Jaden Salley: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Jaden Salley
School: Central Arkansas University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
Being that I was only at UCA for season, my goals were pretty straight forward. The goals I had were to come in and focus, learn a new playbook, get used to playing under a new system and OL coach, getting stronger and bigger, and starting at my position. In my last and only year at UCA, I was able to come in and start at Left Guard and I had a blast. Coming from a D2 school the past 3 years, I took it on myself to transfer and bet on myself to play in a higher division.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
There was no extra year for me. I played my first 3 years of college football at the university of Arkansas, Monticello. We did not have a season last year due to Covid, so I entered the portal after the fall semester. I believe I took advantage of this year by having a determined mindset to join a new program and understanding that I only had a season to dominate and get attention from pro scouts. I also took advantage by making sure I learned the playbook the best way I could, I mean being in the pros I understand that things move fast and I would have to learn the playbook being a rookie, so I basically looked at playing at UCA as a rookie in the NFL.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches and teammates would say that I am hard worker. They will let you know that I am a leader on and off the field and when it is time to be serious I am. They would also let you know that I am a humorous individual and want to see people laugh and smile.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When I am watching film, one of the things I focus on to improve my game is the steps I take to block the opponent. As an offensive lineman, I feel that the most important thing is the way you step as well as your first step. Another thing I focus on hand placement and pad level. One of my biggest things I tried to focus on this season was my hand placement and pad level. Learning to turn bad habits into consistency.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I think the thing that separates me from other prospects is that I consider myself a hard worker more than anything. Yes, I believe that I am talented at my position but I work hard and I show effort, it is only so much that talent takes you. I’m not one who talks much, I love competition. Coming from D2 and graduating without many scholarships out of high school, I am still pushing myself to do what I want to do in life.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
My off-season plan is attend a senior bowl where there will be a host of scouts. My plans are to also train while living in Texas and work on my craft. Eating the right things and getting up to about 320 is also in my plans. I believe that if I discipline myself and stay locked in, the rest will fall in place.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
As far on the field, I believe I have many strengths and abilities. Being a lineman that can move in space, move quick, and come off the ball will be things that I can bring to a team. I am able to catch on to things quick and learn fast and I believe that is a key while being at the next level. Not only those things, but being a listener to the older guys there before me, I am willing to listen and learn so that one day I can form into the team leader and become vocal. As far as off the field, I have always been interested in being a player who is invested in the community. I want to be able to give back and become an advocate to the children under me. I love talking and communicating with fans and children. I consider myself someone who is able to speak out the community and help create things needed for the organization and those around me. I am a big fan of things like the Walter Payton man of the year award, as well as other off the field awards.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
My final pitch is that my name is Jaden Salley. I am hungry for an opportunity and I am looking forward to this process. If you’re looking for production on and off the field, I’m here to fill that role.