After battling an onslaught of injuries, Shayne Skov tumbled all the way out of the NFL draft.
Now, the former Stanford standout has signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent, guaranteed just $10,000. It will be no easy task for the linebacker to land a spot on the 49ers talented roster, but the cerebral Skov is ready for the challenge.
Here are some highlights from his recent conversation with reporters at Levi’s Stadium.
Note: Questions paraphrased but Skov’s answers are directly transcribed.
You were widely predicted to go between the second and fifth rounds. Were you surprised to go undrafted?
Oh yea, totally. But it is what it is at this point. There’s no point looking back, I’m ready to move forward.
As soon as the draft was over did you know where you were going?
It’s a tough decision because you’ve got a lot of teams calling you. So, it’s a real quick and rapid period but I just found this was the best situation and scenario for me.
There was a report that you had signed with the Oakland Raiders. Were they ever among the top contenders?
We had conversations, but it ended there. I certainly didn’t sign with them.
You have some experience with Jim Harbaugh. How is it different here as opposed to back at Stanford?
I guess the environment of the pro system is a little bit different than the college system. But his enthusiasm and his passion remain a constant. He’s the same guy I knew in college basically.
Last year during the college season did you follow fellow linebacker Chris Borland (the team’s third-round pick)?
You’re watching kind of like the guys you view as your competition and also just guys that are good linebackers. It’s funny that everyone was always trying to knock Chris’ height and stuff, but if you look at him play he plays way bigger than any of his measurables. He’s a phenomenal player and I’ve always thought that. So, I would always love watching him play because he’s an impact player.
Do you think having practiced against the pro-style offense at Stanford will help you transition to the NFL?
I mean, Coach [Greg] Roman was our offensive coordinator not long ago. So I think that I’m well-versed and ready to adjust and adapt to the pro game.
How do you prepare yourself knowing that you are a free agent and there are all these draft picks ahead of you?
Because I love football…It’s a decision to pursue my dreams and play this game, and so I’m not going to let it go.
There are a lot of offensive players from Stanford in the NFL but not as many defensive players. Do you think the pro guys kind of underrate that side of the ball?
I don’t know. I guess time will tell. I think there are plenty of guys now who are starting their first or second year in the league and making their mark…So, I think you start to see us kind of permeate and kind of fill our way through NFL rosters in the future.
Up next in the Q&A series will be linebacker Chris Borland.