Pierre Desir may have come out of Division II school Lindenwood College but this cornerback made waves at the Senior Bowl and has the size and skillset to excel in the NFL. Desir sat down with Behind the Steel Curtain and we got his thoughts on the upcoming draft and learned why he could be on the Steelers radar.
You’ve been pretty versatile throughout your career so far. Tell us about your decision to play at cornerback…
I decided to play corner after I talked to the defensive coach at Washburn. I played the position during my high school career but my main focus was on the offense. I also received offers from Mizzou, KU, KState, Michigan State and Northern Illinois to play wide receiver.
What scheme did you play in college? Do you consider yourself a man cover corner or more zone? Do you have experience with both and what coverage do you prefer playing?
At college I played in a quarter/zone scheme and man scheme. Our base concept was quarters. My main concept was reading what the number one receiver does and going off that. I consider myself to be able to play both zone and man coverage since I was exposed to them in college so I have no problem playing either. I prefer to play man coverage but I’m comfortable with both.
What are the strengths of your game? What do parts of your game do you think will transition well at the pro level and which areas do you need to improve?
My strength is my ball skills, recognizing routes, and height and length. I believe all my strengths will translate to the next level. I am working on my technique so that I can have better footwork and be more fluid in my transitions.
As a return man in college do you expect to do that in the NFL?
I would love to get the chance to do it again at the next level. I did both punt and kick return in college. I prefer kick return but I was successful at both.
What would you be doing if your playing career wasn't heading to the next level?
If I didn't play football I would either be teaching history and/or coaching football
Tell us about your Senior Bowl experience… Did you have much contact with NFL teams that week?
I had a great time at the senior bowl. I soaked up a lot of great information from the NFL coaches plus getting the opportunities to meet NFL coaches helped me gain exposure. I felt very comfortable playing at the Senior Bowl. I took away from Mobile that I can stack up with the bigger school guys and that I do belong in the category with Division One players.
So, do you read the scouting reports written on you?
I don’t. I take whatever is written about me for what it is and that’s just someone’s opinion. I understand not everyone likes me and that’s OK. All I need is one NFL team to love me and that’s all that matters.
How has the draft process been for you to this point? What are the pressures on your routine?
I enjoy it every day! Travelling is something that comes with the process. I just end making sure I have a workout schedule that can work around that.
You made a visit to New Orleans to meet with the Saints… How did that go and have you had contact with any other teams?
It went well and I had a great time meeting the coaches and seeing the facility. But that’s my only visit so far…
What sort of things do they get you to do? Is it like the Combine or do they have you do specific drills? What sort of questions do they ask you?
You don’t work out at the facility it’s just a visit with football questions and some background.
Do you have a favorite NFL team? Which player do you think you are similar to?
I watch a lot of NFL football but I don’t follow any particular team. I believe my game is similar to Richard Sherman.
Is there one team or area of the country you would rather play than another?
It doesn't matter to me what team I go to or where I end up playing…
We heard you met Coach Tomlin at the Combine and Senior Bowl, what did you talk about? Do you have a visit set up with the Steelers at all?
Yeah, we talked about football, my background and how the week had been going. I’ve not had any other contact with the Steelers and I have no visits, or workouts with them planned at this point.
What round do you expect to be drafted in and how important is that to you? And with such a deep draft of cornerbacks how do you think you rank against the competition?
I’m not expecting a certain round and I’m not focused on it because I just want to play football in the NFL. I stack well with the rest of the corners in the draft and believe I showed that with the All-Star games and at the Combine. So when the draft comes I’m looking forward to watching it at home with my family and friends.
Is there anything you dream of buying with your first professional pay check?
I’m probably just going to pay some student loans.
And do you have any idea what you might do when your playing days are over?
After football I hope to give back to the game by coaching.