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04-09-2010, 03:21 PM
Draft Day Memories: Ryan Mundy

Ryan Mundy, Sixth-Round Pick, 2008, Pittsburgh Steelers

Leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft, Steelers.com will be bringing you Draft Day Memories from some current and former players. In our latest installment, Ryan Mundy shares his story with Teresa Varley.

My expectations for the draft all goes back to my pro day down in West Virginia. I had an outstanding day, I tested well. A lot of scouts and coaches were there. It gave me a big boost. There to my surprise were Coach (Ray) Horton, the defensive backs coach, Coach (Mike) Tomlin and Kevin Colbert. I was shocked. Prior to that I never knew the Steelers had such a high interest in me. I already had a lot of motivation even without them there, but I wanted to do well on every test that was out there and leave it all out there. Any time you see guys like Coach Tomlin and Kevin Colbert and other head coaches and GMs out there, itís a little added pressure but a lot more motivation. It was definitely a motivating factor. Coach Tomlin always says of pressure you either feel it or you apply it. In that circumstance, on my pro day, I just wanted to show people what I had and force their hand, this is who I am, evaluate me as such. I just wanted to put myself in a position where I couldnít be ignored.

I just wanted to go out there and do my best. After that things took off for me and my agent said I would go in the mid to late rounds.

I made four visits before the draft. I went to Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston and Seattle. The Steelers visit was the least eventful. I came in the night before and stayed at a hotel. They brought me in the next morning. I went to the doctors for medical tests. I didnít meet with Coach Horton, just Coach Tomlin and Kevin Colbert and was out of here. I didnít get a tour of the facility like most guys. I assume itís because they thought I was familiar with the facility since I am from the area. It was kind of in and out. I didnít take that as they werenít interested in me. It was just because I was familiar with the area.

The visit I remember the most is when I went to Seattle, probably because it took me five hours to get there. It was a long flight. I had never been to that part of the country. It was beautiful. Everything was so green. It felt like a good area. They were building a new facility. It was interesting to go out there and see that part of the country.

On draft day I watched the first round to see who was going where. A guy I played with at Michigan, Jake Long, he was the number one overall pick and I wanted to watch that and support him. After that I would check up on it here and there. I canít remember exactly what I was doing the first day of the draft because I knew I wasnít going to get drafted that day. I would check on it and keep up. It wasnít until the next day when they started the later rounds that I really paid attention. I was in church and my phone started vibrating and I was like ďuh, oh, is this it.Ē That was around the fourth round and I was really excited because that was probably the highest I could have been taken. But it was just my agent calling to check in.

After a while, when I got back home from church, it was real nerve-racking. The fifth round was going on and people were just calling me. Not because they were interested in drafting me. Coaches were calling me. I got about half the league call my phone saying if things didnít work out, if I didnít get drafted, they would love to have me come in as a free agent. I was like, man, I am trying to get drafted. My phone was ringing for a while, about 15-16 teams calling to say they were interested in me if I didnít get drafted.

When I got drafted I was taking a nap. I had some family members over, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I went upstairs to lie down because I was stressed out, a little tired. My phone rang and it was a 412 area code. I picked it up and it was one of the scouts and they asked me if I was ready to become a Pittsburgh Steeler. I was like yeah, of course. Coach Tomlin jumped on the phone and congratulated me and said they were going to draft me. That was two picks before they were drafting. I was upstairs on the phone with Coach Tomlin and it came up on the screen and I heard a loud eruption downstairs and everybody shouting and screaming.

It was a moment of relief, but it was like everything is just getting started now. I have been playing football since 1992. I had some ups and downs and adversity throughout my career. Just to play that long, 16 years, to get to that point where you say I am where I want to be but I am just getting started. It was very exciting. I was looking forward to the opportunity. I was happy to be home playing in front of my friends and family.

It is the ultimate. I was going to be happy no matter where I landed in the NFL. But it does make it special to come back here and play in front of my family and friends. There is a down side too because if we arenít doing well I hear it from people. Itís been nothing but fun. People havenít been too bad with ticket requests yet.

After I got drafted I got about over 100 text messages in about 10 minutes. My phone was ringing off the hook. It was message after message of congratulations and everything like that. At the time I got a few texts from guys playing in the AFC North. I had some former teammates, playing for the Browns, Ravens, so they were like we will see you during the season. That was motivating. Everyone was supportive. It meant a lot to me.

It was a great feeling to be around my family and friends and them to know that I was coming home to play for the hometown team. I couldnít have asked for a better story to begin my NFL career.


04-09-2010, 03:41 PM
i believe a safety will be drafted this year and Ryan Mundy will be in a fight for a roster spot.