I had the opportunity to sit down with TCU EDGE rusher Josh Carraway. Going to the combine was a dream come true for the Flower Mound native, and he now hopes to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL. Pass rushing is an art, and in this exclusive interview, Carraway goes into thorough detail regarding his pass rush arsenal (which garnered him nine sacks in 2016). We also discussed his choice of mind games with his opponent pre-snap, and much more. Some video analysis of Carraway’s game is also included. Enjoy.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Josh. Now that you’ve had some time to really think about the combine, how would you summarize your overall experience?
Carraway: It was definitely a dream come true. It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It’s a process that all of the great football players and hall of famers have to go through. Just to be apart of that group and to say that I was at the combine, I’ll never forget it.
Where do you think you impressed scouts the most? In the interview room or with your result in a particular drill?
Carraway: I think that my interviews went really well, my on-field positional drills as well. I feel that I was able to impress scouts in the interview room with my knowledge of the game. I was able to break down my defense and my time at TCU and explain to them what we do and what we’re all about. I thought I was very articulate and I had a lot of great conversations with a lot of different scouts and coaches. I was able to show teams that I know what I’m talking about.
Carraway reads the game well. Here, he recognizes the screen and ultimately forces the QB to kill the play on 3rd & 9, forcing a punt.
If you had to give your combine an overall grade, what would that be?
Carraway: I would give it an A. All my times [combine results] were what I was hitting in training. And as I mentioned, the interviews went well.
An A leaves some room for an A+. Your pro day is coming up on April 7th. Is there anything that you want to improve on?
Carraway: I’m sticking with all of my times for now. I’ll just be focusing on position drills.
Do you have a particular pass rush move that you feel is your best? What do you prefer to counter that with if your initial jolt is stopped?
Carraway: I like a stab-and-rip with my speed. I like to try and kick the tackle out really wide and hit him with a club rip underneath. I like to set them up with that, especially once I’ve already beaten him a couple of times with my speed.
Although Carraway possesses a versatile pass-rush arsenal, it’s his speed and ability to turn the corner that really allows him to WIN.
Once you’ve won with your speed a few times, you mentioned getting the tackle to kick out wide. Do you feel like mind games are apart of being a pass rusher?
Carraway: Oh, for sure. Once you get that one-on-one match-up, if you’ve beaten him a couple of times in a row, you definitely have him on an island now. You have to keep him guessing though. You can’t just keep doing the same move over and over again. You have to keep him honest.
Do you have a preference regarding your position at the next level? For example, do you see yourself as a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB?
Carraway: I can see myself playing either position. I feel like I can play end in the 4-3, or I could stand up and play as an OLB in the 3-4. I can really play either/or.
Carraway does his best work with his hand in the dirt. Here, his functional strength allows him to take on this block down in the red-zone, and disengage in the opportune moment to record a crucial tackle at the five yard line.
You must be comfortable in coverage then?
Carraway: That’s been one of the main things I’ve been focusing on as of late. I move well in space, I get my hips right, I get my drop right. I think this is an area that I’ve really improved in throughout this process. It’s a big part of my game now.
Both Clemson TE Jordan Leggett & Ohio DE Tarell Basham told me about a strange occurrence they had at the combine. They both were asked to partake in a staring contest during an interview. Did you have anything similar that you’d like to share?
Carraway: I felt like I was pretty well prepared for everything. The weirdest question I had was, somebody asked me what would I do if a veteran asks me to pick up after him, like carry his pads in from practice. I just told him that I would pick them up and go on about my day.
You didn’t have anything overly strange then. Who would say was the best OT you faced while at TCU?
Carraway: Dan Skipper from Arkansas was pretty damn good. #57 from West Virginia was pretty good as well [Adam Pankey].
At this point in the process, how many teams have shown interest in you?
Carraway: I would say upwards of 20 teams. I feel like about 20 teams have a good level of interest in me.
NFL teams are always interested in DL who are smart enough to get their hands up and disturb the passing lanes.
Josh, is a hot dog a sandwich?
Carraway: No way. Not at all. A hot dog is not a sandwich. I don’t know what that is, but it’s definitely not a sandwich.
I’ll fight anyone that tells me it’s a sandwich [laughs].
Carraway: I’ve never heard that before, but I will argue that a hot dog is most definitely not a sandwich.
We’re in agreement. I’ve taken up enough of your time Josh, thanks for speaking with us. In closing, why should an NFL team should invest a draft pick into Josh Carraway?
Carraway: I’m motivated to prove myself. I keep my nose clean and I stay out of trouble. I feel like I’m a smart young man and you don’t have to worry about me being late or anything like that. You never have to check up on me. I have a great love for the game of football.