Cincinnati Bengals: Interview with Wisconsin LB Joe Schobert

dylantestin
Nov 7, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Shane Cockerille (2) tackled by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Joe Schobert (58) at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Shane Cockerille (2) tackled by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Joe Schobert (58) at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL free agency is now in full swing, and teams are deciding whether to build their respective teams with veterans, or through the NFL Draft with rookies. With the Bengals having the 24th pick in this years draft, and having quite a few needs, there are a lot of possibilities. One prospect I had the opportunity to talk with is Wisconsin OLB Joe Schobert, who is ranked as the 102nd best player by ESPN, and 10th best outside linebacker coming into this years draft. 

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  • The Bengals have the opportunity to add depth at outside linebacker this offseason, even though they re-signed Vincent Rey to the team. If the Bengals decide to address this need later in the draft, during the second or third round, Schobert is a definite possibility. Schobert has the ability to be an effective run stopper, and is an excellent pass rusher.

    I was lucky enough for Joe to agree to answer a few questions, and talk to him about the NFL Draft process, his time at Wisconsin, and some of his thoughts about being drafted.

    • Dylan: Being a Wisconsin native and growing up in Waukesha, you have seen your fair share of great football players come through, who has been your favorite to watch? (professional or college)
      • Joe: Well growing up in Wisconsin and being a fan of the Packers I always loved watching Brett Favre play, and in recent years I’ve really enjoyed watching Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers. In terms of college players I grew up watching guys like Jim Leonhard, Luke Swan and Russell Wilson when they were at Wisconsin.
    • D: Did you ever consider playing for a team besides the Badgers?
      • J: I almost went to the University of North Dakota to play football following my senior year of high school. I was all signed up for classes and registered with the university, but then I played in a high school all-star game here in Wisconsin and played pretty well and the coaches of that game got in touch with UW and convinced them to give me a shot
    • D: You had a great senior year. Led the team in tackles and sacks and made some crucial plays. What was the most memorable part of your senior season?
      • J: I think the most memorable part was the friday night meals before the games in our hotels with the OLBs. We would all sit at the same table with our coach Tim Tibesar who told lots of good stories and we had a lot of good times.
    • D: Tell us about your thought process throughout the whole draft process so far…
      • J: So far in the draft process I had the opportunity to compete in the senior bowl as well as the combine, so its been sort of 4 step process for me since the season has ended. The first step was the preparation for the senior bowl, getting good workouts in and getting ready for the interview questions they could ask us there. The next step was combine prep, focusing on training for all the events and interviews we would have while we were there. And now I’m in step three, preparing for the pro day and then step 4 will be getting ready for the draft and my future team.
    • D: How do you feel you performed at the NFL Combine?
      • J: I think I did well at the Combine, I didn’t hit a personal best in the 40 or the jumps but I did well enough and I have a chance to improve on those drills at my pro day. Aside from that I think I did well in the position drills on the field as well as the interviews with the coaches during the week.
    • D: You’re projected to be a second or third day pick, what is your message to teams that are looking at drafting you? 
      • J: The message I am trying to convey to teams who are looking at me is that I am a versatile defender who can rush the passer, drop into coverage, and play the run. I also try to show the coaches my football IQ in the interviews so that they know I know what I am talking about in terms of the schematics of football and they don’t have to worry about me not picking up their scheme.

    D:

    Is there a certain team you would like to be drafted by?

    Oct 25, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Joe Schobert (58) during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 52-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
    Oct 25, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Joe Schobert (58) during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 52-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
    • J: I grew up a Packers fan and most of my family lives in Wisconsin so to play in Green Bay would be pretty cool, although I really have no preference as to where I go, I will be happy wherever!
    • D: The Bengals are a possibility for you come draft day, what do you feel you could bring to the team?
      • J: Like I said earlier I think I could bring in a versatile skill set at linebacker to the Bengals if I went there. I can play well against the passing games and running game, I will play whatever is asked of me on special teams and I am someone who the coaches won’t have to worry about learning the scheme.
    • D: The Bengals run a base 4-3 defense. How do you feel you would fit in with this system coming from what would be considered a 3-4 at Wisconsin? Would you prefer to play outside or in the middle?
      • J: I am not familiar with the Bengals specific 4-3 scheme, but I was able to play the Will linebacker spot at the senior bowl in the Dallas Cowboys scheme. And through that experience I was able to see what it takes to play as an off the ball linebacker for the first time and I feel like it went well for me. So in the Bengals scheme I think that with reps I would be able to pick up any of the positions, it just depends on where the coaches would like me to play.
    • D: What are your plans for draft day?
      • J: As of right now I do not have any plans for draft day. Most likely I will just be at home with my family, my girlfriend, and a few friends to watch the draft.
    • D: Are there any past or present players that have reached out to you or you have reached out to for advice?
      • J: I haven’t reached out to anyone in particular, I have talked to a few guys from Wisconsin who have gone through this process in the past couple years as they come back to town after their seasons have ended.
    • D: Tell us a little about yourself: What are some of your favorite things outside of football?
      • J: When I’m not doing football related things I like to hang out with my girlfriend and my friends on campus. The house I live in on campus has 7 guys who play or have played football at Wisconsin so we always find something to do. Otherwise I go up to northern Wisconsin where my family has cabin on lake where we fish and have campfires in the summer, and snowmobile and ski in the winter. Personal hobbies of mine would include reading books, playing video games, watching movies, or shooting hoops.
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