Time does fly when you're having fun but Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon said he remembers his 2016 NFL Combine like it was yesterday.
Judon was one of the guests featured on the Players Only Combine broadcast on NFL+ Thursday night and gave his insight on this year's NFL Draft prospects during their on-field workouts.
While taking a trip down memory lane to the NFL Combine, Judon reflected on the beginning of his career and the league and what helped propel him to the sack monster he is today.
"I studied with the best of them. I would sit up there with my coaches and talk to them and ask what they were looking for in the game plan. That's how I knew how to change calls and stuff like that. To get better and improve it comes from your knowledge of the game. That's what you pick up throughout the years. You never stop learning. That's the fun thing about this game," said the Patriots linebacker.
With the NFL Combine giving prospects the opportunity to earn themselves more money and change the trajectory of their families, Judon took viewers through his mindset while competing against the best name in his position group, Joey Bosa.
NFL Network's Rhett Lewis asked Judon how the game has changed in the last six years since he was at the combine and he said it's a new day and age that requires you to be able to cover, drop in zones, switch and go backwards.
"You definitely see a difference. It's all growth; Everyone is getting bigger, faster and stronger and that's a good thing for the league. The quarterbacks can throw it 60 yards off their back foot or they can run a 4'4. So it's just getting more difficult, as the quarterbacks and game evolves so do the edge rushers."
While the NFL Combine is primarily focused on the NFL prospect's on-field talent, Lewis also mentioned that clubs are also evaluating you even when you're not the one competing. Your leadership skills and teamwork are also under the microscope.
"You're not going to make 60 tackles a game by yourself. You need everybody. It's not all about you. You get your stats & do what you have to do but clap up the other people because you want them to do the same for you," said Judon.
Judon was the sole player during the first day of NFL + Players Only Combine coverage that didn't play Division I college football and he didn't shy away from it while talking about his path to the draft.
"I knew I wasn't going to be drafted in the first round but having general managers call me saying I was going to be drafted in the third and fourth round played with my emotions until I heard my name called. I couldn't wait to see my dream come true and when Ozzie (Newsome) called me I had my emotional time but I knew I had work to do. I wanted to show them I could be a player in this league no matter where I went to college," said the Patriots linebacker.
Judon, who has had a busy offseason including competing in the NFL Pro Bowl Games, will continue pursuing those dreams as a key piece for the Patriots defense this fall. Visit nfl.com to continue tuning in to coverage throughout the week featuring current and former stars from throughout the NFL.