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Quotebook: Top Defensive Line Prospects

Posted Feb 23, 2014

See what the top defensive line prospects had to say in their media availabilities.

Here are a handful of quotes from some of the top defensive line prospects here at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Jadeveon Clowney (DE) – South Carolina

On the dip in his stats in 2013…

“Going into last season I had a lot of high expectations of myself. Things don’t always happen like you plan on. I was really trying to break the (career) sack record for us for the next guys coming in. There were a lot of ups and downs but we won eleven games, were 11-2, won our bowl game, finished No. 4 in the country for the first time in South Carolina history so I was pretty excited about the season. I wasn’t worried about my stats really. A lot of game changing went on when we played teams. Quick passes, two-on-one, opposite side runs, but that happens. I wasn’t really worried about my stats, I just wanted to win.

On his strengths…

“My speed of course. I’m a fast guy, quick, move well. Just my speed. Strength-wise, I am pretty strong also, just need to work on my pad leverage.”

On the biggest challenge he faces…

“Just getting adapted to the NFL and everything, the new guys I am going up against, the team, playbook and stuff. And also competition, the competition is going to get better.”

Scott Crichton (DE) – Oregon State

On what teams will get if they draft him…

“Off the field, there are no issues. It's as simple as that. On the field, I feel like I'll make an impact right away. It will either be on defense or special teams or whatever the coach wants me to do."

On the Combine experience…

“It was just chaos yesterday and everybody jumping from table to table. It was like speed dating, we were just jumping from table to table. So it was kind of neat to see.”

On his best attribute as an edge rusher…

“I think it's just my get-off. It starts with my get-off. Just being explosive and coming off right off the line and then you've got to have technique. I've worked on my craft these last couple years and I feel like I have improved and progressed as a defensive end using my hands, using my power, my speed. I think all those attributes help me a lot.''

Aaron Donald (DT)- Pittsburgh

On comparisons to Geno Atkins…

“I love the way he plays. I watched him a lot, watched him a lot my junior year in college. Explosive, fun to watch, he just makes a ton of plays. What he's doing in the NFL is amazing, it's an honor to even be compared to a guy like that.”

On where he can play along the defensive line…

“I played nose tackle, played a three-man front in the 5-tech, 3-tech. I moved around in college a lot, so being versatile the way I am, I feel like that's a plus for me. Defensive line is defensive line for me, but I feel like I'm a three-tech.”

On what makes him the player he is…

“I would just say the way I was raised, my parents and my background. I came from a humble beginning.  My dad had me working out at a young age to get the discipline skills. Helped me out a lot, just the way I was raised.”


Kony Ealy (DE) -Missouri

On what he wants to show teams at Combine…

"Explosiveness, good numbers of course. That I'm coachable, I can go hard, and I'm consistent."

On who he compares to…

“I compare myself to Aldon. He's a freak athlete. He gets off the ball. He probably had a little more sacks than me in college in my career. And J.J. Watt when it comes to pass deflections.”

 On the biggest challenge going to the NFL…

"Just being more serious about the job and knowing that you don't have any instructions, there's no class, there's no friends, it's strictly business, just everyday grind. You get in, you work on getting in your playbook. Knowing your plays is really key and also working on technique."

Timmy Jernigan (DT) – Florida State

On the various ways he can be used at defensive tackle…

““I feel like that’s what I benefit at. I feel like now in the NFL a lot of nose tackles, especially in the three-man front, the big 340-, 350-pound guys, and a lot of times when it’s pass situation, those guys have to come off the field and I feel like that’s where I can benefit a team at. I’ve played in the shade, I’ve played over the center, I’ve played in the three technique so I can play a three technique. When it’s a pass situation, when you want to go to a three-man front, you can put me on the nose guard, right on the zero. I can get pressure from the middle of the offense. I feel like that’s where my game changes from anyone else’s."

On concerns about his stamina…

“I definitely don’t feel like it’s an issue. I played on a team where I only played three full games – no, actually four full games the entire season and I just did what I could with the opportunity. There weren’t times where I had to play the whole game. Like I said, I only played in four (whole) games the entire season, every game I was out by third quarter. But when my number was called, when they needed Jernigan to be in the game, when I knew that I had to be in the game in order for us to win, I was there. I played 73 plays (in the BC Championship Game)."

On if he considers himself a leader…

“I definitely do, on the field and off the field. On the field I was definitely one of the leaders of our defense. I feel like we had probably the best defense in the country, and off the field I was a leader as well. Definitely in the weight room. I was a weight room warrior at Florida State. Just getting guys to follow behind me.”

Louis Nix (DT) – Notre Dame

On what he hopes to show teams…

“That my knee is well. I can run on it. I have a little wiggle like I said. Just show that I’m back and myself again. Less weight though.”

On Notre Dame…

“It’s a special place. Probably one of the best universities in the world. It was different from what I was used to. Culture shock at first. I wasn’t used to cold. I didn’t like it at first, but I stuck with it and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

On his propensity for Twitter…

“I don’t know how coaches will take it. If they don’t like it, I’ll get off of it, but I take pride in it. People love me. I love people. I just like to entertain. A little.”

Michael Sam (DE) - Missouri

On trying to be known just as a football player…

Well, heck yeah, I wish you guys would just say,

“I wish you guys would just say, 'Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?' I would love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is. And I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

On where he fits best…

“I want to play for whoever picks me up as a defensive end or outside linebacker to rush that passer, that would be best.... I’m a pass rusher. If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback. Whoever coaches or GMs, this league is a passing league, I’d like to believe in myself as a good pass rusher.”

On who he models himself after…

“There are a lot of great athletes, especially pass rushers out there. I want to try to make a name for myself. I admire Michael Strahan, he’s an awesome pass rusher, and many more like him. I’d like to make a name for myself.”


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