David Bakhtiari answered questions from the media at the NFL Combine…
Question: What do you take away from your college carer by entering the draft after an 1-11 year at CU?
Bakhtiari: “I’d say the biggest the takeway I got form it was all the years I was at Colorado I never went to a bowl game, but like I told every scout I went through so much adversity, but I was able to prosper in that adversity. I showed up week in, week out and played consistent ball. Think it spoke volumes about the kind of character I have, even when the game was pretty much, I was still out there making plays. That’s definitely a good takeaway.’’
Question: Would you do it differently, looking back?
Bakhtiari: “No, I said when I went to Colorado, my deciding factor was if I wake up tomorrow and not going to ever play football again, would I be happy at the university I was at? I was just extremely happy at CU.’’
Question: What do teams want to know from you?
Bakhtiari: “A lot of teams were trying to get to know me, you know my background, because I am a redshirt junior … they just kind of wanted to get some background on who David Bakhtiari is, how I played the game.’’
Question: Are you the best (athlete) in your family?
Bakhtiari: “My sister, she’s the best athlete. Me and my brother always used to talk about it and at the end of the day she’s a stud, so I’ve got to give her credit. She didn’t play football, but she’s the best athlete. Football-wise I don’t know me and my brother (Eric, played some for Titans and 49ers) … we have to play on the same team or go against each other in a game.’’
Question: Did your brother help you in this?
Bakhtiari: “He’s been there through the whole process, through every little thing, through deciding whether to come out, everything at Colorado, including my game, and even now he’s helping me train.’’
Question: Have you talked to Nate Solder?
Bakhtiari: “I visited him once I finished all my finals this past semester. I went and watched the Patriots-Niners game. I went and talked to him and said I was kind of thinking about coming out this year and we had a couple talking points and he gave me some good advice. At the end of the day just be yourself, that’s the best thing you can do.’’
Question: Where do you think you’ll play?
Bakhtiari: “Left tackle, but I can play any position. I don’t think the height is an issue, at the next level you need to have the athleticism to play on the outside and I think I have athleticism to play on the outside and I have the leverage to play on the inside as well.’’
Question: What’s your arm length?
Bakhtiari: “I was 34.’’
Question: Why come out early?
Bakhtiari: “The biggest point I came up with was I felt I was mentally mature enough. I wanted to make this my career; I want to treat
it like a full-time job, and I want to be surrounded by guys who also want this to be their job. And I understand, someone told me if you go to the next level, you’re going to be taking a grown-man’s job, steady income from somebody, and I said, ‘Yes, I understand,’ and I was able to cope with it.’’
Question: Who’s a pro who plays like you?
Bakhtiari: “Joe Staley. My coach (CU offensive line coach) Steve Marshall did a scouting report on the player he thought most resembled you, and I always like Joe Staley and I was fortunate that he also picked the same guy I did. It just furthered my reason why. He’s got good feet, he isn’t the tallest, but it long-limbed, plays to the whistle.’’
Question: What are teams saying about where you will play?
Bakhtiari: “I’ve had a wide variety, I have guys tell me I’m suited for left tackle, and I’ve had teams say even center, be an athletic center. I tell them I would just love to play, I want to get on the field, left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, right tackle, extra tight end, whatever.’’
Question: What was it like playing with Solder?
Bakhtiari: “My redshirt freshman year, he was a redshirt senior, I played at right tackle and he played at left tackle … I kind of forced myself under his wing, to kind of teach me, he wasn’t very open to teaching a lot of guys so through that we became friends.’’
Question: Was he open to teaching you?
Bakhtiari: “He was never a person to really reach out to a lot of guy so I had to really reach out to him, to open up his shell a little bit.’’
Question: Who’s better in the rivalry with your brother?
Bakhtiari: “We don’t know who would be better, we’ve always kind of talked about it, I say, ‘I’d beat you on this’ and he says, ‘no I’d beat you on that.’ At the end of the day we’re just going to have to put on the pads and do it one way or the other. We want it to happen really bad, but then again we don’t. We’ve had different career paths, he’s seven years older than I am.’’
Question: What’s the advantage to have a brother who’s played in the league?
Bakhtiari: “I think it’s tremendous, because where he came from … he was a free agent (University of San Diego) Division I-AA … I know he’s been cut 14 times; I know the business side of it. He was cut right before the playoffs with the Niners, that’s tough on a guy. I was able to grow up with it, talk with him, shed some light on it, be mature about it.’’
Question: What’s your heritage?
Bakhtiari: “My dad’s dad he came over (from Iran) so my dad is first generation (American) and I’m second generation. I’m half Persian, half Icelandic.’’