Toledo offensive tackle John Greco has drawn interest from numerous clubs over the past few months, including formal interviews at the Combine with San Diego, Miami, Dallas, Arizona, St. Louis, Detroit and Indianapolis. The Colts and Miami were also prominent among the teams that were showing strong interest in the versatile lineman at his Pro Day in early March.
Greco recently talked about his career at Toledo, his skills and what he's
been hearing from teams about his future in the NFL during this exclusive Scout.com
interview with Ed Thompson.
Ed Thompson: You started off at right tackle your freshman year and won the Norman Cohen Award. Since that was the first time a freshman won that award. what went through your mind when you actually received it?
John Greco: I knew I was one of the only freshman that was playing that particular year and I started every game. Looking at the previous winners, it was an honor because all the guys that won it before had very successful careers. It was a big honor.
Thompson: Talk about the special relationship you had with Nick Kaczur, the guy you replaced your sophomore year after he landed with the Patriots.
Greco: One thing about Nick, you know the seniors usually give the freshmen a hard time when they first start out, but he was a guy who still hung out with the young guys and really tried to mentor me. When I asked him for advice early on in my career, before my first game, he was like "don't worry about it, it'll be fine," and in my mind I thought "that's easy for you to say." Then I found myself saying the same things to a couple freshman this past season. He would lead by example and we were good friends off the field.
Thompson: You showed progress every single year during your college career, that had to be a source of pride for you.
Greco: Yeah definitely. I never wanted to plateau. Accolades and everything aside, I wanted to make myself better. Every year I wanted to work harder and try to make myself better.
Thompson: You're a smart guy on the field, you're very good with the playbook, but you mix it with tremendous aggression. Do you think that makes you stand out in this draft class?
Greco: I think so. There are a lot of guys who are good athletes and the thing that's going to separate us is the extra effort we put out on the field. We can run fast and jump high and lift a lot of weight, but keeping blocks and beating the guy across from you is important. I try to bring that out in my game and try to dominate every play.
Thompson: What are you hearing from pro scouts, especially in terms of position?
Greco: It's been mixed. I'm hearing from some tackle, but it's not exclusively right tackle. Some are saying we might try left (tackle) and see what happens. Then you have teams who say we definitely see you as an interior guy. Some teams say tackle then move you in, some say stay at tackle, some say guard and possibly center. It shows that I'm versatile that guys see me at different positions, I just have to be able to play them all.
Thompson: Do you have any feel for where you'd fit best?
Greco: To be honest with you I've never played guard or center, and until I get the opportunity to play them I won't know. I've played tackle my whole career in college and I feel most comfortable there right now, but you don't know — I might play guard and it might just come naturally.
Thompson: Out of everything you did at the Combine, what were you most pleased with?
Greco: I was really happy with the bench workout. I was kind of sore, my legs were kind of sore, so I was holding back a little bit on some of the timing. I didn't know how I'd react or perform, but with the adrenaline going in front of everyone and the coach screaming in our face worked to my advantage. It worked out well and I was able to meet my goal of 30.
Thompson: You dropped roughly 25 pounds in the offseason...
Greco: Yeah, I dropped a little bit of weight. I wanted to try to eat a little bit healthier and have some good weight. Now with those days behind me, I want to be able to put on good weight to go into camp around 305-310.
Thompson: What is it that's going to make you successful at the NFL level?
Greco: Simply recognizing the opportunity, not taking it for granted, and working hard everyday. Understanding what I have to do to keep my job, because it's a job, and trying to have fun too. You have to have fun. I grew up dreaming to play this game and I'm not going to take it for granted.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.