Rashaad Slowley will be sitting and waiting anxiously from Thursday to Saturday, as the National Football League holds its annual college draft at Radio City Music Hall.
The Stepinac graduate and current Southern Connecticut State senior running back has done everything he planned to put himself in position to be drafted. Slowley, who had a record-setting senior year for the Owls, is hoping to hear his name called in one of the seven rounds.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 212-pound Slowley, a Mount Vernon resident, carried 274 times for 1,584 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 233 yards and two scores. He was named the Northeast-10 Offensive Player of the Year and was one of nine finalists for the Harlon Hill Award, given annually to the top Division II football player.
Slowley has spoken with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers. He also had a workout for the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, and attended a rookie mini-camp in Florida with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
“I am projected to be a late-route pick/free-agent pickup,” Slowley said. “It is kind of stressful, training and working out for teams and not knowing how they feel about you compared to the other players.”
Following the fall semester, Slowley began preparing for the draft.
“I immediately started my combine training with Joe DeFrancesco, in New Jersey, with other NFL prospects projected as high as the second round,” Slowley said. “DeFrancesco is a very prestigious trainer who specializes in combine training, strength and speed. I focused on everything, mainly speed, 40 starts and techniques for all the drills. I ended up improving in everything.”
Slowley attended the Fordham and Yale Pro Days in March, and had good showings. When the Giants called him in for a workout, Slowley did not disappoint himself.
“I felt it was one of my best workouts all year,” Slowley said. “I was pleased with my route running and hands. We ran a lot of routes and I did not have a drop that day.”
Slowley knows what his strengths are and understands the question marks scouts have brought up. Slowley addressed these during his combine training.
“My strengths are I am a big running back, I run downhill and hard, I break tackles and I finish drives,” Slowley said. “Scouts may question my speed, lateral movement and hips, but I feel I have improved on them.”
Slowley is a fan and student of the game. He realizes that teams may be in need of running backs, starting with the defending Super Bowl champions.
“Hopefully they see me fitting their offense whether as a draft pick or free agent,” Slowley said. “I will be happy doing what I love if it’s with the Giants or not with the Giants.”