Ed Thompson: You played defensive line until your senior year. How difficult was that transition for you and have you been pleased with the way that's turned out?
Mansfield Wrotto: Overall, it was an easy transition. In the spring practices of my junior season, I played guard the entire spring. I had to move back to defensive line because we had some injuries that season. But when I went back before my senior season, it was a very easy transition even though I had to play tackle instead of guard. The concept was still the same. I was very pleased that I had the ability to go back to my old technique and position I did in high school. I was very pleased with the outcome of the season and how I did.
ET: Do you feel you are going to have the versatility at the pro level to slot in either at guard or tackle on the offensive line?
MW: Oh yes, I think that’s the biggest thing. Even though I only have one year of experience at the offensive line position, I feel better at guard and even though I have more experience at tackle, I feel I can play both positions. Also, in a lot these workouts I have been doing, they have been working me out at center as well because they see with my initial quickness, I could be a great center.
ET: Have you sensed that because of the fact you’ve been in the shoes of those defensive linemen that you’re able to anticipate a little bit better what they are trying to do?
MW: Yes. The biggest thing I have heard from people and also feel myself is that coming from the defensive line side, I have had that defensive line mentality, being more aggressive. I am not sure what most people mean by that because I have been aggressive my entire career. They feel that defensive line has a little more nastiness to them. I bring that at the O-Line position. Also, being at that position, I can anticipate some moves, some swim move techniques, certain times when D-Linemen are twisting, what they do to get you off--they end up trying to grab you and pull you forward. That is something I have learned through playing D-Line the last three years and it’s something that’s helped me a lot.
|(Georgia Tech Athletics)|
ET: So is it more satisfying to be the guy that is trying to beat the offensive lineman and successfully get through, or is it more satisfying to sort of be that brick wall, pass-protector and road-grader kind of guy who is paving the way for the running back?
MW: I would have to say, overall, the D-Line is more exciting. It is more fun. When you make a play, all eyes are on you. Obviously, as an O-Lineman, when you make a play or make a block, no one is really looking at it unless it’s one of those amazing blocks. Apart from that, they only see you when you make a mistake. So it’s more fun to be a D-Lineman. But I feel comfortable, I feel that I am built for the O-Line and I feel comfortable at the position.
ET: Have any of the teams that you have talked to specifically referenced how impressed they are about how quickly you picked up this position with just one year of game experience?
MW: I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why so many teams are impressed with me. My smartness, that I have the ability to adapt quickly to different schemes and learn quickly. That was one of their biggest issues, how quickly could I learn the guard position and how long will it take to coach me up because, obviously, O-Line coaches can’t spend that much time with you in the NFL. Based on my transition from the Senior Bowl to the Combine, the Combine to the Pro Day, and throughout my individual workouts, all coaches have been very impressed.
ET: What do you enjoy doing when it’s time to kick back and relax a little bit?
MW: Relax, just watch some movies, go to the mall and walk around, go bowling. That’s one thing I did when I was in college that I still do. Since I am not living that far away from Tech, I usually meet up with my Tech buddies and go bowling or hit the mall nearby. That’s basically it. The rest of the time it’s just working out and preparing myself.
ET: Are you a big shopper at the mall or do you just like to walk around?
MW: No sir, no sir, I’m very frugal.
To learn more about Mansfield Wrotto, visit his player profile page. And check back on Friday for our exclusive NFL Draft Q&A with him where he’ll talk about the teams that have shown interest in him, his personal workout and visit, a potential new twist to his offensive line future in the NFL and much more!
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.