There are a lot of reasons why Florida’s Jonathan Bullard is catching so many NFL teams’ eyes, but at the forefront is his premier explosiveness.
As a defensive lineman, he knows to wreak havoc in the backfield, he needs to rocket off the line of scrimmage the second the ball is snapped and use his strength to power through opposing linemen.
To continue to shine in this area, Bullard was one of many top prospects who chose to spend his pre-combine time training at EXOS in Pensacola, Fla.
“They did a great job of getting me what I needed,” he said. He spent a lot of time working on his first-step quickness. “That’s the most important thing for a defensive lineman. I’ve really worked on my stance and exploding during those first 10 yards.”
To keep his strength at an elite level, Bullard spent a lot of time doing squats, benches, and blowout workouts.
The 22-year old is garnering interest from teams that run a 3-4 defense and teams that run a 4-3 defense, but he feels his best fit as at defensive end within a 4-3. “I can penetrate and disrupt with my good first step,” Bullard said. “But I played in a 3-4 for four years, so I can do that also.”
It takes a great understanding of the game to be able to successful in multiple defensive schemes like that. But where did all his football knowledge come from? Part of it was from the Carolina native having the perfect player to watch when he was young. “My favorite player growing up was Julius Peppers. He was a good role model, but I can’t play like him,” he said. “We’re just two different people doing two different playing styles. But I try to take out little things from every guy that I watch.”
As much as watching Peppers helped, Florida’s system and coaches have certainly changed his game. Actually, Florida has had a defensive line prospect drafted in the first round three years in a row.
“We just breed D-line [prospects],” Bullard said. “I’m just trying to make it four!”