Recently, I had the pleasure to speak with Illinois center Graham Pocic and let us just say if you were to look up the phrase “gentle giant” there is probably a good chance that it would be a picture of Graham Pocic. Graham goes six foot seven inches and was the starting center of the Illinois offensive line the past several seasons. Pretty amazing when most centers are listed around six foot two to six foot four so you can appreciate just how large the adjustment was for Graham. With the re-emergence of the 3-4 defense the ability to play center has never been more vital to a team than the current state of the NFL. Graham is the type of player that can fill several spots on a football depth chart.
Footballdialogue: What is your official height and weight?
Graham: 6-7 315
Footballdialogue: What are you doing to prepare for the draft in April?
Graham: Mainly rehabbing and getting ready for my pro day. I am also watching lots of film and working out.
Footballdialogue: How did you settle on Illinois as you were recruited by Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State?
Graham: Great connection with Coach Zook. It was close to home so my parents could watch my brother on Fridays and watch me on Saturdays.
Footballdialogue: You have extensive experience at center but what other position on the offensive line have you played while in college?
Graham: Besides center, I’ve also played some right tackle and have experience at both guard spots. I haven’t done much at left tackle.
Footballdialogue: Who was the best player you faced while in college?
Graham: Wow that’s a tough question as I’ve faced some great players in games and practice. Two guys I’ve played against in games that come to mind are Phil Taylor from Baylor (former 1st round pick) and Kawann Short from Purdue. As for teammates, the battles with Corey Liuget (former 1st round pick) and Akeem Spence have certainly made me a better player.
Footballdialogue: Has any alumni or former teammates given you an idea of what to expect over the next four to six months?
Graham: Oh yeah, a lot of the guys have contacted me on what to expect, guys like Jeff Allen (2nd round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs), Jack Cornell (practice squad with the Baltimore Ravens) and Jon Asamoah from the Kansas Chiefs (3rd round pick); all have given advice and shared stories with me.
Footballdialogue: If a scout asked what film would you say to watch to see you at your best?
Graham: I would give them the film against Purdue this year. I played pretty well against them and especially my battles with Kawann Short.
Footballdialogue: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Graham: Big Green Bay fan and a big fan of Brett Favre.
Footballdialogue: Besides playing football what do you do to relax and unwind?
Graham: I love to fish, I am a huge fisherman. I can’t think of many things better than a day of fishing.
Footballdialogue: Where was your favorite place to play on the road?
Graham: I enjoyed the crowds and atmosphere at both Penn State and Ohio State.
Footballdialogue: What was your best memory from your college career?
Footballdialogue: What do you see yourself doing once your football career is complete?
Graham: Something related to football. I think I would enjoy high school or college coaching.
Footballdialogue: Are you on Twitter?