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NFL Draft

Max Roberts: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • April 17, 2021
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Winning the NFL draft is all about maximizing value, and defensive success in today’s league starts with an effective pass rush. Former Boston College (BC) defensive end Max Roberts hopes to bring both to the next level.

Roberts is an intriguing pass rusher in this year’s draft class and spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his decision to transfer to BC from Maine, what kind of skills and moves he brings to the table as a pass-rushing prospect, and which pro defensive linemen he would love to sit down and watch tape with.

JM: Start us off by telling me about your decision to transfer from Maine to Boston College for the 2020 season.

MR: I made that decision after Maine canceled their 2020 season due to COVID-19. I really wanted to play my senior season. I didn’t wanna wait another year for a spring or fall season. Boston College presented me with a chance to play somewhat of a normal season in 2020. I capitalized on my opportunity.

JM: You really made the most of it. You recorded an impressive 4.5 sacks in just eight games. I thought you had a great year. How do you look back on your time at Boston College?

MR: I had a great year. The level of competition was a step up for me but I proved that I could hold my own. I always wanted to play at a Power Five school. I was playing big-time football in 2020. It was a great opportunity for me. We had a great locker room. I loved the new coaching staff. [Head] coach Jeff Hafley is a terrific coach. I really enjoyed playing for him and his staff. It was a great experience.

JM: I want to talk about the level of competition. You were playing in the CAA at Maine. I imagine playing in the ACC is a very different experience.

MR: The offensive linemen were a lot stronger in the ACC (laughs). The bigger programs definitely have more depth at every position. Practice was a lot more intense because the scout team gives you a better look than what you might see at Maine. Everything was just more intense. The speed of the game was definitely a lot faster too.

JM: All of that makes sense. Despite taking a step up in competition, you still had 4.5 sacks in a shortened season. What can you tell me about your pass rush arsenal?

MR: I’m a very explosive player. I win off my first step more often than not. If I can jump the snap count and time it correctly, it’s very difficult to block me. My first step is my go-to. 

Besides that, I love using the chop-dip. I have a stab-club as well. That’s for when the offensive tackle oversets, I have to clear the blocker’s hands and get around him. I love using the stab-club in that situation.

JM: Where do you see yourself best fitting in at the next level?

MR: I see myself playing as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. I’m an EDGE player. I think that’s the best fit for me. I’m not the tallest guy. I’m not a traditional defensive end. Outside linebacker in a 3-4 is what fits me best.

JM: That makes sense to me. Have you met with any teams throughout this process?

MR: I’ve had a few phone calls. I had a bunch of interviews at the Hula Bowl as well. I had calls with the Raiders, Chargers, and Jets recently. At the Hula Bowl, I met with the Titans, Giants, 49ers, Seahawks, and a few others. I probably spoke with 12 teams at the Hula Bowl.

JM: That’s awesome. If you could pick the brain of any pass rusher in the league, who would you choose and why?

MR: Bud Dupree comes to mind. I watch a ton of his film. I like watching explosive guys that have that quick twitch first step off the ball. He also plays with a ton of power. He has it all. He has great hands as well. I love watching him use his hands to get around offensive tackles.

JM: That’s a great choice. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of its draft picks on Max Roberts?

MR: I’m one of the most explosive edge rushers in the draft. My first step is second to none. I also have a combination of power and speed. If I don’t beat the tackle with my speed and explosive first step off the edge, I can beat him with power just as easily. 

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