Highlight of the Combine for Notre Dame linebacker Darius Fleming? Getting a twice-over from the New England Patriots.
"It was a very cool experience," Fleming said in the Chicago Sun-Times. "Bill Belichick is a great guy. I really look up to him. I appreciate his coaching style. Thats somebody who I would love to play for."
To be expected. But the question is to New England's evaluation. Players meet informally with all teams upon arrival to Indianapolis' scouting event; secondary interviews must be requested. It's during this longer look when Fleming would have met Belichick and positional coaches.
Keep in mind, the Patriots don't always host every single guy they draft (Ex: Richard Seymour, Nate Solder). Sometimes the visit is simply to clarify questions or concerns regarding health or aptitude.
"It was pretty much the same stuff a lot of background questions," the 6-2, 245-pound Fleming said. "There were a couple of football questions at the end of his interview with the Patriots. But the biggest thing was character."
There, his record is impressive. Fleming promised he's "never had any big problems" on the personal and academic fronts. As for football, he ran a 4.77 in the Combine's 40 -- a drop from his target time, he said, due to calf cramping. Fleming did post top 10 linebacker numbers in the bench press (27 reps), three-cone drill (7.03 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.28 seconds).
NFL Draft Scout has him as a seventh round pick.