A conversation with Auburn's Quintin Groves

Q)Have a lot teams talked to you about being a 3-4 outside linebacker?

Groves: I started two games this year at Sam linebacker to get me some exposure at the position. I have the athleticism to play outside linebacker, but I also have the strength to play defensive end.

Q)What do you need to show the 3-4 teams to convince them you can play outside linebacker?

Groves: I think I have to display my hip flexibility, show I can flip my hips, catch the ball, break on the ball. I think I can show a team this guy can play outside linebacker if you need me to play it.

Q)How many teams at the combine talked to you about playing outside linebacker?

Groves: I spoke to nine teams and I think all nine asked me, ‘Would you go to outside linebacker?' I told them, ‘Without a doubt, if you need me to play it, I'll play it.'

Q)What is the key to compiling a lot of sacks?

Groves: I think it's just a want-to. I instilled in myself at an early age, it's a lot of fun getting to the quarterback. It's a lot of fun hitting the quarterback. I felt it for the first time and I loved it and I made a vow that I'm going to keep doing it.

Q)Do you remember your first sack?

Groves: My seventh grade year. I sacked the quarterback and I jumped up happy and I saw the crowd react and I said, ‘I love this feeling. I've got to keep doing it.

Q)Who do you mold your game after?

Groves: If I had to mold myself into one player, I would have the get-off of Dwight Freeney with the athleticism of Lawrence Taylor.

Q)How important is the first step for a pass rusher?

Groves: If you can get off and beat a tackle off his stance, that's 90 percent of your rush already won. All you have to do now is flip your hips and get to the quarterback.

Q)What are your goals in the draft?

Groves: I want to be the first "tweener" taken. It's going to be hard because you've got Vernon (Gholston) up there. All respect to Vernon, it's going to be hard. But I'm willing to work.

Q)How would you compare yourself to Gholston?

Groves: I think we're one and the same. He's bigger than me, he's 260. I'm 259. But I think we're both tweeners. That's something we can add to a team, we can play defensive end because we have the strength and we can also play outside linebacker because we have the athleticism.


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