If you've ever met Nick Scott or watched him play, chances are you know his personality of never getting too high or too low. That's the case whether the current Rams defensive back is on or off the field.
However, he still experienced the same nerves every prospect had heading into the 2019 NFL Draft.
"Like every guy, unless you're someone who is projected a first-rounder, you've got a pretty good deal of stress and feeling of, 'it's make or break,'" Scott told theRams.com in a phone interview Thursday. "Nothing's really in your hands at this point in terms of picks. You can do everything you can from a performance standpoint and an interview standpoint, but at the end of the day, your fate is decided by somebody."
Scott was aware getting drafted was no guarantee – he was a prospect who graded out as a priority free agent, according to his NFL.com draft profile – and he managed his expectations accordingly.
The celebration to commemorate the start of his pro career was kept small. He watched the draft on TV with his parents and his aunt, who flew out from New York, but nobody else. And waited.
"There was a very real possibility that I might not get drafted," Scott said. "I was very hopeful that I would get drafted and I was confident that I would, but I also didn't want to have a whole party and then it be awkward with people just sitting there as all the rounds go by, and I'm just sitting there like, 'well, that was that, thanks for coming.' I chose to just keep it in the family."
Although he didn't have control of where he would get drafted, he was committed to working hard and making the 46-man roster, regardless of if an NFL team used one of their picks on him or signed him as a undrafted free agent.
"I wasn't necessarily really worried about draft stock or, or when I might get selected or anything like that," Scott said. "I just figured, you know, once that day comes, I'll figure it out. And then I just gotta grind even harder to make a 46-man roster."
Scott had to stay patient, but he was rewarded. The Rams took him with the 249th overall pick in the seventh round.
He said he was relieved when he got the phone call, he also said he would have been fine if he went unselected. Whatever route Scott took, it was going to be the realization of his professional football dreams.
"That's something we've been working for our entire life, so to see that work that we put in come to fruition is a great feeling," Scott said. "When you're doing things like running hills in the summer when other kids are just chilling at home, or meeting up and doing fun things but you're out there working, that feeling is what you did all of that for."
Scott's reaction was relief.
His parents and his aunt? Well...
"My parents, they went crazy," Scott said, laughing. "My aunt went crazy, she was like running around the house. My dad was yelling, and my mom was pretty excited too. I actually had to calm them down because I was getting on the phone with Coach McVay. I was just sitting on the couch with this huge smile on my face, talking to the coaches. Once I talked to Bones (former special teams coach John Fassel) and all them and hung up, my parents went back to going crazy and I just kind of sat and watched them celebrate."
Though he wasn't invited to the combine, Scott had help from a pair of former Penn State teammates in current Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton and current Redskins safety Troy Apke.
"Going into the draft process, both of those guys were guys who weren't necessarily top draft picks or projected to be," Scott said. "Troy really helped himself out when he ran his 4.3 40, which shot him up draft boards, but before that, he was projected pretty much the same way I was – fifth to sixth to undrafted."
When it comes to advice for this year's draft hopefuls, Scott offers this: "Relax, enjoy it."
"It's easier said than done, and I don't think anybody or any draft class as a whole is going to be able to master that," Scott said. "But once you get to where you wanted to be, you kind of look at it like, 'man, why was I stressing so much?' At this point, you established the fact that you have the ability and the character and the talent to be considered. So while you still want to work hard and grind and everything like that, in terms of peace of mind, you should just take a breather and let the process work itself out."