Jeff Braun Confident, Working for NFL Future - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Jeff Braun Confident, Working for NFL Future


Dream chasers lined up last week at West Virginia's Caperton Indoor Facility for their chance to make an impression on National Football League scouts.

Jeff Braun was among them.

The 6-foot-5, 316-pound offensive lineman who was a jack-of-all-trades for WVU in his career ran through all of the tests in an effort to show the NFL exactly what type of player he could be at the next level, despite the fact that he is currently flying under many of the teams' radars.

He and fellow linemen Josh Jenkins and Joe Madsen worked out in a variety of drills together, showcasing their blocking ability and their footwork while trying to leave a lasting image or time or lift in the minds of the league decision makers who watched them.

"You really want to perform well here and for a guy like me, a pro day was my only opportunity," Braun said after his workout. "I didn't get a chance to go to the Combine, so you circled this date and you knew what it was about, so every day of training, you focused on this. This was my Combine, so to be able to come here and execute the way I did, I was quite happy."

Braun led all of the Mountaineers who worked out in the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 29 times, but he was more concerned leading up to the big day in proving his athleticism than his strength.

"The biggest knock on me was my athleticism and they didn't think I could move very well," he says. "I had to show them that and I think I did. I leaned up and I went out to prove that, look, I'm an athlete, too."

That athlete was clocked at a 5.26 seconds in the 40-yard dash, while running the three-cone drill in 7.75 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.75.

Those numbers don't typically tell the whole story of an offensive linemen, though. A position that requires such an understanding of the entire game and the ability to work as a unit with those on either side of you cannot be graded simply on what a player did in testing.

With that in mind, Braun believes he has the sort of experience that can help out a team as he played all but one position along the offensive line in his college career.

A year ago, his former teammate, Don Barclay, showed NFL scouts the same trait and it paid off with a camp invite from the Green Bay Packers and an eventual starting position by the season's end. Braun is hopeful he can find similar success with his own versatility.

"That's what I wanted to show and that's the biggest selling point I have," he says. "We created a highlight tape with my agent and we sent it out, it's broken down into all four positions that I've played and have game film on. That's what I tell scouts, I mean, look, I can play whatever you want me to play. It doesn't matter, it's not going to frazzle me to play that. That's why when we did o-line drills today, I made sure I got some snaps in, I put a right hand stance down, I put a left hand stance down to show my versatility with that."

It could very well pay off in teams' interest in him, but Braun knows that his own path to the NFL will not be as easy as some may desire. In talks with his agent, he has heard that he could be anywhere from a late round draft choice to an undrafted free agent, but regardless of when and where he lands, he knows that will just be the beginning of his journey.

"Really, you could be a third, fourth, fifth round draft pick and get cut in camp on how you perform," says Braun. "So all I want to do is get the opportunity to get to camp and once I get there, it's a different game."

But it's the game of football that Braun loves. His hope is to make an impression in the coming months and begin what can be a solid professional career before the small window of an average NFL football player closes for him. After that, he'd like to continue working with the sport as a coach or in some other capacity.

Until then, he stays positive and he remains confident in himself and his abilities in the pro game.
"This game's serious," Braun says. "You better show people that you believe in yourself and you have confidence in yourself to perform and I have that."

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