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2020 NFL draft interview: Introducing Colton McKivitz, West Virginia’s versatile OL prospect

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

If your favorite team is looking for a tough, versatile offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL draft, they might find this year’s best value in West Virginia’s Colton McKivitz.

McKivitz recently spoke exclusively with MCM about why he loves playing on the offensive line, his favorite way demoralize an opponent, and why he tries to model his game after Taylor Lewan.

JM: What do you enjoy about playing on the offensive line?

CM: The one thing I really love about playing on the offensive line is that we get to fly under the radar. Most of the time, there isn’t a spotlight on us. It feels like honest work. We do our jobs and we don’t get a lot of credit for it. It’s one of those jobs you can really take some pride in doing. We don’t really get talked about. That’s the biggest thing I enjoy about it. I enjoy the physical play. The brand of the NFL is centered around speed and physicality. Playing tackle, we’re often tasked with going up against the best players in the league. We get to be physical. I love the violence of the position.

JM: That’s a great answer. What’s your favorite way to demoralize your opponent?

CM: That’s definitely something that I love to do multiple times throughout the course of a game (laughs). That’s the way I love to play the game. I try to get in his head. If I can get in his head and get him off his game, he starts to mess up his technique and his play starts to slip. He’s worrying about throwing punches or whatever. I’m obviously winning if that’s the case. He’s no longer doing his job.

JM: I love that. You played left tackle in 2019 but you spent 2018 at right tackle. That versatility is huge. What do you feel is your position going forward?

CM: Speaking to a few different NFL teams at the Senior Bowl, the consistent feedback I received was that the league views me as a right tackle. I’ve played a little guard in my time as well, and some teams mentioned that as a possibility. The league sees me as a tackle at the end of the day, but they think I’m versatile enough to basically play anywhere.

JM: That versatility is huge. It can be the difference between getting drafted and having to sign as a UDFA.

CM: Yeah, it really does make a huge difference. They’re obviously gonna take a guy that can play multiple positions. It’s a big for help them on game-days and what not.

JM: Playing at West Virginia afforded you the opportunity to play against some of the best competition college football has to offer. Who are some of the best pass rushers you’ve had to go up against?

CM: I went through a gauntlet of excellent pass rushers during my freshmen year. I played against Charles Harris from Missouri. He was first off the bat. That was my first ever collegiate game. Kansas State had some good rushers as well. I played against James Lynch from Baylor this past season. He’s in this draft class as well. I believe he was a First-Team All-American. That’s a good ball player right there. I’ve played against a lot of great talent. I don’t think the Big 12 gets enough credit for that.

JM: Those are some great rushers right there. Is there an NFL quarterback that you’d love to block for?

CM: The first one that comes to mind would be Aaron Rodgers. Patrick Mahomes is another one that comes to mind. I actually played against Mahomes during the 2016 season. I got to see him play a little bit. He’s gone from that to being the current Super Bowl MVP. He’s a heck of a player. It’s been awesome to watch him develop. It’s awesome that we played against that caliber of a player.

JM: Do you have a preferred pass set?

CM: I would probably just say your typical 45 degree angle, just a regular pass set. If you’re playing on a 45 the entire game though, the defense is gonna start taking notice of that. You have to switch things up. You can throw in a jump set every now and then to throw them off.

JM: That’s great. I’ve appreciated your time today, Colton. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of their draft picks on Colton McKivitz?

CM: I think my work ethic and versatility makes me different. I know a lot of people say they’re built off their strong work ethic but football just comes so easy to me. It’s easy for me to get up in the middle of the night and go work out. I love to practice and I love to play. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night, football is always on my mind and I’m always ready to work. It’s better than working in a coal mine (laughs). I also bring some serious physicality to the table.

I try to model my game after Taylor Lewan a little. I love the way he is as a player. I’ve definitely watched and studied his game. I’ve watched a good amount of his film and I try to replicate his nastiness. He’s so physical. He’s a prick on the field (laughs). I try to take a little something from that. I think I’m a prick on the field as well.