Does having experience at both right tackle and left tackle add value to you wherever you start your NFL career? I mean, for sure. Being able, to you know, play multiple spots is very important, especially on the O-line. So me being able to play right and left if that's tackle, if that's guard, and being able to be comfortable in both positions. And stances is something that's very, very important. So I think that's very beneficial for any team that you know, would pick me up.
Thoughts on Derek Kerstetter’s injury and deciding to opt-out after? I mean, it sucks. Seeing one of my dudes that I love and cherish and go through something like that is super emotional. I'm saying why am I doing that I love and cherish and go through something like that is super emotional. And so you know, it really did suck. And, you know, making my decision to opt-out, you know, was ultimately, you know, the best decision for me and, and I knew it was time to go on to my next chapter of life and pursue the NFL. But you know, you think about Derek, he's a hard-working guy. I know he's gonna bounce back from that. And so I'm looking forward to seeing what he does.
How did practicing against Joseph Ossai help you? I think when it came to going against Joe every day, the thing I loved about Joe -- I'll say this to anybody -- He's one of the most hardworking guys on and off the field. Highest player load type of guy. And you know, going against Joe every day is like I had to bring my best and, you know, give everything I got. Which I loved. That made each other better. And you know, like the saying iron sharpens iron. And that's what happened as the year progressed. And as we got older and more experienced and going against each other, just going against each other at a high, you know, competitive atmosphere is something that really helped us both, and I really appreciated going against Joe.
Any offensive tackles you look at in NFL who you try to take something from their game? I mean, I looked at a lot of guys, that, you know -- like, Taylor Lewan, just his mean streak, the way his demeanor is, especially in the run game. David Bakhtiari, you know, he's one that has, once he gets his hand on you, he has a great anchor. And then being you know, watching Joe Staley, overall, just very explosive and efficient guy and guy that's just so detailed when it comes to this technique.
How do you try to approach competitiveness and try to set yourself apart as a prospect? Yeah, I think when it comes to my competitor out there, you know, I love this game. This game is everything for me. And so, like, you're not gonna find another guy that's gonna work as hard on and off the field when it comes to my playbook and putting time into my body and putting time into the team. Like, I don't think anybody in this draft class is going to, you know, even come close to that.
How can you distinguish yourself among this year’s offensive tackles? When it comes to it, I think a lot of it says on my tape. Being able to be consistent, and you know, showing my explosiveness in the run game and my consistency in the pass game and my mean streak, I think that's very important when it comes to school looking back at my film. I feel like this year, film is everything. And so, you know, being able to put these numbers up and you know, the testing the combine, you know, it's all good when it comes to charm people, all this, that and other. You know, what really matters is the coaches and the scouts getting these numbers and seeing what type of person and what you know, type of player I am. So I think one thing is just like being as honest and as raw as possible with me and my personality and showing that, you know, like I said, I'm one of the most hard-working guys on the field and off the field. And I think that's gonna really relate and show, you know, just doing my film and these drills and just talking to the coaches.
When you look back on your journey, what memories stand out? I think some things that have just stood out at my time at Texas was just like, the relationships I've built here and the relationships I'm able to take on and you know, like, being able to be at Texas and come to a dream school. Like, I always wanted to do that. I mean, it's just nothing but a blessing. And you know, it's just shown me how amazing God has been to me and how many blessings he's bestowed on me. And I'm super blessed and I think just the relationships I've built here and the experiences I've had to go through and, you know, playing in big-time games have been super just unbelievable for me.
How much do you care about going first-round? For me it's, I think it's a big deal. From a competitive nature, I want to be as high as possible. Like, you know, that's what I want to be. I want to be one of the best guys in this draft. I want to be the best guy in this draft. And so, you know, that's just my mentality on it. But at the same time I'm, you know, still in a blessed position to be able to go in NFL and have the opportunity to play for an NFL team. For a lot of guys this is a dream come true. It is a dream come true for me. But of course I want to, you know, be considered as the best tackle. I think I am the best tackle.
*The Official 2021 NFL Draft Bible publication is now available for pre-order! Reserve your copy today or go ‘All Access’ and gain instant access to our scouting report database, featuring 500+ profiles and updated daily. Nobody brings you the names you need to know like NFL Draft Bible, become a disciple today and order here!