Shortly after the Chargers selected him with the 242nd overall pick in the seventh round, defensive tackle Cortez Broughton phoned in for his first interview as a member of the Chargers.
Question: Many experts had you projected to go as high as the fifth round, and it’s getting near the end of the draft. What’s going through your mind and what was it like when you got that call?
Broughton: You’re sitting there, and it’s so nerve-wracking. You’re anxious. And all of a sudden, you get the call and the excitement hits you. The biggest thing is having faith in God and trusting that what you did worked.
Question: So who are the Chargers getting in Cortez Broughton?
Broughton: You’ll see. I’ll show you when I get to the west coast.
Question: Nice! You get a lot of praise for your ability to play different spots up front. How much is your versatility a big part of your game?
Broughton: It’s very important, and it didn’t come easy. The biggest thing was that in the 2017 season I had to change positions and play defensive end. It wasn’t the easiest at first, but as I grasped that concept, because I played nose and three-technique when I first got there, I learned different pass rush moves. I’m coming from a different angle. What’s the fastest way to get to the quarterback? What’s my pinpoint on the tackle and what I’m aiming at? The biggest thing is learning and growing as a person. That’s what makes it.
Question: You really broke out your senior year with 18.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. What clicked for you?
Broughton: Yeah, obviously it clicked, but I think it was putting together what I learned from all my coaches, because I had five coaches over five years. That was the biggest thing. Being able to take a piece of each coach and their knowledge, that’s what (clicked).
Question: Is there any player you admired and tried to model your game after?
Broughton: You see your J.J. Watts, but my thing is, I was always taught at an early age that you’re always learning from someone. That’s the good and the bad. I really live by that. I don’t really admire anyone, I just take pieces from each person and try to learn from that.
Question: Finally, how aware were you of the Chargers’ interest in you leading up to the draft, and how excited are you to join one of the most talented defensive lines in the game?
Broughton: I was somewhat aware. I went on a visit, but at the same time, I didn’t talk to them since then. It is what it is. You go where you go and you land where you land. I had a great visit, and it’s remarkable to join those (players along the defensive line). On my visit, I sat down with the assistant defensive line coach and we watched the film. We watched a practice film for at least 30 minutes. Seeing how they work and their craft, and what they do and how they finish a move, seeing those little details they are trying to perfect, it’s (impressive). It’s the smallest things. Like turning my foot 30 more degrees rather than a 45-degree angle. Seeing their attention to that type of detail, and playing with guys who really care about the game, that’s what I always wanted to do.