INDIANAPOLIS - Boston College's Emmett Cleary was one of the first players to speak on Thursday and if his play is as effective as his answers were, he may be the next of a long line of former Eagles offensive linemen to make his mark in the NFL.
Cleary was articulate and eager to make an impression, expressing gratitude toward those in front of him in the pipeline of blockers coming out of BC. He said tackle Anthony Castonzo, the Colts first-round pick a year ago, was his roommate in the past and someone he's leaned on quite a bit.
"BC, they're concerned about you as more than just a football player, so as much as developing my body and my skills, they help to develop you as a man, as an intellectual, as a person," he said. "I hope that shines through in this process."
Cleary also spoke in glowing terms about the Patriots, a team he's had the opportunity to watch up close and personal while playing in Boston. During the lockout in 2011, the Patriots conducted some workouts at BC and Cleary was impressed with one player in particular.
"[Vince] Wilfork is the biggest human being I've ever seen in the flesh," he said with eyes wide. "I couldn't believe it."
Cleary, who is projected to go in the later rounds, said he had not yet met with the Patriots but it well aware of their impact around the league.
"It's a great franchise," Cleary said. "It's a case study in the NFL on how to run an organization. It's been cool seeing that up close. They're on TV all the time. I wouldn't say I'm a fan, but I've been following them my whole career."