MOBILE, Ala. - Mark Herzlich has won over reporters with the plainspoken way he has described his battle back from cancer.
Talking about the chemotherapy chair he sat in during six grueling months, the Boston College linebacker and Conestoga High School graduate said, "They don't usually draft people in those rooms."
The question now, though, is: Can he charm NFL teams wary of drafting a prospect less than two years removed from remission and having a malignant tumor removed from his left leg?
"Hopefully, when scouts are looking, they'll say, 'Which leg was that?' " Herzlich, 23, said after Tuesday morning's Senior Bowl practice. "That's the biggest way to see there's no problem there."
Still, drafting a player is an investment for teams, and Herzlich has had to answer his fair share of questions about the possibility of a return of Ewing's sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer.
"They do ask that," Herzlich said. "And the doctors told me that there's a 1 or 2 percent chance that the cancer will recur, which in the grand scheme of things out of everyone who gets it is very low."
After an all-American junior season, Herzlich announced in early 2009 that he was returning for his senior year. A few months later, though, he received the cancer diagnosis. He sat out the season but returned cancer-free in 2010, albeit a less-effective player as he adjusted to the rod that had been inserted into his left leg and battled through a foot injury.
"The reality is before he had the cancer, he had a top-10 grade from the NFL," Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said. "I think anybody that knows where he's going to go in the draft is lying."
While questions about the recurrence of cancer remain, there also is the issue of where he fits in, position-wise. At 6-foot-4, 244 pounds, Herzlich seems perfectly suited to play strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
"Hopefully, I show people I can fit in their system and be versatile," Herzlich said. "When you can only play one position, it's tough to play linebacker."