Will Jets go back to USC in Round One?

USC defensive/outside linebacker Everson Griffen is another one of those pass rushers who fit in around the end of the first round. He weighs around 270 pounds and runs 4.6. At 29, if he's still on the board, he might be too good for the Jets to pass up. Here is a conversation with the athletically-gifted OLB prospect . . .

Q)What is your size?

Everson Griffen: 6-3, 273 pounds.

Q)Who is your agent?

Griffen: Gary Wichard.

Q)Have teams asked you about playing outside linebacker in a 3-4?

Griffen: Coaches asked me if I'm willing to play 3-4 and I said, ‘of course, whatever you need me at, I will play.' I think I'm one of the biggest versatile defensive end/linebackers. I have range, I can catch the ball, I can get downfield. Yeah I feel like I can play the outside linebacker position.

Q)How much did you drop into coverage in college?

Griffen: I did on certain calls, like third-down calls. I dropped, the buzz drop, hot two drops. I did a variety of things at USC.

Q)What is a buzz drop?

Griffen: Buzz drop is when I drop underneath the number one receiver, underneath the numbers, take away the quick routes, the hook route, the curl, the hitch.

Q)How did Pete Carroll react when you told him you were leaving school early?

Griffen: When I told Coach Carroll I was leaving, he was behind me 100%. He just said,'you just have to go out there and do what you do.' He said I need to stay focused and humbled.

Q)Why did you make this decision to come out early?

Griffen: It was time for me to come out and I feel that I made the right decision to come out. I'm just passionate about the game. I want to play against the best on Sundays.

Q)What did you learn when you were benched for Clay Mathews as a sophomore?

Griffen: I took it rough, but you just have to compete. If you don't compete anything can happen, your position is never secure. He won the starting position and Clay Matthews is a great player, a Pro Bowl player. I'd never take anything away from him. I just have to go out and never have that happen again.

Q)Did that benching impact your decision to leave early?

Griffen: No, Clay Matthews took my position. I just came back strong next year and had a good year my junior year. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes you need to get knocked down to get back up.

Q)Because of what happened to you in 2008, your interviews with teams are probably real important . . .

Griffen: I just need to go in and interview well, show them my passion and love for the game and show them I've matured this year on and off the field.

Q)USC seems like a great place to train for the NFL?

Griffen: Coach Carroll just sets you up to be a competitor at the next level. That's what the whole program was about. It was about competing every day.

We did everything hard. If you compete there in practice, it's going to be easier in the game and you're going to get the job done.


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