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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Zach Stecklein, EDGE, Central Washington University

Zach Stecklein 2022 NFL Draft Prospect
Zach Stecklein the solid pass rusher from Central Washington University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Zach Stecklein
  • Position: EDGE
  • College: Central Washington University 
  • Height: 6’6″
  • Weight: 275 lbs
  • Twitter: @Zach_Steck44
  • Instagram: @steckleinzach

1.What role do you hope to have if you make it into the NFL?

I hope to get an opportunity with a team to learn and grow into the best player that I can be. I would love to be able to learn from the best in the world. I think that I could I think I could fit into a lot of systems whether that’s a 4-3 defensive end or in a 3-4 I could play defensive end or outside linebacker. 

2.What sets you apart from other edge rushers?

The biggest thing that sets me apart is my combination of size and athleticism, I am not afraid of banging down inside but I am also capable of chasing down a QB/RB to the outside. I think my football IQ helps me see what the offense is doing and be able to counter it as well. My versatility also sets me apart, I could put my hand down even play a 3 tech if you wanted but I can also stand up and rush from a two point or even drop back in coverage. 

3.What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

On the field, I am quiet and focused but will always celebrate with my teammates when we make plays. I am relentless in getting to the ball and will always give great effort. I’ll do whatever is asked of me to help the team win, I love to be on whatever special teams my coaches want to put me on.

4.What are your favorite things about playing football for Central Washington?

My favorite thing about playing at central is to be able to play the game that I love with a true family and be able to learn from some of the best coaches I have ever had. 

5.What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

I think the biggest key to success on the football field is your preparation, if you weren’t practicing that move in the off-season you aren’t going to be able to do it when it comes time in a game. If you don’t learn your plays and techniques, you won’t be able to make plays, and if you don’t watch film, you won’t know what you need to do to win a game. 

6.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

That’s a tough question but I think I would choose JJ Watt, being from Wisconsin he has always been someone I look at and try to model my game after and I would love to get a chance to talk to him. 

7.What is a moment that improved you as a football player?

I think the moment that changed me the most as a player was having to transfer, it truly changed my perception of myself as a player and drove me to get better every chance I get. 

8.Rank focus, footwork and skill based on what is most important to you as a football player and explain why?

I would rank focus first because I don’t care how good your footwork is or how skilled you are, if you can’t be focused you won’t be able to do anything. The next two are a little harder to rank, I think that skill is very broad and if you are very skilled it means you are mastering your craft so I think that I would say skill is second. I don’t undervalue footwork at all I think that footwork is very important in football and especially at my position, but I think that it falls under skill a little bit. 

9.What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

I’m looking forward to just getting to play the game that I love, It has been over a year and a half since I have played a game and I can’t wait for game 1.  

10.What would a team get in a player like you?

They would be getting someone who is eager to learn everything I can, I work relentlessly on the field to get better and off the field in film study. I pride myself on being coachable and taking in as much knowledge of the game as I can because I know it will only make me better. I will always do whatever it takes to help my team win. 

11.What should people know about Zach Stecklein the person?

I am generally a pretty quiet easy-going guy, I’ll always be down to get some wings but also to just relax and watch a movie. 

12.How do you prepare for games?

The morning of a game I like to relax, I don’t like getting too hyped up until closer to game time but once we run out of the tunnel, I am locked in. I generally won’t eat too much I’ll just look over the game plan and make sure I have everything down solid and visualize the plays I’ll make in the game. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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