NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.
Born: Nov. 7, 1997
Experience: Draft prospect
Talking to my family and people that I value their opinions very closely, I feel like [declaring for the draft a year early] was the best decision for me. Going to the Senior Bowl, going to the combine, I've kinda got that same feedback from people around the league and teams that it was a good decision. They're excited for me.
I'm not necessarily sure that there were any surprises [from the NFL Scouting Combine]. I feel like being out in California training with Jordan Palmer, he did a great job preparing us. He gets guys ready every year for it, and he has a good idea of what's going to be going on there. So we weren't really thrown for too many loops, and it was a good experience.
I thought it was funny [when Steve Smith Sr. came up to me during drills and said I was throwing too hard]. I mean, I definitely got where he was coming from, [being a] receiver. I just laughed it off. It was a funny thing.
The biggest thing about the combine and situations like that is to just be yourself. That's the biggest takeaway, and that's what I did throughout my experience. I was just myself the entire time.
We met with a lot of the teams at the Senior Bowl and the combine. Through those two [events], you almost end up meeting with every team.
I felt like all of my meetings went really well, and I felt like there was a lot of excitement in all the meetings. The takeaway was, I'm very excited to get to the NFL.
I didn't get any weird [questions]. I was getting hyped up through the whole process that you're going to get some weird questions. At the Senior Bowl, I never got one. Then at the combine, I thought I would at least get a funny one, but I didn't get any.
I feel like [my March 13 pro day] is a chance to throw with the guys I've thrown with my whole career. Go out there and throw with timing and be loose and have fun. I'm really excited for my pro day, and I'll always have a chip on my shoulder, being from a small school. It's another chance to go out there and compete.
For me, I feel like every opportunity that I've gotten, I've taken advantage of it, whether that be the Senior Bowl or the combine. I feel like I've showed up and performed well. I played a lot of football in college and put a lot of good tape on. So a sleeper or a top-tier guy, at the end of the day, whatever team I do get on, I'm going to go out there and prove myself and be a franchise guy.
I train with [Bills quarterback Josh Allen] right now in California, so he's someone that I watch his game, and I like what he's done. He came from a small school like me, so we kind of took a similar route to get to the NFL. I feel like that's a good comparison.
I also love watching guys like Ben Roethlisberger and guys that came from the [Mid-American Conference]. I think that's a blessing, to be compared to some really good players, but I'm trying to go my own route and be my own guy, though.
The biggest thing I took away from [working with Allen] is to have fun with it throughout this process. He said he was just having fun and being himself, so throughout this entire process, I've done the same. People ask, "Was the combine stressful?" or, "Was the Senior Bowl stressful or training stressful?" And honestly, it's been fun. You're getting to do what you love and ever since you were little, you kinda prayed that you'd get the opportunity.
[Allen told me to] work as hard as possible and be the first one there and last one to leave. It's clich�� but it's what you have to do. He did a really good job [as a rookie], so that and just being prepared and taking care of your body and doing the right things.
Brett Favre. I loved watching him play. I had his jersey when I was a little kid, and he's the guy I looked up to. Just the style of his play, how he's having so much fun out there, like he was a little kid.
Just hang out with my family. I'm from Muskegon, Michigan, which is right on Lake Michigan, so we spend time out on the boat and things like that.
I'm not a "The Bachelor" fan, but when we got to California, they started making us watch it, so ... Jordan Palmer said last year's group watched it, so he made us watch it. It's not as bad as I thought. It keeps you entertained.
I'm going to work hard and go out there and give it my all. Be a guy who's going to play for a long time.