Watch this: NFL draft prospects run virtual reality route


By Barry Wilner - AP Pro Football Writer



FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The facts about Miller's potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He's sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)


FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. The facts about Braxton Miller's potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He's sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Not to be outdone, Paxton Lynch _ who will be playing quarterback in the NFL and quite possibly will be a first-round pick in Thursday night's draft _ is taking the same VR route. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)


FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2016 file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith watches during drills at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. Smith is sharing his journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Smith was viewed as a certain top-10 NFL draft choice before he tore up his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)


The facts about Braxton Miller’s potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro.

He’s sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video.

Not to be outdone, Paxton Lynch — who will be playing quarterback in the NFL and quite possibly will be a first-round pick in Thursday night’s draft — is taking the same VR route.

Both VR videos focus on the players’ preparation for the draft. As part of Visa’s activation around the NFL draft, defensive end Shaq Lawson of Clemson and linebacker Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame also are sharing their experiences.

Lawson is shown preparing for the NFL combine in February and discussing how he dedicates his game to his father who died when Lawson was 12 years old. Smith is shown rehabbing a major knee injury that could severely affect his stock.

Not only are the videos available at www.visa.com/draft360 , but fans in Chicago for the draft this week can experience them at the Visa activation at NFL Draft Town.

“Transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver meant me being the team leader (and then) trying to be the fastest on the field,” Miller says, adding he wants everyone to see “how prepared I am to be the best rookie wide receiver the NFL has seen.”

That would be impressive considering the likes of Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Odell Beckham Jr. having burned up the league in their first seasons.

Smith was viewed as a certain top-10 choice before he tore up his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl against Miller’s Buckeyes. Like Miller, he is focused on being the best rookie at his position. But he also could wind up sitting out 2016.

That makes his VR video even more intriguing. And, Smith says, helpful to him.

“Whether it’s rehabbing my knee, training for next season, or using my phone to buy something, I am always on the lookout for ways to use technology to make my life easier,” he says.

Lawson speaks about his dad in his video.

“Since I was 12 years old, it’s been my dream to play football in the NFL,” he says, adding that the filming of his draft prep “gives fans a behind-the-scenes look into my training.”

Lynch is not considered a top-tier quarterback in the manner of Jared Goff of California and Carson Wentz of North Dakota State. But the Memphis player has become a hotter commodity as the draft process progressed.

Lynch believes the VR video has helped in his preparation for the NFL.

“As a quarterback and leader on the field, it’s important for me to be aware of everything happening around me,” he says. “Technology is changing the future of football.”

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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www.visa.com/draft360

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FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The facts about Miller’s potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He’s sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_109989783-ef136f68d60e47568a5c7ee83e65a812.jpgFILE – In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Ohio State receiver Braxton Miller runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The facts about Miller’s potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He’s sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. The facts about Braxton Miller’s potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He’s sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Not to be outdone, Paxton Lynch _ who will be playing quarterback in the NFL and quite possibly will be a first-round pick in Thursday night’s draft _ is taking the same VR route. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_109989783-d30bc5d342f84f3594a0a04c3e524dcb.jpgFILE – In this Feb. 27, 2016 file photo, Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. The facts about Braxton Miller’s potential NFL career are clear: a transition from star quarterback at Ohio State to maybe wide receiver as a pro. He’s sharing the journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Not to be outdone, Paxton Lynch _ who will be playing quarterback in the NFL and quite possibly will be a first-round pick in Thursday night’s draft _ is taking the same VR route. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2016 file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith watches during drills at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. Smith is sharing his journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Smith was viewed as a certain top-10 NFL draft choice before he tore up his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_109989783-3f8d2cd04f3f4132a5cadafd155664c3.jpgFILE – In this Feb. 28, 2016 file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith watches during drills at the NFL football scouting combine, in Indianapolis. Smith is sharing his journey with fans through a 360-degree virtual reality video. Smith was viewed as a certain top-10 NFL draft choice before he tore up his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

By Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

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