let me know who is interested.