Senior Bowl is a great chance to meet and talk to dozens of players invited for the week in Mobile. Perhaps ones that’ll become future Pittsburgh Steelers. While we’ve profiled some players already, for some of the shorter interviews, I wanted to provide a transcript of those interviews.
Starting with Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins. I spoke with him last Tuesday during media day right before the first practice. Here’s the transcript of our conversation. And while you’re here, check out Tom Mead’s scouting report on him.
Question: What are you looking to show scouts this week?
Hopkins: I’m here to show I’m a dual threat tight end. I think a lot of people think I stand out for my receiving game and my athleticism stretched out in the flex. But I’m also a physical in the run game too. I want to create holes in the run game too. I want to create holes for my blocks by driving people off the ball and creating those gaps in the line of scrimmage.
Question: How are you as a blocker? How are you looking to improve?
Hopkins: There’s always room for improvement. Even in my receiving game, I’m always willing to take that criticism and improve in any way I can. I think in the run game I’m just focusing more on technique work. I have good athleticism so if I can pair that athleticism with really good technique work, leverage, keeping my hands inside, driving my feet, I think I can up my draft stock tremendously.
Question: Is there a tight end you compare yourself to?
Hopkins: I want to compare myself to George Kittle. But I need to increase my run blocking. I think I can do it.
Question: Your dad played in the NFL for a long time. How is he helping you throughout the draft process?
Hopkins: He’s actually helping me train down in Boost Performance in Nashville. He’s got the line, he’s helping the o-line. I’m getting coached by [former Ravens’ wide receiver] Derrick Mason in the receiving game. My dad is actually a big part of the process.
Question: Is there a 40 time you’re aiming to run at the Combine?
Hopkins: I’m trying to run that 4.6. In that 4.6 area.
Question: What other feedback have you gotten from scouts?
Hopkins: They’re excited to watch me. I feel like I’ve got a lot of pressure on me. I don’t feel a lot of pressure, it’s good to play relaxed and calm. But I think I’ve got a lot of eyes on me and it’s a good opportunity for me to make a name for myself.
Question: Have you had any contact with the Steelers yet?
Hopkins: Not yet. I have a meeting.
Question: What do you know about Pittsburgh?
Hopkins: I know they need a tight end. They’ve got some good players but they’re a little inexperienced in that area.