With the 85th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Lions selectedcornerback Dwight “Bill” Bentley out of Louisiana-Lafayette.
At 5-9 and 182 pounds, Bentley is considered undersized for the position, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a third round selection, and the first of three corners the Lions took in the draft.
“I met with the staff in February and I talked to Coach (Tim) Walton on the field at the combine,” said Bentley. “I really didn’t think Detroit had me on their draft board, but I’m here now and it’s a great place to be.”
Leading up to the draft, Bentley trained for the combine and played in the Senior Bowl, where he really caught the attention of the Lions’ coaching staff.
He said the whole process leading up to the draft was a great experience.
“Being in the same boat, competing with some of the best players, going to the combine and competing in a different environment; it was fulfilling and prepared me well for the draft,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming, because that’s really what you want, to have that feeling that you’re going to get drafted. The crazy part was waiting on the draft after the combine. Just working out, not knowing what team you’re going to be with.”
On day two of the draft, Bentley waited to hear where he was headed with family and friends in Pahokee, Florida.
“I was back with my family, having a party,” he said. “Half of my community was there to support me and it was a great feeling when my name got called. We celebrated, and then it was time to get to work.”
Bentley joins fellow Pahokee native, cornerback
“Alphonso Smith is from my hometown, so I always knew him, he was my role model,” he said.
Along with Smith, the rest of the secondary has also been helpful in Bentley’s transition to the pros.
“All of the guys are reaching out like great teammates. They’re helping me on and off the field,” he said. “They’re showing me how to get around, helping me to take the right angles on the field, getting me my playbook. It’s a great feeling.
“I really appreciate the secondary, the coaches, they’re all helping me and it’s great.”