Chaz Green – Path to the 2015 NFL Draft: Lining up team visits, Florida Gators Pro Day recap

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 third time after visiting with four more NFL teams and participating in Pro Day on Tuesday in Gainesville, Florida.

Since the last time I checked in, the only non-football thing I’ve done that is really notable is met with a stylist in Ocala. My agent set up that appointment, and I’m excited to see what we come up with ahead of my visits and the draft.

On March 20, I met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They put me on the board in the meeting room for three hours to see how well I picked up installations – inside zone runs, outside zone runs. They showed me how they would block against 15 different fronts they see on a regular basis, and in order to evaluate whether I understood them, had me answer when they called out those specific fronts. When we got done, they gave me a test to see how much information I retained from the session. I think I did really well because I got some real good feedback from that workout.

I had a bit of a break after that meeting, so I just stayed up on my workouts in order to make sure I stayed best shape possible. We don’t have a whole lot of time left until the draft and everything runs together, so I’ve just been trying to work out and promote myself, too, keep my name out there as we go through the process.

Though I still haven’t had much contact with the new Gators coaching staff, I did run into Chris Rumph, the defensive line coach, in late March. We were talking in the weight room for a little bit, and he was messing with me, saying how they wanted me at Alabama during my recruitment. He definitely seemed like a really cool guy.

I had been spending a lot of time with D.J. Humphries and Andre Debose since returning to Gainesville. Kyle Christy is taking classes still, so he never left town while the other guys were working out across the state and country. Obviously everyone else came in for Pro Day this week and many of them will stick around until the draft.

Before Pro Day though, I had two more team meetings in Gainesville, and they came on back-to-back days on March 26 and 27.

Max Garcia and I met with the Houston Texans on March 26th. We spent about 45 minutes working out and did a lot of it inside the weight room because there was some weather in The Swamp. We had a nice 45-minute grind and then spent an hour – it was a little different than other teams – in the board room. Houston’s offensive line coach [Mike Devlin] didn’t teach us their schemes as much; he put on a lot of the things we did and we just explained our basic protections, basic run plays, why we did certain things that he saw us do on film. He wanted to know if it was something we were coached to do or something we picked up naturally. Devlin, I liked him a lot. He’s a real down-to-Earth guy. He just spoke to us about the whole process in general, what to expect at the next level. We went to lunch and had a great visit overall.

That night, I went to dinner with Frank Pollack, the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line coach. The next day, we had the longest workout I’ve had to this point. Myself, D.J. and Max were out there, and we were probably out on the field for two hours. We spent the first 45 minutes doing a lot of agility drills, flexibility drills; he wanted to see how we could move as athletes. We did bag drills, foot quickness drills, and then the last half was straight football. We covered everything as far as blocking, pulling, pass protection, changing direction, hip explosion, balance, strength. That was another great grind, and then we watched some film as well. We spent another hour and a half on one protection that they run, one of their main protections. We were in there grinding for a good hour and a half as well, so it was a long day.

One thing that’s great about these meetings is that I am learning a lot about football. Every team teaches the same thing in different ways and every team has a different twist to the game of football. What’s interesting, from all these different coaches, is learning these different techniques. That’s one thing the coach from the Texans showed me – how to change my feet up a little bit on certain pass plays and certain run plays – but he noted that every team may say something completely different even though the end result might be the same.

On Monday, I had two more visit before Pro Day as the New Orleans Saints wanted to meet me for breakfast while they were in town. One of their assistant offensive line coaches wanted to get a feel for me. He had already seen me on film, so we talked through some base plays, my technique and how I think on the field. For dinner, I met with the San Diego Chargers and offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. We did some board work for a good two hours, the same thing as before, going over how they call their plays and how I retained the information installation.

Coming out of all these workouts and interviews, it is unanimous from the coaches that [Florida offensive line coach] Mike Summers prepared us tremendously. That’s some feedback we’re getting from the next level. From a technique standpoint on the field and also a mental standpoint in the game of football, guys from the next level say we’re really well prepared and that’s a credit to Coach Summers, everything he taught us. I feel like we’re very prepared for this process.

Going into Pro Day on Tuesday, I had decided beforehand only to do on-field drills. I felt great going in, and it was nice to see all my boys out there, guys I haven’t seen in a while. Having all those guys out there for one last go-around in The Swamp was great.

We did our standard position drills but wound up being worked longer because there were about 15 offensive line coaches on the field, so I was told we as an offensive line group worked nearly a half hour more than normal. There was a really good turnout for everyone, which definitely gave us extra energy.

I feel like I did well on the drills overall. Obviously there are some drills you wish you could have back. I had some early jitters, obviously, but I feel like I showed everything I needed to show. Overall, it was a great experience to be in The Swamp and on the field one last time.

The memories I had with my brothers in that locker room and running out of the tunnel in The Swamp flashed back to me while I was there. Those are incredible moments in my life. And let me tell you, the coaches that were there understand what it is all about. I saw coaches standing around taking selfies – I’m not going to throw any names out – but they all realize how unique of a place it is.

I’ll be flying out Wednesday morning for a top-30 visit with Dallas, which I’m confident means they liked what they saw when we met last month because teams only get to bring out 30 guys for all-expenses-paid visits. I’ll spend the day with them and then fly out on Thursday to New York to meet with the Buffalo Bills for a job interview.

From what I’ve heard, I’ll meet all the staff again, the trainers, they’ll check me out [medically] one more time. I’ll meet with the coach, they’ll put me on the board and test me to see how I learn and whether I can fit in with their systems. The visits are usually pretty standard, from what I understand. They want to get a feel for who you are and what they would be getting while showing you what they’re all about as a franchise.

From there, I expect to return to Gainesville, and I’ll catch the spring game on Saturday, but I should be right back on the road again after that as I’m supposed to visit with the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons before going to Tampa on April 15.

Overall, I’m just trying to stay positive, remain confident and put my best foot forward. My goal is to leave a lasting impression with the coaches I meet so I stick in their minds on draft day.

Go Gators!

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Former Florida Gators participate in 2015 Pro Day

Twenty-two former Florida Gators are scheduled to participate in 2015 Pro Day on Tuesday morning at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Leading the pack are a pair of potential first-round draft picks in defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and offensive tackle D.J. Humphries.

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TWO BITS: Horford transfer, Easley Pro Day

1 » According to ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman, redshirt junior forward Jon Horford, a Michigan Wolverines transfer and the brother of former Florida Gators F Al Horford, is heavily considering choosing to play the final year of his collegiate career in Gainesville, FL. Jon Horford (6-foot-10, 250 pounds) will be a redshirt senior in 2014-15 and cleared to play without having to sit out a season. He registered 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game for Michigan last season and decided to transfer in order to get more playing time. That is one reason why a move to Florida was not believed to be on the table previously. Though the Gators are in need of frontcourt players, they do have freshman Chris Walker and redshirt junior Damontre Harris at center next season. Florida will also play redshirt juniors Alex Murphy (currently not scheduled to be eligible until the spring), redshirt junior Dorian Finney-Smith and incoming freshman Devin Robinson, though the latter two players will likely play small forward. Horford’s addition would fill UF’s remaining 2014-15 scholarship but not affect the allotment for 2015-16.

2 » Gators defensive tackle Dominique Easley has spent the last seven months rehabilitating his torn ACL but is finally getting the chance to show NFL teams what he can do on Thursday as he is participating in a private Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. Joining Easley for the workout are outside linebackers Ronald Powell and Darrin Kitchens, who also participated in Florida’s first Pro Day one month earlier on March 17. Easley recently completed a visit with the Dallas Cowboys, his first private trip, and is expected to go on many more after his Pro Day workout is complete. Projections for Easley range from the second to fifth round, but he is likely to be taken on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft as long as he can prove he’s healthy.

Continue Reading » TWO BITS: Horford transfer, Easley Pro Day

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Jaylen Watkins: Path to the NFL Draft: Pro Day

Through the 2014 NFL Draft, which will be held in New York, NY from May 8-10, Florida Gators defensive back Jaylen Watkins will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Florida’s third-leading tackler with 52 takedowns last season, Watkins played safety for the Gators after being primarily used as a cornerback – the position he will play as a professional – during his first three years. Watkins started 28 of the 48 games in which he participated but saw the field for starter’s minutes in many of those other contests.

His eighth entry was submitted shortly after his participation in Pro Day in Gainesville, FL. Watkins also began private meetings and workouts.

Heading into Pro Day, I was hoping to be 100 percent recovered from my Achillles injury. I felt good that day, good enough to do the broad jump, vertical jump, shuttle drills and on-field work, which I did not anticipate doing all of those heading into the day. I ended up aggravating it doing those activities, and it definitely started bothering me, but I got some good notes back on how I performed.

The weather played a factor, too. It was nasty last year but dried up before the guys got out on the field. We didn’t know what to expect. The earlier part of the day, looking outside, it was pouring and we didn’t expect to go outside at all. I know it was rough for Marcus [Roberson] and Loucheiz [Purifoy] and the rest of the guys having to run on the indoor track and having things off-schedule. “Out of all the days, it had to rain this day.” You know? It was warm the day before, right after it cleared up as well. But just for it to happen like that was a stroke of bad luck for all of us.

Before Pro Day even began, the night before, I had my first meeting since the combine and linked up with the Indianapolis Colts at the Florida football facility. It was very similar to all of my other meetings. We went over film, got to know each other and they picked my brain on some things over about 20-30 minutes.

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Former Florida Gators participate in 2014 Pro Day

Thirteen former Florida Gators football players participated in Pro Day in Gainesville, FL on Monday though the event was not able to be held in front of the public at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as originally scheduled.

Due to heavy rain, Florida was forced to cancel the on-field workout and move things indoors. Players ran 40-yard dashes and participated in other drills on a rubber track inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center – many took their shoes off and ran barefoot – before returning to the practice field for some positional drills.

“That was a first,” said UF head coach Will Muschamp of seeing the players run barefoot. “Proud of those guys working hard, a great day for them. The culmination of a lot of work. Have a great opportunity to play in the National Football League. …

“You play football in the rain. Our guys, it’s amazing how many scouts [came out]. Last year, we had a cold day. This, year we had some rain. The scouts walk up and the coaches walk up, Mike Zimmer walks up and says, ‘Hey, I appreciate you guys working.’ That means a lot. Believe me, these guys are professionals; they understand the conditions and the things the guys go through. None of our guys bellyache; they go work, and I’m proud of them for their effort.”

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance with 59 scouts reportedly in Gainesville on Monday. Unlike last season, when general managers and coaches did not attend because the Gators held Pro Day on the same day as the start of 2013 NFL free agency, a number found their way to The Swamp with Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer and New Orleans defensive coordinator Rob Ryan standing out as notable faces.

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Jaylen Watkins: Path to NFL Draft – Gainesville

Through the 2014 NFL Draft, which will be held in New York, NY from May 8-10, Florida Gators defensive back Jaylen Watkins will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Florida’s third-leading tackler with 52 takedowns last season, Watkins played safety for the Gators after being primarily used as a cornerback – the position he will play as a professional – during his first three years. Watkins started 28 of the 48 games in which he participated but saw the field for starter’s minutes in many of those other contests.

His seventh entry was submitted on Wednesday, the day he arrived back in Gainesville, FL to begin preparations for Pro Day, which is open to the public and set for Monday, March 17 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Coming out of the NFL Combine, I’ve spent the last two weeks continuing to rehabilitate and train in South Florida. It was nice to have a break from everything for a bit, but I’m glad to be back in the swing of things.

I actually just got back to Gainesville on Wednesday morning. It feels a little weird to be back, but the first thing I did was go to the stadium even before I went to my place. I went and saw my teammates, Coach [Will] Muschamp and T-Rob [defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson], and everybody in the training room. They were all excited to see me, and it was definitely mutual.

My 4.44-second 40-yard dash was definitely the topic of conversation. A lot of the guys and coaches were saying they were proud of me for what I was able to do in the Senior Bowl and at the NFL Combine. It was really nice to feel the support.

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SIX BITS: agents, Senior Bowl, Easley, NFL moves

1 » OnlyGators.com learned Wednesday night that Florida Gators seniors cornerback Jaylen Watkins and wide receiver Solomon Patton have both signed with agent Tom Santanello of Boca Raton, FL. Santanello, who inked defensive tackle Dominique Easley in November, also represents two other former Florida players – safety Josh Evans and tight end Jordan Reed. Watkins and Patton will join Easley as he trains in Boca Raton over the next few months as all three players look to get in the best possible shape before their workouts.

2 » A late-second to early-third day pick, Watkins is hoping to raise his stock immensely before the 2014 NFL Draft and has accepted an invitation to the 2014 Senior Bowl in an effort to do just that. Many NFL personnel people already believe that Watkins has a superior skill set to junior CB Loucheiz Puriofy albeit a lower ceiling due to Purifoy’s ridiculous athleticism and penchant for highlight-making plays. Joining Watkins at the Senior Bowl (so far) is redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio. Easley was also invited but will be unable to do so as he continues to recover from his torn ACL.

A source close to Easley tells OnlyGators.com that there are currently no plans for the player to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine or Pro Day at Florida. However, as he continues to heal and regain strength in his knee, anything is certainly possible. Easley does plan to at least hold a private workout prior to the draft.

Check out four more BITS on Gators in the NFL…after the break!

Continue Reading » SIX BITS: agents, Senior Bowl, Easley, NFL moves

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FOUR BITS: Floyd, NFL, Demps, WWE, Lee

1 » It has been a busy last few days in Gainesville, FL for Florida Gators hoping to continue their football careers and be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. On Friday, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Lerentee McCray and wide receiver Omarius Hines (who just ran the 40-yard dash in an effort to improve his time) participated in a private Pro Day on campus. Floyd and McCray both sat out Florida’s first Pro Day on March 12. According to NFL.com, 14 teams were in Gainesville to watch Floyd including the Oakland Raiders (No. 3 overall pick) with general manager Reggie McKenzie. NFL Network was there to watch Floyd; this report (which was followed by a lengthy discussion) was aired on Friday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter added that, on Monday, a collection of officials from the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 1 overall pick) – including general manager John Dorsey – held a private workout with Floyd.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was also in Gainesville over the weekend first to watch his daughter (an assistant coach for Ohio State’s lacrosse team) on Saturday and then to hold a private workout with five Florida players on Sunday, OGGOA has learned. Participating in Sunday’s private workout were McCray, linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins, safety Josh Evans and defensive lineman Earl Okine. The only other person in attendance to watch the workouts was Belichick’s right-hand man, New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio.

Read three more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Floyd, NFL, Demps, WWE, Lee

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