The NFL Draft marks another exciting opportunity for us to welcome members into the NFLPA family. Leading up to this year’s draft in Philadelphia on April 27-29, we chopped it up with a handful of the prospects. Today, we get to know Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Pat O’Connor.
If things had gone according to plan, Pat O’Connor would have already been in the NFL by now. Following a breakout junior season, O’Connor entered the 2015 campaign as one of the nation’s top defensive lineman. But a preseason shoulder injury ended up sidelining him for the entire year and delaying his NFL dream. Despite the setback, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl alum came back stronger than ever with 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, which tied him for fourth in the nation.
O’Connor finished as Eastern Michigan’s all-time career leader in sacks (20), forced fumbles (7), quarterback hurries (28) and games played (50).
What have you been doing to prepare for the NFL?
I’ve been training up at my school. Before I was training with Bommarito Performance in Fort Lauderdale and that helped prepare me for everything up to this day. Just working out every day, running and getting in shape so I can maintain my weight and get as fast and as strong as possible.
What do you think separates you from other NFL prospects?
I have a high IQ and I can adapt to different schemes and styles of defenses. The year I medically redshirted helped me dissect and understand defenses better. I have a high motor and play at one speed at all times. I’m also big on watching film and that’s helped me play all positions on the defensive line.
What’s your pregame meal?
I like having a little bit of carbs, but lots of fruit. I try not to overload on food. Maybe a piece of chicken, but mostly fruit.
What’s on your gameday playlist?
I like Chief Keef, Montana of 300. Mostly underground Chicago stuff.
What’s your fashion or style off the field?
I’m kind of bland. I don’t really wear anything nice (laughs). Mostly jeans and low brand shoes.
Which team do you think is going to win the NBA Finals?
I’m actually not a big basketball fan. I like the Spurs, though. I like how they are low-key throughout the year and then everybody finally wakes up and realizes they are the best team.
If you could go back in time like Back to the Future and change something, what would it be?
I would like to convince my parents to invest in something big, like Apple.
Is there one player that people compare you to or that you pattern your game after?
Ryan Kerrigan from the Washington Redskins. I’m not sure why. I guess because we both have high motors and we’re both white defensive ends (laughs).
If you could send one last message to NFL teams, what would it be?
I’m a player that’s willing to do anything for the organization to win and they’ll definitely be satisfied if they take a chance on me.
Tags Player Development