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Jamaree Salyer
NFL Draft

Jamaree Salyer: NFL Draft Prospect Interview

  • Justin Melo
  • March 31, 2022
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We’re going to see offensive linemen drafted early and often throughout the 2022 NFL Draft. Recent dealings in free agency have proven that top-notch offensive linemen have reached new heights from a value perspective. Every franchise is looking to build an offensive line they can rely on to protect their quarterback in today’s pass-happy league. A versatile lineman that can play three or more positions carries a ton of worth. These factors should make Georgia’s Jamaree Salyer a top priority for all 32 teams.

A promising blocker with tons of experience against top competition under his belt, and an experienced National Champion, Salyer recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his impressive career for the Bulldogs, what he most recalls from Georgia’s National Championship triumph, his experience, and performance at the combine, how playing in Georgia’s offense prepared him for the next level, which Georgia teammate he’d trust in war, and what kind of player he’ll be at the next level.

JM: You were actually born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Did you ever imagine you’d play for your hometown Bulldogs while helping them end a 42-year National Championship drought?

JS: It’s a crazy outcome, isn’t it? It’s definitely something that makes it extra special for me when compared with some other guys. I was born and raised in the state of Georgia. The funny thing about it is, I actually didn’t grow up a Georgia fan (laughs). I eventually began growing that love for my hometown team, especially throughout the recruiting process. As I began watching more college football, my love for Georgia grew and blossomed. This past season meant so much to me.

JM: That’s really funny and interesting. Who did you grow up a fan of?

JS: I was actually an Ohio State fan growing up. I don’t even know why (laughs). I realize that’s sort of weird. It’s pretty funny. So many great players came through their program. I’m not exactly sure why, but they were my team growing up.

JM: That’s great. What’s your biggest takeaway from that Championship team? I’m specifically looking for something you’ll always remember.

JS: For me, I’ll always remember our practices so fondly. The way we practiced, the way it all came together, it’ll always be special to me. We went out there and chased it every single day. That’s what stands out for me. Anytime somebody asks me about that team, I always think about the work that went into it on a daily basis. The grind was a real thing for us. That team had a special connection. We built a real brotherhood. It was very special. I’ll always remember the time spent in the locker room, and the time spent making each other better on the practice field together.

JM: It’s funny you say that because I was excited to ask you my next question. What did practicing against the likes of Travon Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and Jordan Davis do for you as a player? Georgia didn’t make it easy for the offensive linemen in practice. How did those experiences make you better?

JS: It definitely made Saturdays easier (laughs). It’s a two-way street. It goes both ways. I didn’t make practice easy for those guys either (laughs). We banged heads every single day and that’s exactly how we wanted it to be. We consistently had physical practices. We were very competitive. We didn’t just set up to do a bunch of scout team reps. We put the pads on and had legitimate, intense competitions throughout frequent team periods. We did a lot of one-v-one type stuff.

That’s what coach Kirby Smart wanted. Coach Smart preaches that. He wanted his talented players to take the field and make one another better. We didn’t take it easy on one another. We did team periods and we let our best players do battle. We didn’t take days off. The ones that played on Saturday, those were the ones he wanted to see the most effort and intensity from throughout practice. It definitely made Saturdays easier for us and prepared us for whatever matchups we had coming our way.

The best football and the most competitive environment I played in definitely occurred in practice (laughs). It wasn’t on Saturday.

JM: I bet some of those practices were absolutely legendary. When we turn the tape on, we see a physical offensive lineman who fires off the ball with aggressive intentions and is heavy at the point of attack. Outside of the practices we just discussed, how did you develop your hard-nosed nature?

JS: It was introduced to me at a young age. I’ve been physical through every level of football I’ve ever played at. I remember being a physical football player at the park growing up (laughs). That’s what we did. I was taught from a young age that the game of football is played in a physical manner. That just kind of stuck with me. That’s how I learned to play the game initially. I kept developing that nature.

I had an excellent offensive line coach in high school at Pace Academy in coach Kevin Johnson. He wanted physicality and he asked us to play the game the right way. That mentality followed me into college and was further developed while playing for coaches like Sam Pittman and Matt Luke. The key word for those coaches has always been physical. We played hard. We played the game the right way. We played physically with the intention of dominating and wearing down our opponent. It’s been preached to me by basically every coach I‘ve ever had. They’ve always given me an opportunity.

JM: That’s a terrific answer and it’s easy to verify what you’re saying by watching the tape. You generate a ton of vertical movement in the running game. Talk to me about the mentality required to be a people mover in the run game.

JS: You said it best. It starts with a mentality. I love that you used that word when asking me that question. It’s all about mentality. That’s what being a Georgia football player is all about, more specifically an offensive lineman that plays for Georgia. We move people. That dominance was well established before I ever stepped foot on campus with guys like Isaiah Wynn and others that came even before him.

Georgia is going to get downhill and run the ball down your throat. That’s exactly what you can expect on Saturday during a hot day in Athens (laughs). We’re going to be physical. We’re going to try to wear you down in the fourth quarter by taking over the game with our rushing attack. That’s how we go about our business. That’s what we are conditioned for. That’s what we practice for. We wanted to be the most physical team to take the field.

It started with us up front, both on the offensive and defensive line. That’s why everybody gets cranked up in practice during team periods (laughs). We knew it was about to get physical because we knew that’s how we were going to win our next game. We took pride in that. We enjoyed that aspect of it. We loved being the most physical team on the field.

Some people shy away from that once Week 4 and 5 starts approaching. The practices throughout the season may get toned down at other programs, but that wasn’t the case at Georgia. People start taking the pads off. Nope. For us at Georgia, we had the pads on every single week. We enjoyed that part of it. We made our peace with it.

JM: I love that answer. You’ve played both tackle spots and right guard at Georgia, to name a few. You played LT in 2021, but a lot of people see you kicking inside at the next level. Through your discussions with teams, where do NFL decision-makers see you playing?

JS: Honestly, I’ve heard it all throughout this process. I’ve mostly been asked about playing both guard positions because my measurements make me an ideal fit to kick inside but I’ve had a lot of teams talk about me playing both right and left tackle as well. Being able to have that versatility is huge. I can play all of those positions. I believe teams see that in me, and they see it on tape as well. I’ve even been asked about the center position a little bit. For me, I’ve been asked about all five positions honestly.

JM: You recently went to the NFL Scouting Combine and put up some great measurements (6-3, 321) to go along with 31 reps on the bench press, which wasn’t surprising given the play strength we see on tape. Do you think you improved your draft stock in Indianapolis?

JS: Yeah, I definitely do. I believe I interviewed really well. I was kind of limited physically because I had recently received a PRP shot for some minor tendonitis in my knee. I was limited with what I could do movement-wise. I was actually going to wait until my Pro Day to partake in the bench press but I was feeling good both mentally and physically. I was always planning to do my best movement work at my Pro Day, but I wanted to be able to do something at the combine so I actually made a last-minute decision to bench press. I wanted to make my mark at the combine from a physical standpoint as well. I was happy I did the bench. I feel really good about my number. I knew I was going to put up more than 30 reps on the bench press. I was aiming for roughly 35 reps but 31 was still an excellent result for me.

I felt great. I feel like I interviewed well. I did a lot of things to improve my draft stock in Indianapolis. I felt really good about how my Pro Day went as well.

JM: You talked about interviewing well at the combine. Did you meet with many teams formally, and have you completed any virtual or top-30 in-person visits, or do you have any coming up?

JS: I’ve met with a few teams so far. The New Orleans Saints worked me out a few weeks ago. I had a good meeting with the Green Bay Packers. I had another meeting with the Denver Broncos. I’ll be working out for the Cincinnati Bengals shortly. I’ll be meeting with the Las Vegas Raiders within the next few days as well. I’ve been contacted by a bunch of teams. We’re in the process of finalizing my schedule for the top-30 visits as well. I’ve been a busy guy (laughs).

JM: There’s a lot of interest in you and it’s easy to see why. We’ve talked a lot about the coaching staff and your practices, but aside from that, how did playing in Georgia’s offensive scheme help prepare you for the next level?

JS: I had the pleasure of playing for three different offensive coordinators. When I arrived at Georgia, coach Jim Chaney was our offensive coordinator. We ran a lot of 12 personnel under coach Chaney. We turned around and handed the ball off. We were extremely physical. We wore defenses down. That was Chaney’s vision for the offense. Coach James Coley took over and we moved towards more of a spread offense. Under coach Todd Monken, we essentially moved to a full-blown spread offense with a lot of pro-style tendencies mixed in.

I’ve learned three different styles of football and a lot of terminology, especially while working under coach Monken. He’s taught us a bunch of NFL terminologies because he has so much NFL experience under his belt. I feel very comfortable about my ability to adapt to different schemes. I’m confident that the schemes I’ve learned and ran under my different coaches will translate and help me make a smooth transition to the next level. I’m ready for the pro atmosphere.

JM: Those experiences are going to serve you well at the next level. You had so many amazing teammates at Georgia, but I’m going to put you on the spot. If you were going to war tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you choose and why?

JS: That’s a tough question. We had a lot of warriors on our team. I’d probably have to go with Nakobe Dean. He’s a great guy. He’s a smart guy. He’s a thinker more than anything (laughs). He’s going to be prepared for the battle, I know that for sure about Nakobe. He takes a ton of pride in his work. He’s going to arrive on time. He’s going to be exactly where he’s supposed to be.

We’re very similar in terms of our preparation. He’s a guy I can trust. I trust him to do the right thing and to be where he’s supposed to be. He’s going to have your back. He understands the concept of being team-first. I’ve always considered myself to be a team-first guy as well. He’s the same type of way. He’s definitely a guy I’d bring to war with me.

JM: He sounds like a terrific teammate. I’ve really appreciated your time today Jamaree. I feel like this conversation has highlighted exactly why Jamaree Salyer is one of the best offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL Draft. What kind of impact is Jamaree Salyer going to make at the next level?

JS: I want to be the best player I can be for my team. That’s what I’m chasing after at the end of the day. I want to continue being a physical, dominant football player. That’s where I find the most pride.

I want to be a guy that can be counted on to shine when my number gets called. If you look at my track record and the guys I’ve played against, if you look at the matchups on paper, I’ve put together the resume of a first-round selection.

For me, I’m just going to continue showing up for my team no matter what happens. I’m going to be a guy that’s going to dominate the playing field. I’m going to stay clean off the field. I’m excited to bring my abilities to an organization. I’m excited for the opportunity. You can count on me.

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Justin Melo