Chicago Bears 3rd round draft pick Jonathan Bullard met the media via teleconference on Friday night and here is the full transcript (in blockquotes).
Ryan Pace stood pat in the 3rd round of the draft and he got a player that should be starting for the Chicago Bears at defensive end. At 6'3", 285 pounds Jonathan Bullard ran a 4.93 forty, but more importantly, he has a great first step. "The first thing you see on Jonathan's tape is that he is first." This according to out draft guru EJ Snyder's scouting report on Bullard. "He wins off the snap on basically every snap, more consistently than any player I've watched since Aaron Donald."
Bullard has the versatility to play anywhere along defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's front line. He can line up as a 5-tech DE on 1st and 2nd down, then kick inside and rush the passer when the Bears go nickle.
Here's the full transcript from Bullard's press conference.
Bullard worked out with Bears #1 draft pick Leonard Floyd and he was asked about that.
"He was a cool guy when we trained and we talked every day; seeing each other, living in the same area. He's also an SEC guy, so I know he is a physical, tough guy. I'm just excited for us to come in young and try to help in any way we can right away."
On feedback when he began thinking about coming out of college early.
"I just got late-rounders [grades], the NFL told me to come back (to Florida), so I kind of used that as a chip on my shoulder to go out and prove that I was a highly talented guy and I feel that I deserved to go higher, which also this year I felt the same in this draft. It didn't turn out how I [thought]. I waited longer than expected, but I feel like I landed in a good place. I'm excited for it and now I can go out and start my career with a chip on my shoulder and just go out and prove people wrong again. Sometimes it's not always a bad thing to have that chip."
On how much end he played and when did he make the move to tackle.
"I came in my freshman year, I played end. Again in my sophomore year I played end. I moved in towards the end of my sophomore season and then my junior year I started back out at end, but I ended up moving inside towards the end [of that season] permanently. Then I stayed there all season this year. I played like two games at defensive end this year, but most of it was in three technique."
On where he fits on the Bears defense.
"I know it's a 3-4 and I'll probably play a little bit of three technique and five technique. In nickel situations, in passing situations I can play a little shade inside guard or anywhere inside to kind of switch it up. So, I think it's a good fit for me. I can play the four technique also. Really anywhere from the 5 technique inside I can do."
On his strengths and where he made the most strides this last year.
"My greatest strength would probably be my first step and play recognition. I think I did a good job of learning the game and I can kind of see things before they happen. I think it just comes off of my study from film. Learning little things from what they give you on film. But I think my first step would be the most. I've got a good eye for the ball; when the ball moves I move. It kind of helps me out on my pass rush and also shooting gaps sometimes when we're doing stunts and movements."
On what teams told him they liked and what he needed to improve on during the pre-draft process.
"They liked my physicality and my get-off. They liked that I stood in there and I fight. I'm a motor guy; I'm going to give you all I've got every play when I'm out there. Basically how I just came out and played and kind of stepped into the leadership role at Florida my last year. Stepped in because we had great guys coming down every year from Shariff [Floyd], to [Dominique] Easley, to Dante (Fowler). So I had great examples and they just liked how I played this year and how I played with that chip on my shoulder."
What are your thoughts on Bullard's presser?