BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been three years since Shane Vereen was drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots, but the running back remembers the whole draft process very well.
And that’s a good thing, because he’s now relaying all his advice to his younger brother, Brock, a free safety out of Minnesota who is projecting to be a mid-round pick in next month’s draft.
“I tell him all kinds of stories of what I went through, just little advice and some tips that I can give him just so his experience is a little bit more relaxed than mine was,” Vereen told Bob Socci on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s NFL Draft Preview Show Sunday morning. “The hardest thing to do is to be patient, but that is the number-one thing you need to do. Keep a clear head and just know it doesn’t matter where you get drafted, it matters what you do when you get there.
“It’s a crazy process, fun at times, but pretty stressful,” he said of the draft.
The Vereen family is very familiar with the NFL draft. In addition to Shane’s second-round selection in 2011, father Henry Vereen was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1979 before enjoying a successful career as a wide receiver in the Canadian Football League.
The Vereen brothers would love to get a chance to play together on the same team, but they’d like it even more to compete against each other — and lay a few hits on one another.
“It would be awesome,” Shane said of Brock being drafted by the Patriots. “I would really look forward to that opportunity, though I think we’d both look forward to playing against each other more so than playing on the same team.”
Brock already commented at the NFL combine on how much he’d like to tackle his older brother in a pro game.
“I think there are a couple old scores that he’d like to settle. Maybe I’ve had this coming for a while now,” Shane said with a laugh. “I’m looking forward to it, and I can’t wait for that opportunity if we’re blessed to have it. That would be a fun game.”
While it’s unclear if the Vereen brothers will both call Gillette Stadium a home, it’s very clear that their parents did a great job raising the two of them.
“They never took anything less than our best,” said Vereen. “My parents could tell when we were slacking, not into it or when we didn’t give our best effort, and they told us. They held no punches. I think that’s carried over so much that working hard is just second nature. That’s how they raised us and how we were brought up.
“We were always tough that there is so much more important than sports. Sports is a privilege, so with that privilege we try to grind and work as hard as we can,” he said.
Vereen has said that he hopes to make it home for the draft and is able to share that moment with his brother, much like Brock was there for Shane in 2011. But he’s already hard at work in Foxboro preparing for the 2014 season, anxious to get back out there with a running back corps led by himself and Stevan Ridley.
Both Vereen and Ridley were drafted by the Patriots in 2011, and they’re both looking to take another step forward with the loss of LeGarrette Blount in the New England backfield.
“We came in together, knew each other prior, and our relationship has grown over the past three seasons,” said Vereen. “We’ll continue to grow this year. He’s like a brother to me. Coming into this year we’ll be able to push each other and make leaps and bounds as a group.”
Vereen was limited to just eight games in 2013 after breaking his forearm in the regular season opener, but the versatile back set career highs with 47 receptions for 427 yards and three touchdowns. He is looking forward to taking his game to the next level, and that all starts on the practice field.
And with All Pro corner Darrelle Revis now in a Patriots’ uniform, practice should be a whole new challenge.
“Competition-wise I think practice is going to get a little more fun,” he said. “I think we’re going to be pushed a little more, and that’s awesome, because they’ll get the best out of us as an offense.”
Listen to the full interview: