Kris Farris - UCLA


The Oscar goes to ...

Posted: Sunday April 11, 1999 01:47 PM

With less than a month until the draft, I have another important day on Monday with another workout with coaches and scouts at UCLA. My big workout was last week, and I think things went well. I improved my numbers in all of the tests -- I increased my vertical leap by 3 inches, added three reps in the bench press and an extra foot on the broad jump. Monday is Cade McNown's big workout, so a lot of teams will be back, and it's another chance for me to work out for them.

I've had a couple of private workouts for teams as well. A few teams have been showing more interest than others, but people have told me that the teams that talk to you the most aren't necessarily the ones most likely to take you. You really can't tell anything until you get the call on draft day.

In the last few months, I've been lucky enough to talk with a lot of NFL players and get a sense of what to expect next season. I was in New England a few weeks ago for the Walter Camp All-America team banquet, and I got to meet past Camp award winners like Steve Young and tight end Pete Mitchell. I was interesting to talk to them about the NFL and get a few hints on how to handle things. I've heard so many different things -- some say the NFL will be the hardest thing I've ever done, but others say the uniforms are the only thing different about it.

As I mentioned in the last diary, I'm something of a movie buff -- I write movie reviews for the Los Angeles Daily News when I have time. The Academy Awards are Sunday night, and I always enjoy watching the Oscars each year. A lot of times as I was growing up, the ceremony would be on the same day as my birthday, but that's on Friday this year. So as far as my picks of how things will go, I think "Saving Private Ryan" will take best picture. It's the best film I saw last year, but I don't know if it's a no-brainer -- "Life is Beautiful" could sneak in there, as well as "Shakespeare in Love." "Ryan" winning has been such a given that some people might say they want to give it to another movie. I do think Roberto Benigni will win best actor -- it's his compensation for not winning best director or best picture for "Beautiful." I think Gwyneth Paltrow will win the best actress award. Kate Blanchett should win for "Elizabeth," but Paltrow will wind up winning. As far as the supporting actor and actress, I think Billy Bob Thornton of "A Simple Plan" and Judi Dench of "Shakespeare in Love."

Draft Mailbag

Because Will Wolford is retiring, it's possible that the Steelers will take a tackle in the first round to replace him. Would you like to play in Pittsburgh? -- Sergio Parra, Mexico City.

It's certainly possible -- they've got a great organization and a great coach in Bill Cowher. He comes across as a real player's coach, and I know they need to address their offensive line.

I've got a good one. Which would you rather have in your career -- a miracle Super Bowl victory in your rookie year, but you suffer a career-ending injury in the big game and have to return to the real world; or 10 prosperous, healthy years of productive football -- your team never goes to the Super Bowl, but you and your family are taken care of financially. -- Chaz Mattson, Denver.

The miraculous Super Bowl win is something every player dreams about in his career, but the last part -- taking care of your family -- means a lot. Obviously, the Super Bowl is important, but I would think I'd take the second option if I had to choose.

Outland Trophy winner Kris Farris of UCLA is expected to be one of the top tackles taken in the 1999 NFL Draft in April. Check back for more draft diaries from him at CNNSI.com.