BIG RAPIDS, Mich -- The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and Greenville High School and Ferris State alum Justin Zimmer has put in the work, now he is hoping to hear his name called.
Zimmer was a two-time all-american at Ferris State setting the single season school record for tackles for a loss and tying the school record for sacks all while making the transition from defensive end to defensive tackle.
“I know I’d had some pretty good seasons here but you still don’t really know how that relates to how interested they might be or might not be" Zimmer said. "I think in this last year or so I realized that it might be a very legit opportunity that I have.”
As good as he was on the field, Zimmer still had work to do so he went to a regional combine in Houston, Texas and also worked out at the University of Michigan's pro day.
“I was overall happy obviously there is always stuff that you think you can do better but overall I think I was very successful and very close to all my goals for the most part that I set at the very beginning of my training and I was just real close to all my numbers that I wanted to be at so I was happy.”
At 6'2" and 300 lbs., Zimmer ran a 4.85 40 yard dash at the regional combine and bench pressed 225 lbs. 47 times at Michigan's pro day, both would have been tops for defensive line prospects at the NFL combine. Those number are very improtant for a kid from a division two college.
“It’s kind of hard for them to judge some d2 film sometimes because we are not playing the high level of competition that some of the other guys play" Zimmer said. "My numbers are pretty important to me because it’s kind of like another box that I have to check that I’m athletic enough to play at the next level.”
It looks like Zimmer will be a third day pick (4th, 5th, 6th or 7th round) if he gets drafted at all.
“Obviously I want to be drafted that is the goal but you never know because teams are really good at playing poker they don’t want to show you how interested they are or anything like that because if you know that than you can use it to your advantage so they kind of try to keep you at bay in terms of how interested they really are so going into this I’m open minded hoping to get drafted.”
If he is not selected, he will almost assuredly get a shot as an undrafted free agent.