Western Michigan quarterback Kaleb Eleby has flown under the radar for the past few months. This Thursday, he'll have the chance to show what he's made of in front of all 32 NFL teams.
Eleby is one of many quarterbacks participating in the NFL Scouting Combine this week. It'll be interesting to see how he performs during the on-field drills, especially since he completed over 63 percent of his passes in college.
Additionally, Eleby will have the opportunity to show teams what kind of leader he is through formal meetings, albeit the fact that he had a winning record each year at Western Michigan should be enough evidence.
We caught up with Kaleb Eleby to discuss his development at Western Michigan, favorite quarterbacks to watch, NFL Combine expectations and more.
The Spun: How has this draft process been treating you?
Kaleb Eleby: It’s going well. I’m learning a lot. I’m grateful for these opportunities. I’m excited to see what’s next while I grow as a player.
The Spun: What are you hoping to show at the NFL Combine?
KE: Being able to receive an invite was a surreal moment. It’s something that I don’t take lightly. I’m so grateful for it. As far as what I want to showcase, I want the world to see who I am - on and off the field. I want to show my competitive edge and that I can sling the ball.
The Spun:You had a great career at Western Michigan. What was your favorite moment from your time there?
KE: No doubt. I would say winning the Quick Lane Bowl. It was the second bowl win in school history. To be able to do that in front of the fans against a good football team in Nevada is one that’ll always stick out. No one can take that moment away from you. As I mentioned before, it’s the second bowl win in team history. That’s pretty big considering the teams that have come through this program.
The Spun: What was your connection like with Skyy Moore?
KE: The biggest thing is that he’s a workhorse. We spent a lot of time this offseason getting together and putting in extra hours. We made the sacrifice to stay at school even during breaks. To see the hard work pay off for both of us is pretty special. Our connection started off the field. I’m a firm believer that you need to develop that chemistry off the field first because it’ll translate on the field. He’s a great guy, great teammate and great friend. I have nothing but good things to say about Skyy.
The Spun: You proved you can handle RPOs very well at Western Michigan. How do you think the adjustment period will be for you when you get to the NFL?
KE: Honestly, I feel good about that adjustment. One thing about me is that I’m a sponge. I’m always looking to learn new things. I’ve focused on that during this draft process. I’m training out at QB Country with David Morris. He’s one of the best. I feel like he’s preparing us well. Obviously, there’s going to be an adjustment period going from college to the pros. But I’m looking forward to it. At the end of the day, it’s football. I feel like I’m a good football player with a strong love for the game. I feel like that’s going to allow me to have success at the next level.
The Spun: Which quarterbacks do you like to study?
KE: I like to watch all the greats. I love to watch Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. The one thing I try to see is what do all those guys have in common. I think that’s their preparation, their leadership and the way they think about the game. They put the ball in their playmakers’ hands. You’re seeing quarterbacks win in different ways now. You got guys like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The biggest thing is knowing yourself. That’s important, to be honest with yourself and find areas of improvement. You need to have that mentality of wanting to get better every day.
The Spun: If you had to do some self evaluation, what would you say stands out about your game?
KE: I’d say my ability to put the ball wherever I want to put it. I was blessed with a strong arm. I think being able to put the ball wherever I want to is a strong trait.
The Spun: What’s one thing you’ve been working extremely hard on during this process?
KE: My overall technique in all areas, like making sure my feet are balanced. I’m just trying to work on the total package that comes with being a pro.
The Spun: Has it hit you yet that you’re just two months away from being on an NFL team?
KE: Absolutely. I expect to be on an NFL roster in two months. The next time I put on a uniform, Lord willing, it’ll be with one of the 32 NFL teams. Just to be in this position to have this phone call and talk to guys like yourself is something I don’t take for granted. I’m a very grateful dude. I love the game of football, and when you love something, you give it your all. I’m glad that I’m in this position. My hard work has gotten me to this position. I’m just going to keep doing that.
The Spun: What about the game do you love so much?
KE: I’m going to be honest with you, I just feel like I respect the game. The game of football has provided me with an education and it has provided me with lifelong friendships. To have the game shape me into who I am today while teaching me life lessons is pretty damn strong. That’s why I don’t take the game lightly. It opens your eyes to a lot of different things.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Kaleb Eleby?
KE: I would say you’re getting a guy that loves football and loves to win. That’s my answer. That goes a long way because my love for the game is a bit different. I’m well-aware that it’s a blessing to be in this position. You’re getting someone who’s coachable, honest and has a knack for the game.
Eleby finished his Western Michigan career with 6,068 passing yards, 45 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also had 13 rushing touchdowns during that time.
Depending on how Eleby performs at the NFL Combine, he could emerge as an intriguing quarterback option for teams on Day 3 of the draft.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.