Selvish Capers and the switch from tight end
Redskins' right tackle Selvish Capers, one of the team's seventh-round picks, always wanted to be an NFL tight end. The players he looked up to as a kid included Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Like those tight ends, he was also a basketball star, starting three years in high school. He told me that his hands are "great," and he came to West Virginia at 6-5 and about 240 pounds, which are tight end dimensions.
But then he started putting on weight. And he realized that tight ends at West Virginia don't catch many passes. And his coaches started asking him about switching positions. And he started putting on even more weight.
"The weight just kept getting on me," Capers said over the weekend. "It was never [unhealthy] weight, but I guess they felt that since they weren't throwing to the tight ends as much at West Virginia, it would be a better benefit for me to move to tackle. So that's how that transition happened."
Three years later, he's trying to make his NFL career on the offensive line. "Now I'm a big fan of tackles," he joked. But he said he never lost the athleticism that helped him as a tight end. One scouting service described him as West Virginia's second-most athletic player, after Noel Devine. He said he has a 32-inch vertical and can still put down windmill dunks. And he said he'll drop the offensive line body that he's built once his NFL career is over.
"It kind of just came on me natural, I guess you could say," said Capers, whom the team lists at 6-4 and 308 pounds. "I never really tried to gain weight, it just happened. I don't know where it goes, to be honest. A lot of people say I've got all the weight in my legs. I don't even really know."
When he was at West Virginia, Capers told reporters that "I still watch the tight ends and think to myself, 'I can do that.' " So I asked whether he'd drop that message on Mike Shanahan's desk.
"No, indeed not," he said. "I've got to tell them I'm gonna block first and get that down pat, and then maybe we can discuss [pass catching]."
May 11, 2010; 2:56 PM ET
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