Bills rookie Marcell Dareus could be both a menace on the field and the NFL’s most colorful newcomer. Even before he records a single pro stat, the No.3 overall pick in the draft is making a name for himself.
In between private workouts, the 21-year-old has spent much of the recent labor standoff issuing bold predictions about the extent of his future impact in the NFL, while also clearing some time to spend with his pets (a python and a Chihuahua), and his alter ago.
That’s right, his alter ego. Off the field Dareus is an engaging and humorous figure, who apparently had Derek Jeter in stitches when they met at a pre-draft event in New York. Within the gridiron though, he reinvents himself as the Incredible Hulk, and will politely request that his new Bills teammates address him as such during game action.
Bragging by rookies is not exactly a new phenomenon. Dareus takes things a step further by not only detailing what he is going to do in the NFL, but also suggesting how long he is going to do it for, and who he is going to do it to. All in all, it makes for thoroughly entertaining listening.
“The NFL needs to know the Hulk is coming,” Dareus told Yahoo! Sports at an NFL players rookies event at a school in Santa Monica, Calif. last week. “The Hulk takes control, he doesn’t let anything get past or anything get in the way. That is what I call myself and before I go out to play I get myself into that state of mind. It helps me get ready. It is like I turn into something different and I hope the other guys will call me Hulk. The Hulk is planning to be around for a long time. I am looking at a long career, I think I can play in this league for 12, 13, 14 years and be one of the great ones in my position. have respect for the league and the players in it but I know I can hold myself with those guys too and be a part of it all. I know I can make a difference and I just want to go and do it as soon as I can. There are definitely some teams I have got my eye on.”
Dareus especially has his eyes on the Panthers and the Broncos because both teams passed him up in the draft. “I want to show that they made the wrong move and I feel I was the best guy and the best choice,” he said. “I have a point to prove to those teams and I can do that by going out and putting on some hurt.”
Dareus will get an opportunity to take on the Broncos this season, while he may have to wait until 2013 before he can take a shot at the Panthers.