Mario Goodrich saved his best for last.
The former Clemson cornerback shined during his senior season, earning first-team All-ACC honors, as well as being named the MVP of the Cheez-It Bowl.
However, despite his strong 2021 season, Goodrich recently told Justin Melo of The Draft Network he’s somewhat being overlooked as he prepares for the upcoming NFL Draft.
I don’t think any part of my game gets enough credit to be honest with you,” Goodrich said with a chuckle. “I feel like I’m still being slept on.”
Throughout the entire draft process, Goodrich has felt like teams are sleeping on him, and that has made him even more determined.
“I’m just trying to show the coaches and scouts what I can do and what I’m all about as a player and prospect. I’m trying to prove the doubters wrong. I’m still waking people up to my talent. That’s what I’m trying to do throughout this process. I feel like I’m being slept on throughout this pre-draft process. I’ve been slept on and underrated this entire year. It’s all good. I’m going to show people at the end of the day.”
Goodrich always tried to bring a physicality to the position during his time at Clemson, something he plans on continuing to do at the NFL level.
“I’m a physical guy first and foremost,” Goodrich said. “I love coming up and making tackles in the run game. I love to put my hands on receivers and disrupt their timing with the quarterback. I’m an extremely physical and aggressive player. I’m a press-man coverage type of cornerback.”
Goodrich is a guy who could have easily transferred out of the Clemson program in search of more playing time at a different school. However, he was patient, waited for his opportunity, then made the most of it. In fact, he thinks sitting and learning helped mold him into the player he is today.
The corner was also able to avoid the injury bug in 2021, something that hampered him somewhat in 2020.
“I definitely feel like I changed my mentality,” Goodrich said. “I played behind and learned from so many great players and cornerbacks at Clemson that went on to accomplish great things in the NFL. I have to thank the guys that came before me. I saw the position they put themselves in. I had to go out there and perform at my best. I was also extremely healthy throughout 2021. It allowed me to play at the highest level imaginable.”
The former Clemson defensive back is extremely confident he will be able to make a smooth transition from college to the NFL and that no matter what team takes him, he is going in with the mindset of winning a starting job, but at the end of the day he just wants to contribute, in any way he’s needed.
“I’m going to come in and be a day one starter,” Goodrich said. “I feel like I can really achieve that. I’m going to be a contributor in whichever area of the game my team needs me to contribute. Whether that’s playing nickel, safety, or on the outside. I can play all over the secondary. I feel like I’m going to be an extremely productive player once I hit the field.”
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