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2020 NFL Draft: Bucs UDFA John Molchon Interview

Following the 2020 NFL Draft, John Molchon signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Molchon is an offensive lineman from Boise State where he was a three year starter. His main position is guard however he can play almost anywhere on the offensive line. Molchon played both guards and tackles throughout his college career.

During his time in Boise, Molchon was named First Team All-Mountain West twice and All-Mountain West Honorable Mention once. The Broncos had 10+ wins in each season since his redshirt-freshman year.

Molchon competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl following his senior season. He was also invited to and competed in the NFL Combine. At the combine, Molchon received a 5.63 prospect grade according to NFL.com. That grade usually means the he has a chance to make the final roster or practice squad.

I had the chance to interview Molchon on Thursday. During the interview, we discuss his college football career, his expectations heading into the NFL, and much more.

Here is the interview:

Q: With the pandemic going on right now, what have you been doing to stay in football shape and pass time?

A: “Before the draft, I was up in Boise training with my buddy Ezra Cleveland. He is a left tackle and I’m a left guard. We started, I want to say two weeks in facility training, which was pretty cool seeing the guys. I wanted to be around football and was excited or spring ball and then that kind of got shut down. So, we took it to our assistant strength coaches garage. That was fun grinding in there. Then, I wanted to make the transition to get all of the stuff out of my house in Boise to Vegas where I was raised. I’m with my parents right now and we made that transition. I started training back at Phase 1 (Sports), is the facility name, and that’s where I trained for the combine. I’m there now full time and it’s been great. I’m with a bunch of really cool guys, vets and rookies of that nature. I’ve learned a lot and we’re grinding together. There’s Raiders guys, there’s New York Giant guys. We’re kind of all over the place. It’s been great.”

Q: When did you know you would be signing with the Buccaneers? What was that like for you?

A: “It was unreal. I mean you got to think about all that time that you put in. Not even think about your senior season, which I wasn’t thinking about the NFL at that time. But from then all the way through training for your all star games like the one with the NFLPA, that was an awesome blessing. Then, getting that acceptance to the combine was a thrill. Training for that and being in that moment and meeting all these guys, watching it pay off all the way towards sitting on the couch and just waiting for your name to be called. It didn’t happen, but I’m so happy to be with the Tampa Bay Bucs. I thank Antwon Murray, he recruited me at Boise State and he also found me for Tampa Bay and I’m blessed to be there. They have an amazing coaching staff with coach (Joe) Gilbert and coach (Harold) Goodwin helping me to teach the playbook and stuff like that with a bunch of really cool rookies. So, I’m fired up.”

Q: What do you like most about head coach Bruce Arians?

A: “The thing I like about him the most is like immediately having the rookies get reps. It’s ironic at this time of the year right? He said in an article, this was quite a while ago, that the rookies would’ve over 500 reps. But that’s what I like about him. I know, whenever this thing opens back up, we’re going to get our chance to not only work in the playbook, we’ve been learning it but we want to get reps at it. So we’ll get our chance to show what we got and he’ll give everyone a shot. His mindset for the team I think is very unique and I think those are the biggest things.”

Q: For Buccaneers fans who don’t know who you are, how would you describe your game to them?

A: “It’s physical, very physical. The reason why I love the guard position and also working center now, you get to run the show. So, being able to call mike points and being able to be that facilitator as far as communication and then also being apart of every double team is something I love to take part in. So, the physicality for sure.”

Q: What is it like for you to know that come 2020 season, if there is one, you could be blocking for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady?

A: “I knew you were going to ask that. He had a chance to speak to the rookies in a meeting. It’s one of those things where at the end of the day it’s business. When I show up, it’s business. I got to take care of my job, that’s the goal. Trust me, don’t get me wrong, it is an honor, it’s exciting, it’s special. But once when I get there, it’s business time and that’s how everyone will be treating it, I’m assuming. We have one mindset and I just can’t wait to get this thing kicked off.”

Q: Coming out of high school, you were a three-star recruit. What made you want to choose Boise State?

A: “I wasn’t big in the recruiting. I don’t even know how I got those stars to be honest. I wasn’t a big fan of those big camps. I don’t even know what we had at the time, but I just wanted to play sports and it just naturally happened. I came in as a basketball guy, that’s why I went to Faith Lutheran instead of Bishop Gorman cause I wanted to play all four years in basketball. It kind of grew into this thing where I found my love in football. Just being able to have fun and go from receiver to fullback to tight end to offensive line my junior and senior year, I just had a great time. I think that’s what kind of jump started the Hudl highlights and I thank God I got some eyes on the tape. As far as Boise State goes, I went up there once. I went up there for a camp and I loved it, I loved the culture and I got to sit down with coach Harsin and he displayed and showed the plan that he had for me and if I were to follow it things would go great. It was an amazing experience. It was exactly what I wanted and I just jumped on it immediately.

Q: This season at Boise State, you were named First Team All-Mountain West. What was your final college season like for you?

A: “It was awesome. I think the largest award, the most important award, and the one I’m most proud of is being a captain. That just really showcased the kind of relationship I have with all the guys. It took a lot of work and I loved it. It took me those first four years to get to know each person. My goal wasn’t to tell people what to do, it was to no where they’re coming from and understand what’s the best way to get to know someone and if I need something for the better of the team, you don’t treat everyone the same, you come after them a certain way. It was just cool to get to know all the guys, you know I had respect for them and they had respect for me and that’s what I was most proud of. We put together not only a successful team but a really focused team. It was definitely all cause of my teammates that we got that far. I was super excited and happy for it.”

Q: Throughout your career at Boise State, you’ve accomplished numerous of accolades. And since your redshirt-sophomore year, you’ve started all but one game. Take me through what your career at Boise State was like?

A: “It was something where I just wanted to be on the field. I came in as a tackle and I was on practice squad as a left tackle. After that, there was kind of a role for a right tackle position so I was kind of fighting for that. I lost to a senior and I was just ready to go. My whole goal was no matter what week it is, I want to be prepared like I’m a starter. That was a big growth year for me. I learned how to really watch film and check out defensive tendencies. It was just a lot of core things that I learned in that season. I had my shot and I was able to start many games and be able to get that experience early on. Sophomore year was amazing, I played three different positions that year. I got some tackle work, some guard both sides. That was my first experience interior was and that was a blast. My junior year, I was able to just stay with left guard the entire season, so I got to really focus in on that position and I got to really grown with Ezra (Cleveland). The last year it was awesome. I got to play right tackle at Florida State, and a couple more games, and left guard at Florida State. I also got to just kind of experience being at left guard again and kind of honing in and having a solid group of guys on the field, two of them being my roommates so it was cool.”

Q: To start off the season, you guys traveled down to Florida State and ended up beating them. What was that game like for you?

A: “It was hot, it was humid. It was fun though, I tell you what. It was cool being in that stadium and just the entire build up to it. Heading into the offseason preparing for it, being in the indoor listening to the chant, their classic chant, and then actually being there in that stadium, I never thought it’d play out that way. It was just beautiful how it ended up working out. Going from Jacksonville down into their territory was the coolest situation. Honestly, that game was awesome. We stayed focus and we battled and we just stuck together. It was a great team win and I’ll always remember that one.”

Q: How do you think the flexibility of playing numerous different positions in college can help you at the next level?

A: “Well I’d hope it’d help me a lot. I think to be honest the biggest reason why I like doing that is just to help the team. That’s my mentality, I just want to help to fill a role that will benefit the team to win. I just want to win, that’s what I’m about and that’s why I went to Boise State. That’s why I’m excited to go to Tampa Bay. We’re all focused that way, so whatever best way they can use me, I’m all for it.”

Q: At what point in your college career did you know that you had a legitimate chance at playing in the NFL?

A: “I would say probably junior year. But it really never entered my mind. I was purely fixated on winning that championship and being bought into the Bronco way. Just enjoying the moment, I think was the biggest thing. I never really drifted outside of that and I think that’s what helped me stay focused throughout that junior and senior year. Just enjoying that moment and enjoying the guys I’m around. Knowing that pretty soon that was all going to change. There wasn’t like a time where I was more focused on the NFL then college. It just naturally happened, just kind of like how recruiting went from high school to college. It’s just a natural transition and just me trying to stay in the moment.”

Q: Do you have a current or former NFL offensive lineman who you model your game after?

A: “Shoot, there’s so many. I think the biggest thing is each year, I don’t have a specific guy, but each year my o-line coach, coach (Brad) Bedel, of the season he was with us would give us an offensive lineman. So anywhere from Zack Martin to all these other guys like (Marshal) Yanda and stuff like that. Just seeing an assortment of these NFL guys, these vets, these caliber guys, really putting it all together just trying to absorb as much as you possibly can. I think is what I really looked at. Just trying to put together all these strong points and things that I need to get better with and also comparing it to that kind of level would probably be the biggest thing. So it was more than just one person, it’s really accumulation of guys I’ve watched tape on.”

Q: Do you have any one specific defensive lineman you would like to line up in front of?

A: “Not in particular. Aaron Donald is an amazing offensive lineman and that’d be awesome. I know it’s one of those things where in college you will watch NFL games and see him on tape and then make it know like what if you’re blocking Aaron Donald. And it’s one of those cool things that syncs it like I would love to take on that challenge. Not just him but any of the guys. It’s cool to watch that on TV and know that you’re going to be in that moment at some point.”

Q: What do you think you need to do to make the Bucs 55-man roster?

A: “I’d say try to master the playbook as quickly as possible, eliminate missing assignments. I think that’s the number one thing. If you can have a reputation that you’re reliable, it goes a long way. At least that’s how it worked in college and that’s my motto. If I can just make sure that I know what I’m doing and can handle my business, it goes a long way and that’s number one. Also staying healthy and just staying physically ready to go, mentally too. Those are two huge things right, especially the mental side. Just visualizing, preparing, and getting ready for anything that comes especially at this time with what’s going on.”

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