Versatility is a huge asset in today’s NFL, especially for teams looking to add depth to their offensive line units.
Former Texas A&M tackle Carson Green is one of the most versatile offensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Green spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his experience as a durable starter, how his versatility will help him at the next level, and what kind of mentality it takes to become a successful O-lineman.
JM: You started more than 30 games at Texas A&M. You were so durable, consistent, and dependable throughout your time there. How do you look back on your time as an Aggie?
CG: It was an awesome experience. This past season was one of my favorite years because you saw who really wanted to play football. A lot of guys opted out and that was their decision to make of course. Our locker room was closer than ever before in 2020. Everybody that decided to stay played a big role in 2020. We all became really close. We felt like it was all on us to stick together and power through the difficulties of the season.
I learned a lot over my years at Texas A&M. It definitely helped me mature and grow up. They put me in a big-time role and I played against some really good players.
JM: I love that. When I put the tape on, I see an incredibly tough and physical player. How did you develop into the tough player you are today?
CG: It just happened for me over the years. I’m from Southlake Carroll High School. They do a great job raising tough, physical players. I learned a great amount of discipline in high school. We spent the summers together. We trained together. It was like a year-round thing for us. We did everything we could to become tough football players from an early age. It just carried over to college for me.
Coach [Jimbo] Fisher and his staff came into Texas A&M and brought that old school mentality back. We wanted to run the football and win the line of scrimmage. We didn’t have a lot of quick passing sets. We pushed through it and played tough, hard-nosed football. We came together and developed that mindset. We did it together.
JM: Speaking of head coach Jimbo Fisher, tell me more about the scheme you ran on offense and what some of your responsibilities were?
CG: Coach Fisher runs a pro-style offense. Playing in his offense, it was very helpful for me as I get ready for the next level. For example, I went down to the Senior Bowl back in January and we ran a lot of the same plays that I know like the back of my hand because they were a part of our offense at Texas A&M. We ran a lot of the same plays with a few minor tweaks.
I played right tackle. As I got older, I took on more of a leadership role. I helped bring the young guys along. I helped lead the team. It was a great offense to play in and I became very comfortable and confident in my role there.
JM: You’ve played a lot of right tackle as you said. Is that the position you see yourself playing at the next level?
CG: I see myself playing either right tackle or at one of the guard positions. I’m willing to play wherever I’m needed in order to help the team.
JM: Tell me about the mentality it takes to develop into a quality offensive lineman.
CG: You have to be an incredibly tough player to handle everything that comes with playing on the offensive line. You have to do your job. You have to keep the pocket clean for your quarterback. It’s the one position where you actually hit somebody on every single play. We don’t get a lot of credit but if one of us messes up, the play is dead and over with. We’re essential to the success of every play. You need to have a good offensive line in order to have a good offense.
You have to be tough. You’re gonna get banged up. You gotta be willing to play through a lot of those things. You’re gonna get crushed and you’re gonna get rolled up on. The running back may run right into your back while trying to get one extra yard. You have to be willing to sacrifice your body for the greater good of the team.
You also have to be willing to play next to somebody. We’re five people, but we’re really like a unit out there. We need to have good chemistry. Somebody next to you may get hurt. You have to trust the guy next to you at all times. Being a good offensive lineman comes down to being tough and being a good communicator.
JM: That’s a terrific answer. You mentioned the Senior Bowl earlier. What was that experience like?
CG: It was awesome. Jim Nagy did a tremendous job with it. With all of the COVID-19 testing and protocols, it couldn’t have been an easy event to pull off but the Senior Bowl did it to perfection.
It was definitely a different year. They did a great job making sure social distancing was occurring within reason. It was a very safe, well-ran event. I loved the experience. It gave me a chance to play one last game in the maroon and white. I enjoyed competing against some of the best guys in the nation. It was cool to be around Matt Rhule and his NFL coaching staff. That was awesome. It gave me a chance to see how an NFL staff operates. I was around NFL strength coaches. I learned how they like to run through warmups and whatnot. It felt like a sneak peek at the next level. I liked being around the O-line coaches. I got to pick their brain a little. It was great to get in the film room and watch how NFL coaches study film. They wanted to know what we were thinking before we started a play. There were so many helpful little exercises. I found it all so interesting. I had an awesome week there. It gave me a preview of what’s to come.
JM: That’s a great way to summarize how helpful the Senior Bowl truly is. A lot of things are happening virtually right now. How’s that process going for you, and which teams have you met with so far?
CG: The process is going well. I met with all 32 teams at the Senior Bowl so that was great. It was nice to have that in-person interaction before things started happening virtually as you said. It gave me a chance to get into a room with NFL scouts. I love having that face-to-face interaction. We’re now doing everything through a monitor. It’s definitely different. At least we can see each other’s facial expressions still (laughs). I’m enjoying the process though. I met with the Cardinals’ O-line coach on Zoom recently. I’ve spoken with several others as well.
JM: This has been great. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of their draft picks on Carson Green?
CG: I’m a dependable guy. I’m not a guy that’s gonna miss any time with a little injury. I’m used to playing through things. I think every offensive lineman needs to be tough, durable, and loyal. That’s how I play the game. I play for my teammates.
I think I can really help a team. I want to win at the end of the day. If they want a guy with a winning mindset, I’m their guy. I’m not big on personal and individual accolades. You’re not gonna find me posting anything on social media. I just wanna help the team out. You’re always going to get a lot of effort out of me. I just really like playing football.
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