Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.
Green checks in for the first time following the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine as he returns to Gainesville, Florida to continue the pre-draft process. In this entry, he takes you inside his journey from the conclusion of the 2014 season through the combine.
Coming out of the bowl game, my first priority was finding the right agent because I know that could make a difference for me. The process started right away, and my father really helped that along. I narrowed it down to a few guys and went with Sports Entertainment Group and Adisa Bakari. He had a body of work that I felt like spoke for itself.
After getting to know Adisa and understanding how committed he is to my life after football, the next step in the process was figuring out where to train ahead of the combine. I knew that if I signed with him I would probably head down to Bommarito Performance Systems down in Miami. Neiron Ball, who is with the same agency as me and was a former roommate of mine at Florida, Trenton Brown and Andre Debose are all training down here in Miami with me, so it was a comfortable situation from the beginning. It made the transition a lot easier, and we all developed a bond that allowed us to push each other just like we did with the Gators.
While training, my goals were to put on some solid weight – which I definitely did, I weighed in at the combine at 314 – and get stronger, of course I did that, too. I also wanted to improve my technique in the 40-yard dash, and I feel like I did really well in that regard. All of the other guys worked hard, too. I can’t speak to what he specifically did, but Trenton Brown definitely worked really hard to lose the weight he needed to. He definitely did that.
It was a blessing when I got the combine invitation. I’ve seen a lot of my older teammates go there, and it was always something I envisioned myself doing. I was very fortunate to get the invitation, and I just wanted to go there and show what I could do and turn some heads, which I feel like I did.
Before I left for the combine, I spoke with Marcus Gilbert, who was also training down in Miami at Bommarito. My freshman year at Florida, he was one of the senior starting tackles at the time. He sat down with me and explained the whole interview process, told me that’s one thing that catches a lot of guys off guard. With his advice, I went into the combine with the right mindset and had an enjoyable experience all around.
As far as the whole experience itself in Indianapolis, a lot of people when they see it on television think it’s all physical. They see everybody run the 40s, do the combine drills and the position drills. That’s the last day. That’s the relief for the guys at my position; that’s actually the fun part. The days prior to that, you’re actually getting up at 4:30 a.m. every day. You have medical exams, x-rays, doctors checking on you, getting blood drawn. You have a bunch of psychological exams; probably four or five hours of testing they have you do to see how you may respond to certain circumstances, different types of coaching. Then you have meetings with the NFLPA, the Wonderlic test. And you’re meeting with coaches, too, all in between and throughout that process in both informal and formal interviews.
The informal interviews are in what they call a train station – it’s like an open house event with a bunch of different positions coaches in one room and you’re literally just walking around and they’re constantly grabbing guys for 15 minutes each to get as much information as they can. Between all that and the other things you have to do – the testing – it’s tough. You also have all the formal interviews, which are scheduled at certain times throughout the day in hotel rooms. You have the head coach, the position coach and sometimes all the position coaches in there. It’s just a private meeting where they ask you about your personal life and stuff like that. They may put film on the board and ask you to describe some plays. They want to see where your head is as a player, and they want to get to know you on a personal level.
Throughout the interview process, I thought I did really well. I had formal interviews with the [Seattle] Seahawks, [Miami] Dolphins and the [San Francisco] 49ers. I’ve had people give me really positive feedback. People can tell I’m real knowledgeable about the game, real well-spoken, have a high football IQ. I believe I showed that with the feedback I was getting. I feel really happy with my knowledge that I spread to the teams.
I knew one thing I was going to have to address was my injury history, sitting out the 2013 season [with a torn labrum]. I was looking forward to addressing it because I wanted them to yank on me and check my body out because I feel like the best I’ve felt in a while. That was the main thing I was looking forward to going in there because there may be a question mark about my durability, but I feel as strong and as healthy as ever. I passed all the medial tests. I got out there and ran around great and felt real athletic – after they yanked and pulled on me – I did all the workouts and didn’t pull out of anything. I had nothing to hide and nothing to protect in that regard.
Gators fans know that D.J. Humphries got a lot of praise coming out of the combine; it did not surprise me at all. Everybody knows his potential, but I think his ability to put on some weight really turned the heads of some guys. He’s proven what he can do on the field, so things are only looking up for him from here, and I was really happy to see that.
After the combine, I went straight back to Miami to continue training. My agent and I worked on a plan going forward and that will include me returning to Gainesville to workout at the facility on a specific regimen that will allow me to get into football shape. [Editor’s Note: Chaz returned to Gainesville over the weekend.] Being in Gainesville will also allow me to be interviewed by a lot of teams as representatives are always being sent to town over the next couple of months, both around Pro Day and at other times.
Speaking of Gainesville, Adam told me that fans probably want to know my opinions about the last few years at Florida. Personally, it was very difficult for me the way the last couple of years played out. It’s one of those things you have to learn and grow from. Coach [Will] Muschamp really helped us keep our heads and keeping us all looking in the right direction. There were no finger-pointers even though we were all faced with adversity. You want to finish on a really good note, but things do not always go as planned and you have to live and grow from them. I hope I spread my message to the young guys as far as playing four quarters of football every game. Hopefully they can bring the Gators back to where I know they can be, one of the top programs in the nation.
I left so soon after the bowl game that I did not get a chance to meet the new coaching staff, but I did see Coach [Jim] McElwain during bowl prep. I’ve heard good things regarding the strength staff; they’re definitely doing some great things, and the players are working really hard. I’ve spoken with a few guys really briefly and to this point it’s been a lot of positive things. It sounds like things are headed in the right direction.