Brock Vereen leaning on big brother Shane during pre-draft process
|02.23.14 at 1:57 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — The last few years, the Patriots have had the Gronkowski brothers (Dan and Rob) and the McDonald brothers (Chris and Nick).
How about the Vereens? Older brother Shane was taken out of Cal in the second round of the 2011 draft by New England, and has become one of the better third-down backs in the league. And now, younger brother Brock is poised to enter the NFL — the strong safety out of Minnesota just finished a senior season where he posted 56 tackles, one interception, six passes broken up, one forced fumble and 2.5 tackles for loss. As a result, he was named a first team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, and was an honorable mention pick by the media.
However, the 6-foot, 199-pound Brock (who was a teammate of his brother for a year in high school) isn’t so sure about the idea of being on the same team with his big brother. When asked if there was a part of him who wanted to be taken higher than Shane, he quickly replied.
“I think the biggest part of me wants to hit him,” Brock said with a smile. “I just can’t wait until we meet on the field.
“Both of us want to play against each other so much, that we really haven’t talked about being on the same team,” he added. “But if that were the case, it’d be a blessing.”
Having a brother around who has been through the pre-draft process — as well as a few seasons in the league — can be a real benefit.
“I’ve been very fortunate as to always to have an older brother at the level I was trying to get to,” he said. “When I was in high school, he was already in college, and now, the situation here. Just to have that insight, and to understand the ins and outs of certain things that some people might not find out until they’re actually in the NFL, it’s definitely a blessing.
“I think the biggest thing is that nothing’s personal. That you [have to] understand you’re not here to go to school. This is a business, and there’s a change of mindset that comes with that.”
Brock, who said he’s heard everything from third-round pick to free agent when it comes to his draft status, did acknowledge that he met with the Patriots on Saturday. But it’s all been part of a whirlwind schedule as he gets acclimated to the pre-draft process.
“It’s been chaos, but it’s been such a blessing to even be here in the first place,” he said. “Just trying to make the most of it. Obviously, the goal is to impress a couple of people and turn some heads, but at the same time, you have to have fun with it.
“I was told how chaotic and fast-paced it would be, but I never expected this. Drug tests at three in the morning, breakfast and I haven’t slept since. But like I said, it’s fun. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”