Former Rutgers defensive tackle Scott Vallone made one more pitch to NFL scouts last week at the 2103 Rutgers pro day. Vallone went out and enjoyed a solid all-around performance in the various combine events.
"I think I did well, showed some explosiveness, showed some quickness," Vallone said. "They got me 4.4 in the shuttle, 9-foot-5 in the broad [jump], good things. I'm just trying to affirm what's on the film and get an opportunity."
Vallone also checked in at a solid 281 pounds.
"I wish not so much stock was put into it," Vallone said of his weight. "There's times where my size was to my advantage and disadvantage."
In the bench press portion of the day, Vallone repped 225 pounds 22 times.
"Coming off that shoulder surgery, I think I really got the opportunity to get that shoulder stronger," he said. "I was pretty happy with that. I think the average is like 28 at the combine so obviously you'd like to get that number. But I'm happy with what I had, especially being an undersized guy."
Vallone also heard good things from the large contingent of NFL scouts.
"The first thing they say about me is high motor, plays with good technique, quick I would think. But it sticks out on film playing with that motor and playing hard," Vallone said. "I wish I got a little more credit for the skill and craftiness and speed and strength that I have. But that's okay, motor sticks in the NFL."
Vallone could possibly find himself fighting for a job at defensive end this summer in an NFL training camp.
However, if a team brings him in as a defensive tackle, he has the advantage of playing both the nose guard and 3-technique positions.
"If it was at any other school it probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal," Vallone said. "But at Rutgers it's a little different, knowing the terminology, the tilt stance playing nose guard here at Rutgers because that's part of the defense. I think I got a little credit for that, playing multiple positions."
Now that pro day is a thing of the past, Vallone can once again hang his hat on what enabled him to start 51 straight games at Rutgers.
"My strong point isn't going to be my forty or my bench. It's going to be the film," he said.
There have been a handful of former RU defensive linemen who have walked down a similar road in the past. Eric Foster, Jamaal Westerman and Justin Francis were all underrated going into their respective NFL Drafts. All three were passed over through seven rounds, yet all three were able to make teams via free agency and carve out a place for themselves in the NFL.
"Those are guys you can kind of lean on like that who kind of tell you it's not an easy road," Vallone said. "You're back's up against the wall but it's definitely doable. And coming from this program, it definitely helps you out a lot."