I’ve been thinking about this moment since I started throwing a ball around at five years old. All the work that I’ve done over these last few months, preparing for the combine, my pro day and individual team workouts — really the work I’ve put in my whole life — is about to pay off in my dream coming true.
To think that I’m going to get a chance to play football for a living is something really special.
But when the commissioner walks to the podium and calls my name, it will really be only the beginning.
My favorite routes to throw are probably deep outs. It’s fun to let it rip and test your arm strength on those. I like dig routes too, because they require a bit of a harder throw — you really have to rip it in there into a small window with a lot of accuracy.
I think I have a natural and quick throwing motion. You might call it “whippy.” I’ve been throwing the ball since I was five years old, and I really haven’t tweaked my release at all since I was young. It’s always been natural to me.
Before the combine, I was training with Carson Wentz, which was really cool. We were pretty competitive with one another. Our styles are a little different. I think it pushed us and made us both better. It was a really great experience. We became friends through the process and have stayed in touch.
I worked with Ted Tollner on drop-back mechanics. Ted was in the NFL for 15 years and coached at USC. I really enjoy picking his brain about the game, because he’s been around it for so long. He’s seen every defense in the book. There are so many intricacies that people don’t realize that go into a drop-back, or into a passing concept.
I’ve been throwing the ball since I was five years old, and I really haven’t tweaked my release at all since I was young. It’s always been natural to me.
I worked a lot on my running mechanics for the combine drills. When you’re preparing for the combine, it’s a little different than usual because you’re training for sprinting a lot more than you normally do. I don’t think it necessarily translates to the football field, but teams obviously want to see what you can do.
The craziest part of the draft process has been seeing the coaches and GMs who I’ve been seeing on TV since I was a little kid come to see me work out. Jerry Jones came to one of my workouts. Looking across the field and seeing him watching me throw was really cool.
I’ve been learning a few different offenses and it’s really interesting to see the connections between them. You can kind of tell when certain coaches have crossed paths. You can see the same types of verbiage and formations. For example, the Chargers and the Eagles run similar types of offenses because coach Reich, who was the offensive coordinator for the Chargers, is now with the Eagles. It’s cool to see the similarities with the terminology and philosophies crossing over.
At the NFL level, the verbiage is pretty crazy. Like, if you’re in the Cowboys’ playbook, you might call Gun Trips Right Triple Seam X Cut. The Chargers and the Eagles use a lot of Zero Half or One Half — they use a lot of ones and zeroes in their verbiage for some reason. I’m learning so many different systems that they all start to run together after a while.
Yep, I’m still rocking the Cal backpack. It gets superheavy because I’m always hauling around water and snacks and binders of plays for the different offenses I’m learning. Plus there’s my laptop for watching film.
Leg strength is so important at the NFL level, especially as the game wears on. That’s how you make a lot of your throws. So I do a lot of deadlifts in training.
I don’t know what’s going to happen Thursday night, but my life is about to change.
When I’m training, I’m probably packing in between 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day. I’ve been doing it for a long time, so I’ve gotten used to it. But when I was young and trying to pack on the pounds, I just didn’t have the appetite for that much food.
I’m excited to be in Madden this year. They usually give rookies a rating in the low 80s, at best, so I’m not going to set my hopes too high, but it’ll be really cool to see my face in the game.
I never stop trying to test my accuracy and place the football. I got so close to hitting this one…. So close.
I don’t know what’s going to happen on Thursday night, but my life is about to change. I’m just really excited to see what’s going to happen. I’m ready to get to camp and win some games and make some memories.