NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

With media members and players checking in at the Hotel it was a great opportunity to meet and chat with some players. Most were making their rounds chatting with NFL teams but also made themselves available to media. The teams that I noticed that were there were the Packers, Raiders, Colts, Dolphins, and Bears. Ted Thompson was there for Packers but I didn’t notice any other GM’s, mostly just scouts and team representatives.

"Khaseem Greene"The first interview I did was with Khaseem Greene LB from Rutgers.

Is there was an ideal position you want to play in the NFL?

I would be happy to play any linebacker spot, 4-3 OLB, 3-4 ILB or 3-4 OLB, I would be willing do what was asked of me. If the coaches asked me to play safety I would.

Is there a player you model your game after in the NFL?

Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu

What do you like to do outside of football?

I’m a family man, I like to spend time with my daughter and I love to go bowling.

Are you any good?

I thought I was, but then I started bowling with some guys who average in the 240’s so it put my game into perspective.

Anyone on the Rutgers roster we should keep our eye on for next year?

Brandon Coleman (WR), Jamal and Jamil Merrel (LB’s)

-Greene to me came off and very friendly, engaging and humble. He was happy to answer questions and was very well spoken.

My next interview was with Dwayne Gratz CB for UConn. Gratz made a point to approach me which was refreshing because the rest of the players would normally wait until they were approached to speak to a team or media.

Do you have a comfort level coming down here with your teammate and fellow corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson?

Not really, I’m down here to compete and show what I can do.

What are your strengths?

My aggressiveness and my ball skills

What do you think is a part of your game you can work on?

Becoming more of a student of the game. Learning and understanding schemes and what the opposing offenses are trying to doing.

Who is the hardest receiver you had to cover this year?

DeVante Parker, WR from Louisville

Who should we be keeping an eye our next year for UConn?

Yawin Smallwood WR, Ty-Meer Brown Safety, and Byron Jones Safety

-I was impressed with Gratz, soft spoken and very polite.

"Arthur Brown"

Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

The next person I got to sit down with was one of Brad’s favorite prospects Arthur Brown LB from Kansas St.

What are your strengths?

My speed, my ability to play sideline to sideline.

What is an aspect of your game you could improve?

Coverage. Covering tight ends and running backs.

Who do you like in the Championship games?

No one really. I don’t really have a favorite team. I didn’t grow up watching the NFL.

What prompted the transfer from Miami to Kansas St.?

It was a family decision, I talked to my Dad and we decided it was going to be best for me. I have no ill will towards Miami, and really enjoyed my time while I was there.

What was it like playing for Coach Snyder?

It was good, he taught a lot of discipline and structure which has really stuck with me.

Who was the hardest person who went against? Do you remember a lineman that may have got the best of you?

#54 from Baylor (Stefan Huber Center)

Anyone from Kansas St. we should pay attention to next year?

Tyler Lockett WR

What do you like do outside of football?

Just spend time with my family.

-He came across as engaging and very humble.

After interviewing Brown I ran into some offensive lineman. The first one was Lane Johnson Tackle from Oklahoma.

You have an interesting path to Left Tackle, what positions did you play?

I was a QB in high school and in JUCO, then played DE and TE at Oklahoma before I played Left Tackle.

How big were you in high school? Were you a pretty good QB?

6’6 220lbs. We ran a spread style of offense my senior year. I could sling it around a bit.

Who was the hardest person you played against?

Well I played against Jason Pierre Paul in Junior College when I was a QB, but at Oklahoma it was Bjoern Werner from Florida St.

What was the thing you improved upon the most since your first start at tackle?

My technique and my strength.

Who do you model your game off of in the NFL?

Joe Staley from San Francisco. We are both athletic.

Do you mind playing in the cold?

No, not at all.

Where do you see yourself being drafted? The tackle class got shallower with Lewan and Matthews returning.

First round ideally.

What do you like to do outside of football?

I like to Hunt and Fish, and also hang out with friends

-I enjoyed speaking with Johnson, he seemed like a good ole country boy.

After Johnson I ran into Ricky Wagner Offensive Tackle from Wisconsin.

What are your strengths?

My run blocking. Coming from Wisconsin it’s what we pride ourselves in.

What is something you can work on in your game?

My pass protection.

Last year you got to block for Russell Wilson, a mobile quarterback, this year you had a shuffle of QB’s that weren’t as mobile what was it like blocking for each?

It was great blocking for Wilson but it’s easier if you know where the QB is.

Who was the hardest person you had to block?

It was tough in the Big Ten, they were all very good.

Who should we watch out for next year at Wisconsin?

Ryan Groy. He could even be moved out to Left Tackle this next season.

What was it like playing for Alvarez in the Rose Bowl? How did you take the Bielma situation?

Playing for Alvarez was great, in Wisconsin he’s a legend. I was surprised when Bielema left, there were some rumors but it was surprising.

Would you be open to play right tackle in the NFL?

Yes, I played it when I was a sophomore, I’m obviously more comfortable playing left tackle because I’ve played it the last two years but they are going to work me out at right tackle this week.

Who do you model your game after?

Growing up in Wisconsin that’s an easy answer, Joe Thomas.

-Great talking to a fellow Wisconsinite. Very humble and well spoken. Extremely friendly.

After I spoke with the offensive tackles I was able to speak with Cory Grissom DT from South Florida.

What has been the thing you most improved since getting on campus?

My hands and foot speed.

What’s something you can work on?

My conditioning. I haven’t worked out much since the season ended.

Who do you model your game off of?

My former teammate Terrel McClain.

Do you mind playing in the cold?

No, not at all.

-Very friendly, gave short quick answers, said he’s interviewed with over five teams already.

At 5:00pm there was an Introductory Press Conference where Phil Savage spoke. He was very intuitive and really cared about putting on one of the best Senior Bowls. He spoke on a few prospects and his excitement to get a good mix of small school guys and big name prospects. He singled out Will Davis CB from Utah St. as a guy who could surprise people this week as well as J.C. Tretter O-Lineman from Cornell. He also spoke on the fourth year juniors that were invited to play late in the process. Two players who were brought in to speak were Offensive Tackle Justin Pugh from Syracuse and D.J. Fluker from Alabama. Fluker isn’t expected to play because of a calf strain but will be a popular interview being a hometown kid. Both young men spoke of highly appreciative they were of their opportunity to participate.  Mike Glennon Quarterback from NC State also came on to speak. He came off as well educated. He earned his Master degree in 4.5 years from NC State. With a big week of practice he could easily here his name called on day one.

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