NE Patriots Draft had the opportunity to chat with Connor Barwin (TE/DE/LB, Cinci) today. Connor had an amazing combine and his stock is steadily rising. We have him being picked with the #34 pick in the draft by your very own New England Patriots. We’d like to extend our thanks to XAM Sports and Connor for giving us the time to work with.
What was the best part of the NFL Combine for you Connor?
I’d say the 4th day, where I was out there with best players in the country. I got to show how I matched up with them on an even playing field so to speak.
What allowed you to transition to the defensive side of the ball so easily?
My coaches did a really good job simplifying things for me, no overcoaching. They gave me a couple techniques and a few rules and just said play as fast as you can and make some plays.
Speaking of the techniques, did you ever have the opportunity to play defense standing up?
Yeah, we played the 3-4 sporadically, maybe during 2 or 3 games. In our “tight” formation I would start with my hand down and then shift to OLB. I felt like I had much better vision without my head in the dirt.
Who were some of the toughest guys to play against your Senior year?
Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma is really the only guy that comes to mind. It was my 2nd game on defense and we were really caught off guard by the tempo.
When you’re watching guys like that on film, what keys do you look for?
That’s a good question, something more like a coach would ask, not an interviewer. I like to watch their (the tackles) last few games and see how they got beat. Was it an inside move, or were they always getting beat by speed.
Have you had any contact with the Patriots this season?
Yeah, I talked with some Patriots scouts at the Senior Bowl and met with their TE coach at the combine.
Any significance to the #5 Jersey?
I really just like #5 and wanted a change when I moved from offense to defense. I guess it was also to honor Mike Daniels who wore it last year. He was a little undersized at the college level, but was an Ohio HS great and of the most awesome guys I have ever known.
How has your time playing basketball helped you on the offensive/defensive sides of the ball?
It’s been a huge part. Bottom line, if you have the footwork, speed, and agility to play in the Big East, arguably the best basketball conference in the nation, you have athletecism. As a TE, it helps with running routes and making plays. If you can make a move around a guard or small forward, you should be able to get around a 320 pound tackle. If you can guard and stay in front of a 2 or a 3, you should be able to play in space and know how to backpedal and the like.
Connor, some of my readers wanted to know, what size Super Bowl Ring should we order for you?
Well, does size 14 sound right? They measured me when I was a sophomore but they just keep using the same one. I like that question, that’s great.
Connor, again, thanks for your time. We’d love to see you join the Patriots this upcoming draft. Have a great day.
Thanks for your questions, have a good one.
Tags: Prospect Interview