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Jay Gruden Describes What He Looks For During Prospect Interviews

Posted Apr 6, 2018

The Redskins conducted 60 interviews with draft prospects at the NFL Combine and will be hosting more prospects this month.

Last month, I wrote about the now famous 15-minute interviewsthat NFL teams have with NFL Draft prospects during the combine. Each team is allowed to speak with 60 different players inside a hotel room that resembles, to many, speed dating.

During an interview with Chris Cooley this week, head coach Jay Gruden gave a little more insight into the kinds of things he asks about behind the closed doors. Because there are so many players to remember, Gruden watched tape on all 60 before heading to Indianapolis so he could ask the appropriate football questions when the time came.

“Then I’d Google them and find out a little bit, my scouts would tell me a little bit, if there was some history, backgrounds we had to find out about, we’d ask them about that obviously,” Gruden said. “And then we’d just try to get to know them as a person and as a player, and see what type of football knowledge they had. Then you try to grill them, you try to get them in situations that they have to react to and try to get their personality out, see what type of personality they have and go from there.”

The Redskins will have some more in-depth opportunities to determine personality and football IQ this month as they are allowed to host no more than 30 prospects at their facility.

During these sessions, team are allowed to conduct interview and will often perform medical examinations. Additionally, teams can host workouts for any draft prospects who attended college or live in the greater metro area of the facility.

Gruden told Cooley he doesn’t scroll through a player’s social media feed upon meeting them, preferring to see their football skills before anything else is determined.  

“I don’t really do that yet,” Gruden said of checking a player’s Twitter or Instagram. “I like to watch their highlights, like say I’m watching you come out of Utah State, I like to YouTube you, check out your YouTube clips. It shows your best plays, supposedly, from 2017, and I just kind of get a feel for what kind of player you are. And then I put on the tape.”

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