For five years, Columbia has been Lucas Vincent’s home, but the stark reality that that won’t be the case much longer is beginning to hit the former Missouri defensive tackle.
“I’m really excited,” said Vincent, a possible late-round pick in this weekend’s NFL Draft. “It’s kind of scary. I’m moving out of my house and starting to pack up everything. I’ll leave a couple days after the draft. I’ve had a really great run here in Columbia, but I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.”
Vincent, an Olathe North graduate, played in each of the Tigers’ 53 games during the last four seasons, including 15 starts. He capped his MU career with a breakout senior season, recording 43 tackles with eight for a loss and 3 1/2 tackles for a loss.
Vincent wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, but he was a star at the NFL regional combine a few weeks later in Chicago, put together a solid workout at MU’s Pro Day in mid-March and again during the Chiefs’ Pro Day in mid-April.
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“Everything’s gone kind of how I saw it going,” Vincent said. “I’m getting interest from teams. I saw a mock draft that had me going 250-something to the Patriots. That’s about where I see myself.”
The Chiefs are the only team Vincent worked out for, but he said he’s talked to team representatives from Indianapolis, Cleveland, San Diego, Atlanta and Carolina in recent days.
The Browns and Chiefs also talked to him at the regional combine along with Tennessee, Green Bay and St. Louis.
“I’d really like to play for Kansas City, obviously,” Vincent said. “That’s my hometown team, but honestly I’d love to play anywhere.”
Vincent said he’s noticed an uptick in anxiety since Monday.
“This week has started to go really slow,” he said. “It’s getting close and it’s starting to slow down.”
He’s trying to keep his emotions in check.
Vincent spent a month training at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami, where a kidney stone caused him to lose nearly 30 pounds, but he’s fully recovered and eager to find an NFL home now.
“The lowest I got down was probably 268, which was cool because I had abs at the time, but not cool because nobody wants a 268-pound D-tackle,” said Vincent, who was back up to his usual playing weight of 295 pounds by MU’s Pro Day.
Based on feedback from scouts, NFL teams like Vincent’s combination of size, strength and speed.
Vincent said his only expectation is that he’ll be on a team Saturday night, whether it’s by draft or signing as a free agent.
“I’m down for whatever,” Vincent said. “I know that I’m going to get my opportunity to show that I can make a roster. Honestly, that’s all I need. If I get my name called, that’s cool. That would be really awesome, but I’m going to find myself on a team and that’s really all that matters to me.”
Vincent feels most comfortable as a three-technique or one-technique, but he can shed weight and play a 3-4-5 technique, the role he filled as a freshman with the Tigers.
“Really, if I have my hand on the ground, I’m fine,” Vincent said. “It’s been kind of a crazy journey, but I’ve put myself in a really good position and I’m going to wait and see what happens.”