While there are question marks about his current size, Nebraska's Randy Gregory believes his production will only increase once he makes it to the NFL.
While Nebraska's Randy Gregory understands that he's going to have to add to his current weight of 235 pounds, he believes any successful edge rusher must first have excellent technique.
Since entering the NFL Draft in December, Gregory said he's been working on strengthening his fundamentals, knowing that he can add mass to his frame at any time.
"It starts with technique, leverage, hand placement, eye placement, just reading your tackle," Gregory told reporters at the NFL Combine of pass rushing. "A lot of that I learned at Nebraska and I'll carry that to the next level. One of the things I've been telling teams is I really want to get better at my technique. I think I have decent technique, but as far as setting the edge, I want to get better with my hand placement, my foot placement and my leverage."
Missouri's Shane Ray, Florida's Dante Fowler Jr., USC's Leonard Williams and Gregory have all been in the discussion to be the first defensive player taken in this year's draft.
While Williams' position is solidified, the other three prospects could play either defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL depending on the scheme they're playing in.
Regardless of if he's the first player in the group taken or the last, Gregory wants to wreak havoc for the team that picks him.
In today's pass-happy league, quarterbacks and wide receivers are certainly important. So, too, are pass rushers that can cause problems in that kind of connection.
"I understand where the game is headed, I understand there's a lot of passing going on and you need somebody who can throw the ball and somebody who can block for them," Gregory said. "But you also need somebody who can go after them, so you need a defensive end who can rush the passer. I understand that aspect of the game and I am glad I am in a position where I possibly could get taken early due to the fact I am pretty decent at pass rushing."
Check out these photos of Randy Gregory, a tenacious defensive end/outside linebacker out of the University of Nebraska.
Over the last few months, Gregory has been working with Chuck Smith – a former NFL player with the Atlanta Falcons who has also provided pointers for linebacker Trent Murphy – to improve certain assets of his game.
"Every day I am learning something new," Gregory said of working under Smith. "Some of the stuff he taught me, if I would have known that in college, my game would have been that much better. So I am happy I am working with him. He is worth the money, and worth the time and effort."
Against Big Ten competition over the last two seasons, Gregory paced the Nebraska defense, recording 60 tackles with 16.5 sacks and two interceptions.
In back-to-back games last season against Miami and Illinois, Gregory recorded 14 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Despite playing in one of the nation's toughest conferences, Gregory considers himself somewhat fresh, as he spent his first two college seasons at Arizona Western College.
"My best years are ahead of me," he said. "I think I have done a lot with the time I have had, and I played two years of JUCO, my second year I got hurt. But really I played one year of junior college and three years of college in general. For me, I am still new to the position, so I am still learning things and I am real coachable. I am real smart so I pick up things real quickly. The sky is the limit for me."