The Eagles drafted Jack Driscoll out of Auburn in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He spoke with the media on Saturday afternoon about learning the center position, what he knows about Philadelphia and the fans, as well as his familiarity with the Eagles’ scheme.
Here’s what the lineman had to say:
On learning to play center
He has talked to Coach Stoutland but hasn’t gotten any specifics yet about where he’ll be playing with the Eagles. He has worked out at center during the pre-draft process.
“The center is something I’ve really worked on throughout this process, and understanding being able to snap the ball makes you just that much more valuable. Like I said, any position they ask for, I’ll do it.”
Driscoll talked to Stoutland at the Combine and had a few FaceTime calls with him since — it was a weird process, for everyone, but he’s excited to be an Eagle.
He said that it was a pretty seamless transition from UMass to Auburn, but he put a lot of work into it and making sure he was physically ready when he moved. He wanted to earn the respect of his teammates and didn’t want them to think he was a plug and play guy. Transferring schools and systems is what makes him confident he’ll be able to learn and succeed at center.
Driscoll explained that his offensive line coach and offensive analyst at Auburn suggested that some NFL teams might see him as an interior guy. They explained that the more he can do and the more versatility he brings, would make him more valuable at the next level.
On Philadelphia and Eagles fans
“I grew up kind of near Philly, not too close, so I understand that the Philly fans are the best in the NFL, and there is no question about that. They’re passionate. I want to earn their respect. I’ll play well and the Philadelphia Eagles are an incredible organization. They’re one of the most respected in the NFL, if not the most respected.
So, I am so honored to be able to play for this organization, and for them to take a chance on me truly means a lot. I’m excited. My dad, one thing he stresses is keep your head down and work. You have to earn the — it’s kind of cool — I kind of have a leg up in the sense that I had to go earn the respect of my teammates from Auburn from UMass, and it’s going to be similar now being the new guy and the youngest guy in the room.
Just keep my head down and prove to the fans that I belong, that it was a great choice for them, and prove to my teammates that I can contribute and help the team win ball games.”
On the Eagles’ offensive scheme
Driscoll referred to his time at UMass and Coach Mark Whipple, who was a coach for the Eagles awhile back. He understand that they have a pro style, and he might know all the calls and terminology, but overall it’s all pretty similar. Over the past few months he’s been watching different schemes and film, including the Eagles.
“I’ve watched the Eagles a few times — quite a few times — and just trying to understand what their calls are, how they’re ID’ing stuff. Just that way when it’s time to ultimately play, I already have a leg up.”
He also emphasized the mental toughness and discipline that is required to play on the offensive line, because one little defensive shift can change the whole block and scheme. Driscoll’s considers himself a fast learner and is able to pick things up quickly, and he learned great study habits working toward his Masters degree.
“Lane Johnson is someone I’ve always really watched and someone I’ve tried to pattern some of my game after. He’s a tremendous player and someone I’m looking forward to getting to work with.
Yeah, they’re all great players, and it’s just when you see someone like those guys who have had that much success, you watch them and say, ‘Okay, what are they doing? How are they blocking this type of pass rusher? What are they doing on this, run blocking, that makes them so successful?’
I always try to watch the best players in the league, and the Eagles clearly have some of the best up front. I’m excited to get to work in that room.”
The incoming rookie also noted that he’s very eager to learn from Jason Kelce and from an organization that has had great success with the center position.