A conversation with Texas G/T Justin Blalock

The Jets could surprise people and take an offensive lineman with the 25th pick of the first round. If they do, Texas guard/tackle Justin Blalock would get a long look. Here is a conversation with the talented Longhorn.

Q)Justin, are you a guard or a tackle?

Blalock: I'm a little bit of both. At this point, I'm more comfortable playing tackle just because of the time I've played there, number of reps and what not. But I have a feeling I better get used to doing both.

Q)Do you think you are getting pigeon-holed at guard because you are 6-3?

Blalock: I know I'm not the prototype (tackle). But there are guys who are my height and shorter who have played tackle, so it's not an issue.

Q)Will the fact that you can play both guard and tackle make you more attractive to NFL teams?

Blalock: Because of the limited roster size, you can dress so many guys a game. To have guys that can play both positions is just that much more valued. So anytime they can find someone that is capable of playing four or five positions on the line, it's just an added bonus.

Q)Are you are better run or pass blocker?

Blalock: Probably a run blocker because that's what we did more of, but I like to think I can do both pretty well.

Q)What changes do you expect to see in the NFL?

Blalock: They're a lot faster than the guys in college. They're more adept at making moves, counter moves especially. But you know with coaching I'll be able to hang with them.

Q)Who were the best pass defensive linemen you played against in college?

Blalock: Wow! I've played against some good ones. Recently I would say Lawrence Jackson from USC. It was a year and a half ago, but he was pretty good I thought. Ryan McBean from Oklahoma State. He was very good. In the Big 12, we see pretty good competition week in and week out. Ian Campbell from Kansas State, Adam Carriker from Nebraska. I could go on.

Q)You have been training out in Arizona. Are you working more on guard or tackle?

Blalock: I've been doing a little bit more guard, probably 60-40. We've got some D-linemen out there, so we can do some one on one stuff and have a little bit of fun.

Q)Are you comfortable with pulling?

Blalock: Absolutely. We had to do a lot of that at either position at Texas anyway. So it won't be too foreign making the switch.

Q)You did get some guard experience as a Senior at Texas . . . Blalock: After the sixth game, we had a guy go down and I had to fill in for him, so I played the last seven games I believe at guard.

Q)Word has it you are very good with electronics. How often do guys ask you to fix the X-Boxes?

Blalock: Quite often. Somebody's X-Box goes awry. I'm usually the guy they look to. I like to help out when I can. If someone's got a problem, and I can fix it, who am I to say no?

Q)So your versatility should help you in the draft process . . .

Blalock: Certainly several teams have mentioned having guys play multiple positions in a single game, sometimes, even. To have the ability to do that, to be able to pick things up quickly and to have the physical skills to play multiple positions, it's certainly intriguing from their standpoint.

Q)How much does being a four-year college starter help you on the next level?

Blalock: Having four years of game tape and seeing all different types of looks, playing different types of offenses, every bit of exposure helps. Just the more you know.

Q)Is there anything team's don't know about you?

Blalock: I've got nothing to hide, so I definitely welcome the idea. Let them pry away.

Q)What kind of guitar player are you?

Blalock: I'm OK. I'm not as good anymore. I've only picked one up maybe twice since I've been in college. Living in apartments, you can't make noise.

Q)What do you bring to the table?

Blalock: Intelligence. Accountability is big. I'm going to be where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there. I'm not going to have any off-field issues. I'm coachable. I think most of the guys I've been with will agree. I'm a guy who's going to work hard and do whatever it takes to make a positive contribution.


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