RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT)- This year’s NFL Draft will be unlike anyone we’ve seen before. No stage, no handshakes, no crowd- and all virtual. Highland Springs graduate and Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton will almost certainly be taken in the first round, and a handful of others are eager to get their NFL shots.
K'Von Wallace, also a product of Highland Springs, knows that his draft experience will be different than those who came before him, but that's not changing his approach.
"It doesn't matter what I have to do, I'm going to prepare," said Wallace. I'm going to do the best that I can to provide for my family and to put me and my family in the best position to be successful."
With no pro days or in-person workouts with teams, and with very few workout facilities open, preparation for this year's prospects has been a bit unconventional. Wallace and L-C Bird product Jalen Elliott are two local defensive backs hoping to hear their names called next week, and they've been pushing to stay in shape in any and all ways possible.
"Been able to get out to the fields, get on hills, get in certain weight rooms, and just been able to continue to work, continue to grind," Elliott said. "Kinda making a way out of no way."
"Running on the track at the parks, doing a little footwork in the yards, biking, anything that you can get to just stay fit," added Wallace.
Wallace played his college football at Clemson, Elliott at Notre Dame, so both are already role models in their respective communities. The local products realize that making it to the NFL would not just mean a lot for them, but for those who look up to them as well.
"It's all about giving the kids hope," said Wallace. "It's all about giving people who grew up in my area in poverty, low income areas hope, and I feel like me making it only brightens their future."
"Being a kid from Richmond, Virginia, there's not many opportunities like this one," Elliott noted. "I'm thankful to have this platform and be able to show the kids from around the area that, man, we can do it."
Both hope to be lucky enough to get that call next week, and know it will just be the next step towards their ultimate goals.
"I'm going to enjoy it with the family and then get right back to work," smiled Elliott. "That's what got me here. Through all my good moments, through all my bad moments, was work and perseverance through them."
"My little sister, who looks up to me as a hero, I know she'll be proud of me," Wallace said. "That's what it's all about. It's about making those around you happy and making those that supported you... make it worthwhile."
Mock drafts have Wallace going anywhere between the third and fifth rounds, with Elliott as a later round pick or an undrafted free agent.
Other area draft prospects include Hopewell’s Darrell Taylor (Hopewell) and Hermitage’s Rashad Robinson (James Madison), Virginia’s Eli Hanback (Patrick Henry).
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