NFL COMBINE: Q&A with UGA’s Orson Charles

Georgia tight end Orson Charles  at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Georgia tight end Orson Charles at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

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.

110903 Atlanta: Georgia tightend Orson Charles has an Aaron Murray pass slip though his hand during the first quarter against  Boise State Saturday September 3, 2011.  Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

110903 Atlanta: Georgia tightend Orson Charles has an Aaron Murray pass slip though his hand during the first quarter against Boise State Saturday September 3, 2011. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

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

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14 comments Add your comment

First?

February 24th, 2012
11:13 am

JSS

February 24th, 2012
11:37 am

@ Ledbetter…
Did your eyebrows raise when Charles said: “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?”

Die Hard Falcon

February 24th, 2012
12:09 pm

Sounds like a very nice young man, if Fleener is gone and Charles is still on the board at 55, I wouldn’t have a problem w/ taking him. I would definitely like to see better blocking though.

Dawg Haus

February 24th, 2012
12:17 pm

Best of luck at the next level, Orson!

Jeff B

February 24th, 2012
12:23 pm

@JSS I hear a lot of kids saying that, coming out of college. I think it’s what the coaches are telling them.

Jeff B

February 24th, 2012
12:24 pm

I’d be happy to see the Falcons draft any of the “top three” TEs: Fleener, Charles, Allen. But we’ll have to see what happens in free agency, because it’s a luxury pick that we might not be able to afford.

Nfl Combine | NewsTrendr

February 24th, 2012
1:11 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

albany dog

February 24th, 2012
1:20 pm

REID want you take a walk in the middle of i 75.

JSS

February 24th, 2012
1:52 pm

@ Jeff B…
I wouldn’t want to be in front of reality when that proposition is dissuaded…

Enough with the TE talk, talk available linemen and D players

February 24th, 2012
3:48 pm

Would love to see Orson on the Falcons, but he picked the wrong year to come out for that to happen. Falcons need a TE next year. Cannot spend their highest picks on a TE this year.
Too many holes to fill.

Good kid

February 24th, 2012
3:53 pm

Why does the AJC post the same picture in every article related to O. Charles?
You’ll always be loved for busting the Lizards trophy!

slydog

February 24th, 2012
4:01 pm

No way Fleener goes before Charles. He can’t stretch the field and is nowhere near the athlete. You can teach blocking, not speed and athleticism. As far as Charles and blocking is concerned, if you pay attention to UGA’s offense, they didn’t ask him to block much nor is it a major part of their scheme for the TE to stay close and block on most snaps (unlike LSU and Alabama). The TE is used almost exclusively in the passing game. UGA does not run many multiple wide out sets, so the TE is an integral part of the passing game.

Greg

February 24th, 2012
5:08 pm

What a disgraceful picture. Seriously AJC, that is garbage.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 25th, 2012
3:37 am