Tre McBride celebrates with well-wishers right after he talked to Titans execs and knew knew his dream to play in the NFL had come true. (Photo courtesy Doug McBride Jr.)
Second in a series
When I worked out privately for teams before the NFL Draft, they told me they had me going in the third or fourth round. So that’s what I thought too, as I watched the draft from Day 1 through Day 3 at home in Williamsburg,Va.,with family and friends.
It was torture, pretty much. I was pretty discouraged after the fourth round. After the fifth round passed, I thought, “OK, it’s not gonna go the way we thought.”
At a certain point, I stopped watching and just hung out with friends and waited for the phone call. In the seventh round, I received calls from 18 teams that told me I was their No. 1 priority free agent, so I was already in the mindset that I wasn’t gonna get drafted.
I was disappointed because I thought I was gonna be able to go a lot higher than I did, but eventually I was able to make peace with it.
I was outside my apartment when my phone rang with a Tennessee number. The first person I talked to from the Titans staff was their general manager, Ruston Webster. He said, “I know you’ve been waiting all day, but your wait is over.” Just like that, I was a Tennessee Titan. Seventh round draft pick, No. 245.
It was a surprise because I was already prepared to look at my priority free agent options. I was really shocked, but it was definitely the big highlight of the week because we’d waited so long for it to happen.
I have no clue why I slid that far, and I’m still struggling with it right now, trying to think of anything that could possibly have come up. The coaches I spoke to from teams that wanted me to be a priority free agent said they had no idea why I fell, and they didn’t expect me to fall out of the draft.
From conversations with those teams, it sounded like I was on their draft board as their third or fourth round guy, but they had to pass on me because of team needs. I just kept getting stuck in that predicament. The media speculates that my slide was due to an ankle issue. There’s no ankle issue. I had an ankle injury in August 2014, during our Virginia Tech game, but I didn’t miss any games, and I’ve been fine ever since.
If I had ankle issues I wouldn’t have been a combine top performer. Analysts just want to find something to talk about. As for the stuff out there about me being a diva, I don’t know where that came from. I had private workouts with teams and three official visits. No one questioned my character.
I feel like one of them would have brought it up if it was something they were worried about. No one did. It’s OK though. All I want is a chance to prove myself. I’m just glad the Titans took a chance on me.