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Derrick Mason: What’s the Difference Between Grind of College and Pro Football

On Monday’s edition of Overtime, Derrick Mason joined Jeff Thurn. 

Mason played 15 seasons in the NFL for the Houston Texans, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans/Oilers. He caught 943 passes for 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns.

Sammy Watkins, Jr, ran 4.43 40-yard dash, and had a vertical jump of 34″ at the NFL Combine last weekend. Thurn asked Mason what is too high to take a talent like Watkins in May’s NFL Draft:

“I mean, when you are talking about a talent like that, I don’t think one pick is high enough. A guy like that, if he does that, you are talking about Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, guys like that who have made huge impact in the game at such an early age. So, taking a wide receiver

No. 1 , I think it would be a good pick. I don’t think it would be a bad thing. I think if you need one, and you know he could be a playmaker in this league for a very long time, especially the way the NFL is going with a pass-happy league, you need two things on offense, a playmaking wide receiver and franchise quarterback. If you have quarterback, and don’t have a wide receiver, and could take him No. 1, you wouldn’t go wrong because of what Calvin Johnson did, or Dez Bryant. Guys like that.”


Thurn and Mason discussed the top three quarterbacks in the Draft, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel. As Mason was talking about Manziel, Thurn asked the former NFL wide receiver about the physical grind between college and professional football:

 “It was much different, and I know the game has changed. Especially when you talk about two-a-days, but it felt the preseason game, and third or fifth game in the season technically, your college season is over with. But now you have an extra 12 or 13 games to play, and eventually it catches up with you if you don’t condition your body well enough. And even if you do that as a rookie player, you’re not used to that grind, getting up at six a.m., and being at field from seven to five in the evening. Usually those guys get up at about nine o’clock, have some to to meander and then they go to classes. In the NFL, it takes a toll on you. It truly not nine to five, it’s a 11 or 12 hour day. So, that tends to wear some guys out. These guys coming in, especially the quarterbacks, they are going to have to get used to it, and used to it very quickly.”

Catch Thurn on ESPN 99.1 from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

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