Ex-Rebel Staggs auditions for NFL


Knowing he wouldn't be foremost in the minds of NFL scouts, former UNLV safety Jay Staggs became his own public relations man.

He did everything he could think to do, from splicing together videotape to calling and e-mailing scouts.

"I'm on their butts every single day -- 'Did you get the film that I sent you?' " Staggs said. "I'm in here as many hours as all the coaches are.

"When I lay my head down at night, I've got to know that I've done everything possible in that probably 18 hours I was awake to make something happen that was positive for my career."

While the chances of him being drafted this weekend are iffy at best, Staggs said he was pleased to get enough attention to almost guarantee he will sign as a free agent if he gets passed over.

"The good thing is that some teams are showing a little bit of interest," Staggs said. "Really, all I'm looking for is an opportunity. To me, it's not about how you get in the door. It's a matter of getting in.

"If I was to go in the second round or if I was to go in the last 72 hours of free agency, it's not going to affect the way I approach camp or minicamp or rookie camp or any of that stuff."

Staggs (6 feet, 220 pounds) put together a solid offseason.

At UNLV's pro day March 7, he bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times. It is the best mark for any safety in the country at a pro day, according to nfldraftscout.com

Staggs also was clocked in the 40-yard dash between 4.47 and 4.52 seconds.

"I love him," Yahoo.com draft expert John Murphy said in an e-mail. "... Maybe late round to a team that sees his intangibles, versatility and high character ... but PFA (preferred free agent) if not."

Murphy helped Staggs land in the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game. Staggs was supposed to play in the Las Vegas All-American Classic, but the game was canceled.

He made the most of the opportunity in the El Paso game. Staggs recorded seven tackles, including a sack, forced and recovered a fumble and broke up a pass.

Now he waits to see if that performance and the work this offseason was enough. Staggs said the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles have shown the most interest.

Teams are considering him for outside linebacker as well as a safety, but special teams might be his best route to the NFL.

"Most teams carry two or three guys just to play on special teams," Staggs said. "Any way I can get in the door is the way I'll do it."

 

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