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Media Roundup: Highlights from OL Interviews

INDIANAPOLIS — The big boys had their turn at the podium Thursday afternoon as the offensive line prospects met the media at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

The linemen also participated in the bench press, and hit the field today for positional drills.

Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is projected to go at the top of the first round, and there was plenty of buzz surrounding the All-American lineman.

Here are highlights from Nelson and other offensive linemen at the combine:

Interior Linemen

Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 1, Brooks 1

On being a potential top 5 pick: "I think I should be talked about in that regard, the top five conversation because you have guys that are dominating the NFL right now in Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox that have just been working on interior guys, and you need guys to stop them, and I think I'm one of those guys. You talk to quarterbacks, and they say if a D-end gets on the edge, that's fine, they can step up in the pocket and they can throw, a lot of quarterbacks, if given the opportunity, can do that. That's what I give, a pocket to step up in, and I think I also help the offense establish the run through my nastiness, and establishing the run also opens up the passing game, so I think it's a good choice."

On using different techniques to improve on the field: "I thought tae-kwon-do would speed up my hands, which is very important at my position."

Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 2, Brooks 3

On his favorite part of the combine: "The meetings. I really enjoyed the meetings just because you get a chance to see everybody's different type of coaching style. You get a chance to get a feel for the coaching. Even though it's a quick meeting, you still get a chance to get a feel for them and their terminology and what they practice as an offense."

Will Hernandez, UTEP

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 4, Brooks 2

On his combine-leading 37 reps on the bench press: "I've done better in the past, but it was definitely around the number that I wanted to get, but I still think I could have done a little more."

On his multi-sport high school days: "I wrestled in high school, I threw shot put and I threw discuss. And I did run the 100-meter-yard dash just for giggles."

James Daniels, Iowa

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 3, Brooks 4

On his family ties to the NFL: "Everyone I've met with, the first thing they ask is family life and my family history. I tell them about my mom and dad. My dad [LeShun Sr.] played at Ohio State, played in the NFL. My older brother plays in the NFL right now. I have a younger brother and a younger sister. That's usually the first question and they go off of that. Then, it's straight into the football stuff and then personal life. A lot of questions have been would I be able to transition to guard? The transition to guard, my entire true freshman season, I played right and left guard. I didn't play center my true freshman year. Transition to guard wouldn't be a problem for me.

Billy Price, Ohio State (spoke to the media Friday morning)

Pre-combine draft rankings for: Mayock 5, Brooks 5

On suffering a pectoral injury Thursday in the bench press: "I got the MRI results this morning, and it was officially an 'incomplete pec tear.' Something very minor … I'll be fine for the season going forward and should be fine for training camp."

On his current mindset: "I wasn't turning away and running away from this. At my career at Ohio State I didn't miss any time … you can't run from an issue, and I'm not going to hide. But this is something that's very minor and will be corrected, and I'll be stronger going forward."

Tackles



Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 1, Brooks 2

On being the cousin of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan: "It's kind of been the "Mike McGlinchey, Matt Ryan's first cousin" since I was in high school. But I'm very thankful for that. Matt has guided me every step of the way, whether he knew it or not. And just watching the way Matt goes about his business, the way that he works, the way that people respect him is something that I've always worked for. He's been my football hero ever since I was a little kid going to his [Boston College] games in fourth, fifth, sixth grade, and when he got drafted into the pros when I was in eighth grade or whatever, we all went up for the trip, and it was at that moment that I said, 'You know what, I want to do that, too.' And everything that I've ever learned from him has been great. He's obviously a member of my family, and I love him for that, too. But the experience and the values that he's taught me have been invaluable, whether he's said things directly to me or not."

Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 2, Brooks 1

On his father, Orlando, who played nine seasons at right tackle in the NFL for Cleveland and Baltimore and started 119 career games:"I don't necessarily model my game after him. I can't really study Dad because it's a different game. So much has changed between 1993 and now."

Connor Williams, Texas

Pre-combine draft rankings: Mayock 3, Brooks 3

On mindset on the field: "I believe I instill my will. I'm a finisher, and I go to the whistle. At the same time, I balance that with athleticism and 100 percent effort, and you get somewhere with it."

Kolton Miller, UCLA

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks 5, Mayock 5

On being interchangeable at both tackle spots: "It's tough when you're practicing one position and you're training your muscle groups to do one specific action, and then all of a sudden, 'Hey do it on the other side.' It's really not the same. It's something that you do over and over again in practice and you have to develop. It's really hard to switch from one side to the other. I'd say I'm more productive at left tackle because that's where I took all the reps this year, but my redshirt freshman year I was interchanged right to left. But I feel more comfortable at left right now."

Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan

Pre-combine draft rankings:  Brooks 4, Unranked by Mayock

On getting into football after moving to America from Botswana in 2010: "I kicked my sophomore year of football, then played right tackle my junior and senior year. I was at gym class, then my coach told me to try out."

On his journey to the NFL: "After my first year [in college], it's like, 'Wow, I'm blessed to play the sport I love.' Looking back at where I came from, most people would say it doesn't make sense how far I've come in such a short time. I'm just blessed to be here."

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