The former Georgia quarterback has finished his NFL Draft preparation. His workouts and interviews are done. Now he’s biding his time at his College Park home waiting for Saturday, when the draft begins.
“My mom asked me if I was getting nervous because this is the dull week, but I’m really not a nervous one,” D.J. Shockley said. “I usually don’t get nervous until the day of. Right now, I’m still kind of cool, laid back.”
At this point, there’s no use wishing for a few tenths off his 40-yard dash time or another chance to showcase his arm. And there’s certainly no sense in thinking about the Big What If?
Shockley won an SEC title in his only year as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, but professional scouts still are troubled by the fact that he has only that one year of experience, according to Shockley and several draft analysts.
That doesn’t mean Shockley regrets his decision to wait three years behind David Greene rather than transfer early in his career, he said.
“I had a great time,” he said. “You can’t control anything about that now. You never know what could have happened if you did transfer. Maybe if you left, you’re not even in the position you’re in now.”
The position Shockley is in now is in some debate. He’s probably a second-day draft selection, meaning in the fourth round or later, and there is the possibility he won’t even be picked, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said.
“He’s one of those guys in the sixth or seventh round or maybe as an undrafted free agent you bring in and you see if he can develop,” Kiper said. “He’s got some things to work on before he’s ever even regarded as a backup in the NFL. He’s got some long-range potential.”
Scout Inc. analyst Todd McShay thinks a little more highly of Shockley, predicting he’ll go in the last half of the fifth round, with the 161st overall pick to the Denver Broncos. CBSSportsline.com analyst Russ Lande compared Shockley to Texas quarterback Vince Young, who is expected to be a top 10 overall selection.
“Overall, there are a lot of similar traits between he and Vince Young, but there aren't any real questions about Shockley's mentality,” Lande wrote for Sportsline. “Considering how well he played in his only season as a starting quarterback makes people believe that he is going to continue to improve and will eventually become a good starting quarterback in the NFL whose strength is his ability to make great deep throws, to convert in key situations, and to make big plays with his feet.”
Shockley held personal workouts for the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would love to play for the Falcons, he said, because they’re his hometown team and they have a mobile quarterback, Michael Vick, to tutor Shockley.
Draft analysts have speculated Shockley might have to change positions to make a career in professional football, but no pro teams have mentioned that to him, he said.
“I actually brought it up to a few teams, and they said I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Shockley said. “It’s not the people who have to make the decisions (saying he’ll switch).”
Despite the workouts with the Falcons and Buccaneers, Shockley doesn’t have a good idea what teams are really interested in him, he said.
“I was talking to (former Bulldog safety) Thomas Davis last year, and he said all the teams that he talked to weren’t the teams that liked him,” Shockley said. “He said Carolina never called him or even talked to him.”
The Panthers drafted Davis with the 14th overall pick last year.
“I’m just waiting until I get that phone call,” Shockley said. “I’m trying not to look into what somebody is saying because it’s nothing matters until that coach calls you.”