INDIANAPOLIS – Some of the highlights from my interview with Georgia’s Orson Charles, who NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has rated as the top tight end in the draft.
ON LOW NUMBER OF TIGHT ENDS: We are still competing. That’s the No. 1 thing. That’s why everybody comes to the combine. That’s why they select the best in the country because it’s a competition. They want to see people compete and that’s what we are going to do this Saturday.
ON COMING OUT EARLY: It was very tough. I definitely took a lot of time to pray about it. I talked to coach [Tony] Dungy about it. I talked to people in my circle as far as my pastor, Ben Watson, who’s my mentor and my mom. I just felt that it was time to open a new chapter in my life and pursue my dream.
ON HIS BLOCKING ABILITY: Blocking is just mainly a want-to. You have to want to do it and then it’s just technique. If you have the good technique and the will to do it, you can block anybody.
WHO DO YOU COMPARE YOUR GAME TO?: I like to compare myself to Ben Watson, Randy McMichael, Vernon Davis and Dustin Keller, people that are about 6-3, 6-4, kind of my height.
ON THE NFL’S EMPHASIS ON THE POSITION: Look at the playoffs. A whole bunch of tight ends were catching a lot of balls. I just want to come out and contribute to any ball club that picks me up.
ON TEAMS HE WILL INTERVIEW WITH: I’m not really sure. I just have the room numbers and the times that I’m supposed to show up.
ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT BEN WATSON: He’s just a great spiritual guy, a family guy and a loving guy. Anytime that I needed his help I called him and he would pick up the phone. People like that, you think they’d turn their phone off and reject you, but he watches us and he watches a lot of people from Georgia. He comes back and talks to us. I can call him anytime that I want to and he’ll pick up. He’s just a great guy.
ON IF HE’D LIKE TO GET DRAFTED BY DENVER AND PLAY TIM TEBOW: I would love to. I just want to play football. That’s my main goal.
HOW OFTEN HE WAS IN A THREE-POINT STANCE AND HOW OFTEN HE WAS FLANKED OUTSIDE: I want to say 80 percent of the time, 80 or 85 percent of the time I was in a three point stance. I was never split-out. But I could create a mismatch and have the safety come out [to the slot] and come cover me.
ON HOW HE BROKE FLORIDA’S TROPHY: It was an accident. I was on a recruiting visit to Florida. They were practicing and they had the Crystal Ball out and the Heisman Trophy out. It was my first time seeing it. It was my first visit so I took a picture of the Crystal Ball and then they had the Heisman Trophy to the left. I took a picture of that and then when I squatted down to take a picture of Tim Tebow’s name I bumped the table and it hit the floor and just shattered. I definitely wanted to get away.I just froze. I just stood there. I couldn’t believe it because just like five minutes ago, we were like ‘that’s not the real one.’ They wouldn’t have the real one out there.
ON IF THAT WAS A SIGN, NOT TO GO TO FLORIDA: No, I definitely went through the process. I just felt more comfortable at Georgia.
ON HIS STRENGTHS: I feel like my strength is stretching the field. If the coach asked me to block, I will definitely do it. I have film of me doing it. I can be in that slot and go against a linebacker one-on-one and then stretch the field.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog