Chat with Ben Patrick
Patrick originally attended Duke in 2002, did not see action, and was redshirted. In 2003, he appeared in 10 games for the Blue Devils with one start. Patrick played in all 11 games receiving six starts in 2004. He played in 10 of 11 games in 2005 at halfback registering 30 catches for 252 yards (8.4 average). Patrick transferred to Delaware in February of 2006 because he was displeased with the direction that Duke's football program was headed. He immediately emerged as a dominant player at the small-school level.
ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. has evaluated every player in the draft and this is what they say about Patrick: ''Patrick's lack of explosiveness -- both as a receiver and blocker -- will likely prevent him from ever becoming a fulltime starter in the NFL. However, he is worth a second-day pick because of his combination of size, athleticism and ball skills. Patrick could develop into a versatile backup that can contribute as a traditional tight end, halfback and fullback on offense, while also providing worth on special teams.''
Send in your questions now, then join Patrick on Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:57 PM)
Ben will be here at the top of the hour. Send in your questions NOW!
Ben Patrick (2:00 PM)
It's a tremendous honor to be here, and I'm glad I have the opportunity to talk to you guys.
Sophia, New York New York
You've been busy these past few weeks, how are are you feeling and what are you doing to help keep you focused?
Ben Patrick (2:00 PM)
Well, I just started training at the University of Delaware. I try to keep my eyes on the big picture to keep focused. The combine's over now, so the next big step is Pro Day on the 22nd.
Matt (Gibsonville, NC)
What influenced your decision to transfer from Duke before the start of your senior year?
Ben Patrick (2:02 PM)
A lot of different reasons. At the time I was thinking of making my decision, four coaches had left and seven players weren't returning or had transferred. I wasn't sure where the program was going, and I still wanted to accomplish things as a student-athlete. I wanted to be in a situation where the student body embraced football.
Mitch (Morrisville, NC)
Hey Ben, good luck in the NFL. Do you model your game around any past great TE's, maybe Ben "Techni-color dream" Coates?
Ben Patrick (2:03 PM)
That's a tough one, to even be considred with Coates. I'd try to be somewhere between an Alge Crumpler and Antoinio Gates. They're legends already, but I'd want to try to pattern my game after them.
jason phila pa
how did you choose your agent? how recruited were you by top agents?
Ben Patrick (2:04 PM)
It started basically with phone calls from agents talking about their interest. My brother and uncle did a lot of research on agents, dealing with their reputation. For me, it was who I was comfortable with. It took about eight months to narrow it down to three guys, and I finally went with the one that best suited me.
Rob (Seaford, DE)
What was the difference in talent from the ACC to Delaware football?
Ben Patrick (2:06 PM)
For the most part, what surprised me was that it wasn't as dramatic a dropoff as everyone thinks. Player-for-player, the D-linemen and O-linemen were bigger, but the talent dropoff wasn't what I anticipated.
Whats this about you being a halfback also? Could you get that 1 yard everytime, no question? Where would you play if you could pick? TE?
Ben Patrick (2:07 PM)
Well, the H-back is a combination of a tight end and a fullback, so if that's my job, I can give you at least a yard. I've played both, I'm comfortable with both, and I'm ok with whichever.
Chris, Mandeville, LA
What are you going to work on when your pro day comes. Where do you feel you lack at, and excell at.
Ben Patrick (2:08 PM)
As far as Pro Day, we haven't decided entirely on which drills I'll participate in. As far as getting better, I'd like to work on every facet of my game, to become a better all-around athlete.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
Where will you be watching the draft?
Ben Patrick (2:08 PM)
We're planning on gathering either in Atlanta or Tallahassee, FL. I'd also like to do something on campus at Delaware, with the student body, when the time comes.
How have you been preparing for the larger, faster, more skilled players that are in the league now?
Ben Patrick (2:10 PM)
As they get faster and bigger, I have to do the same thing. For the most part, to get into that level, you have to be good, big, and fast, so preparation will be the key to success. At the NFL level, it's tough to simply overpower anyone, so pregame prep will help give me an edge.
Ben as a fellon Blue Hen I really hope for the best with you (and to be drafted by the Jets). Anyway what do you think is going to be the toughest aspect once you get to show up at a teams camp?
Ben Patrick (2:11 PM)
Probably getting acclimated to the change of speed in the game. It's like the transition from high school to college--everyone is a step or two faster. Also, getting acclimated to the NFL playbooks, which I got a chance to peek at.
Jason (Amherst, MA)
What I-AA (particularly Atlantic 10 players) can you see making an impact in the NFL? Do you feel as though scouts view you differently because you went to a I-AA school?
Ben Patrick (2:12 PM)
I don't think they have, because some of the greatest players every to play football have come from D-1AA schools. It's tough to single guys in the A-10 out. Mainly the guys who were invited to the combine will have an impact.
Rob (Seaford, DE)
If you had it to do over again, would you have went to one of the SEC schools that offered you a scholarship out of high school?
Ben Patrick (2:13 PM)
I'll have to say no. All the experiences I've had the last 5 years have been unique and amazing. They've made me the person I am so far. Everyone said, woulda, coulda, shoulda, but I wouldn't change anything.
Jamal/ Atlanta, GA
Ben tell me what do you feel you did your very best at during your time at the combine? What do you know you can do better than you did at the combine?
Ben Patrick (2:14 PM)
I would say I did my route running pretty well. My short shuttle was a pretty good time, though not my personal best. I think I'm better in my long shuttle and three-cone drills.
Tommy (Raceland, LA)
What team has shown the most interest in you?
Ben Patrick (2:15 PM)
It's hard to say who's shown the most, just because I've met with so many teams at the combine. As pro day approaches, I'll probably have a better idea which teams are interested more than others.
Mark H. (Bowling Green, OH)
Which TEs do you most like to watch in the NFL?
Ben Patrick (2:16 PM)
Antonio Gates, of course Alge Crumpler, Tony Gonzalez, Shockey is always a pleasure to watch, and Kellen Winslow.
Jamal (Atlanta, GA)
Ben while you were preparing for the combine what type of dieting, training, postworks, were you involved in?
Ben Patrick (2:17 PM)
I worked out of ATI in Carson, CA. My eating regiment was prepared for me every morning--six meals a day with specific times to each. ATI provided us with shakes and meals after our workouts.
How intense was coach KC Keeler and the rest of the Delaware staff on the players? Are you ready for the stress of the NFL?
Ben Patrick (2:18 PM)
Coach Keeler and his staff did a tremendous job with us from a motivational and teaching standpoint. I'm sad that I don't have another year to play there. As far as the transition to the NFL, I think I am ready. Whatever the NFL may throw at me, I'm ready for.
Rob (Seaford, DE)
Hi Ben- Delaware alumnus here, we couldn't be more proud of you. What have you been doing to seperate yourself from the other tight ends in the draft?
Ben Patrick (2:19 PM)
That's tough, to try to seperate myself from so many talented guys. I'm trying to become a complete tight end, someone who is going to become a leader on and off the field. I can only show what I can offer.
Ben Patrick (2:20 PM)
I appreciate everyone having me on, as well as the questions and support. I'm glad I was a part of the University of Delaware.