Media Roundup: Highlights from DT/DE Combine Media Sessions

INDIANAPOLIS — Perhaps the deepest position group in the draft took some time to answer questions and tell their stories on Saturday afternoon.

More than four dozen defensive linemen — split up between defensive tackles and edge rushers — chatted with the media at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

The big boys will perform on-field drills Sunday, but here are some highlights from the media sessions of defensive linemen at the combine:

Defensive tackles

Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Pre-combine draft rankings: NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks (1), The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (1)

On evolving into a run stopper: “I started out as a pass rusher and then learned how to stop the run because I was coming from defensive end and making that transition to nose guard. I had to learn how to stop the run.”

On his love of cookies: “Yeah, I love Oreos. I have to eat Oreos almost every day.”

Ed Oliver, Houston

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (4), Brugler (2)

On his playing style: “Just how violent and aggressive I am and how much of a penetrator I am. Just the difference flair I can bring as a D-lineman.”

On being asked to possibly play linebacker in the NFL: “I’d ask myself to play linebacker, too. I’m a very athletic defensive tackle … you never know, I might end up playing linebacker in the league. I feel like I’m a 3-technique, but if they pay me to play linebacker, then guess what I’ll be doing? Playing linebacker.”

Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (3), Brugler (4)

On his potential impact: “I want teams to realize that if they get me, they’re investing in something bigger than football. Just the ability I have to dominate on the field … but to also improve the culture … I feel like I’m the kind of guy you want in your locker room and want on your team.”

On his fun-loving personality: “I just love to have fun and have a good time. Life is too short to be too serious. I don’t take myself too serious unless I have to.”

Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (5), Brugler (7)

On where he sees himself in the draft class: “I still believe I should be one of the top guys in this draft.”

Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (unranked), Brugler (5)

On his basketball background: “My basketball background helps a little bit because it enables me to be agile and get skinny through the hole or be quick and elusive with my feet.”

On the reality of playing in the NFL: “It is a little weird sometimes to actually think about it that I’ll be in the same league as Tom Brady and stuff. It’s kind of weird, but the more you [think about] it, the more you get used to it.”

Edge rushers

Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (1), Brugler (1)

On his health after missing most of his junior season: “I’ve been talking myself up pretty good to [teams]. I’m definitely ready to get on the field … and leave no doubt.”

On advice from his brother, Joey, a defensive end with the Chargers: “I lived with him for the past few months, so we talk all the time. He just gives me motivation and tells me it’s going to be awesome and that I’m going to kill it.”

Josh Allen, Kentucky

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks (2), Brugler (2)

On being confident: “I think I’m the best player in this draft. If other teams don’t, you know, I’ll see them during the season.”

Rashan Gary, Michigan

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (3), Brugler (3)

On what sets him apart in this defensive line class: “To be honest, I feel I’m more versatile. I played base-end, but you’re able to throw me inside at [tackle], I can rush over a guard, stand up off the edge … I can really do anything you ask me to do. I’m a Swiss Army knife for any team.”

On being a No. 1 recruit: “No pressure … it’s something I’m used to. Coming out with a big name, it made me work harder. But there’s no pressure at all.”

Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (4), Brugler (4)

On his parents’ influence: “My mom served in Desert Storm, and my father served in Vietnam … he passed away when I was 13. That was big for me because they loved the aspect of integrity. They always demanded I did the right thing and went about my business the right way and did it in a matter that it was respectful … it was just a lot of different things they drew from the military.”

Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (5), Brugler (7)

On playing in the Senior Bowl: “The most valuable part of that experience was just getting there and getting a head start on showing teams who I was as a person. Just learning from those NFL coaches was a big plus, also.”

On his daily mindset: “It’s all about a grind and keep on working on your craft. Once you find success, just stick with what you know and keep on building on it.”

Jachai Polite, Florida

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks (unranked), Brugler (5)

On rooming with Bosa at the Combine: “He’s cool. I never knew him, never talked to him or said a word to him … just looked his highlights up. I was kind of starstruck, like, ‘Dang, you Bosa.’ ”

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