Jordan Mills is an offensive tackle for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. He is a 6’6” and 315-pound tackle, and there is room to grow as Mills can get bigger. He has played right tackle for the Bulldogs but has made it clear that he can play either side. Coming into the 2012 college season, Mills was the No. 15 rated senior tackle in the country.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mills about his time in college, the upcoming NFL draft and his feelings on the game of football. I found Mills to be an extremely friendly young man with a strong passion for the game. It is clear that football is his life.
Mills was selected to the 2012 All-WAC First Team as an offensive tackle. I asked him how that felt.
“It was a very humbling honor. I was very honored just to be recognized as one of the top players in the conference and it was mind-blowing because that's one of my goals this year, after my junior season, is to, you know, make myself better as a player and a person and also make All-WAC, so it was very humbling. I was so honored just to, to get that recognition by the WAC Conference.”
He has been asked to attend a few of the college all-star games that are coming up. I asked which ones he was going to attend.
"I already got invited to the Raycom College All-Star Classic and the Texas vs. the Nation game. I'm going to go play in those games. You know, I’m really honored to get invited to those games. Another goal was to get to the Senior Bowl and hopefully by my playing that game and these All-Star games that's coming up, I'll be able to get some recognition, you know, get some buzz and hopefully get, you know, invited to the game.”
I asked what he wanted the show the scouts and NFL talent evaluators at the all-star games.
“That I'm one of the best players in the draft. At this position you have to be fundamentally sound, you know, tenacious and nasty and mean and I want to show that I'm fundamentally sound .” He also said “I'm not perfect. I might get beat on one play, but after that play, it's going to be the last time I get beat and I will give every ounce of me on every play and I will never give up on whatever the team that I play for. That's what I want to show to the scouts and NFL personnel.”
Mills plays right tackle for Louisiana Tech and I asked him if he wanted to play on the left side at the all-star games to show that he can play there.
“They can go back and see from my freshman year that I played it. It's been three years since I played left tackle.” He said that he definitely wanted to play on the left side and “just because I played right side doesn't mean I can't play on the left side, I can also play both and be versatile.”
We talked about his time in college and what it was like playing football for Louisiana Tech. He described his favorite moment from college.
“I would have to go to my freshman year. You know, going down to Death Valley and playing at LSU, a big SEC team. For a true freshman starting against one of the top defenses in the country at the time, you know, and going against one of the best pass rushers in the nation and holding him to no sacks. That would be my best moment in college.”
We talked about his entry into the NFL and what his expectations were going forward. We talked about the different types of tackles that there are and I asked him what kind of tackle he was and what he did best as a football player.
“I'm the type tackle that protects his skill players. No matter who it is. If it's the quarterback, the running back, the wide receiver, I protect my skill players no matter how much it takes or whatever I have to do to protect them. I will protect them and I won't let anybody touch them. If somebody touches them, I must not be within five yards of them if they touch them.”
I followed up and asked if he preferred run blocking or pass protection.
“I lean towards a pass because that's one-on-one right there. Well, running is too with some plays, but pass is one-on-one with you and the defensive end or you and the blitzer, just one-on-one. I tend to lean to the pass and work my feet because that’s you and the defensive end to see who is the best on every play.”
The last thing I asked was what he would tell the fans of the team that drafts him.
“I'd tell them that you're getting a very hard worker that's not going to give up on their team and that I’m going to work hard every day.” He also said that “I'll try my best to become one of the leaders on the team, but it's going to be hard as a rookie to do that. But, you know, build my trust to become a leader on the team and hopefully help lead that team to a Super Bowl Championship.”
Jordan Mills is entering an exciting phase of his football career with the ability to show scouts what he can do on the field in the upcoming all-star games. In talking to him, it was clear that football is a vitally important part of his life. With a good showing, he can bolster his already strong status as a draft prospect for the 2013 NFL draft.
Scott Bischoff is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.