What stands out to you the most from your draft-day experience?
Vernon Carey: "I knew I didn't have to travel far. And since I grew up here, I was happy the Dolphins traded up to get me. I thought it was fantastic, to be able to play in the NFL at home. I grew up as a Dolphins fan, so when I got drafted by them and knew I would be able to play for them it was like a dream come true."
Where were you on draft day?
Carey: "I was at a club on South Beach. I had a party for my family and some close friends. I thought that would be a nice way to spend draft day, being around the people who meant the most to me."
Was there something about your interviews with prospective coaches before draft day that stood out?
Carey: "Not really. I knew I had a chance to be drafted by the Dolphins, but wasn't really sure where I might go. I thought I might go starting with Minnesota (originally drafting in the 19th spot) to the end of the first round. My agent said it the night before -- he told me I probably would go anywhere from 19 on, because he thought Minnesota had a lot of interest in me. I was surprised they traded that pick to the Dolphins, since I thought they would draft me at 19. (Minnesota traded their 19th pick to the Dolphins, who gave the Vikings their 20th overall selection and a fourth round pick to move up one spot and used it to draft Carey.) The Vikings actually told one of their players, who was one of my closest friends and was at the draft party that they were going to take me. But I guess when they decided they could get value for me and trade for an extra pick and still get one of their needs in the first round they must have decided to do it."
How did you celebrate being drafted?
Carey: "I kind of cried and hugged my family and friends at the party. I had a good time there, but didn't have too much time to celebrate, since I had to leave pretty quickly right after the Dolphins called me to go to their facility for a press conference and to meet with the coaches."
What advice would you give to this year's class of draft choices?
Carey: "It's a business, so treat it that way. Be prepared and be professional. Do the things that you need to do to be successful so you have a long-lasting career."