Michael Dogbe is another in a long line of NFL Draft hidden gems. The talented defensive lineman from Temple is fresh off his senior season and thanks to a strong outing at the Senior Bowl, he's starting to get some recognition.
The 6'3″ 285-pound senior in 2019 had a very strong finish to his collegiate career. Earning First-Team All-Conference honors with 12.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. A very strong final season has included his name in a very stacked defensive line draft.
Unfortunately for him, this year is stocked full of defensive line talent which will cause players like him to fall. Despite that, he's nonetheless a very talented player and one that some team will be lucky to have.
I spoke with Dogbe, talking about his future in the league, his skills and where he believes he belongs in this year's draft class.
Me: One of my favorite things to look for in the draft is hidden gems. Players who might either be undersized, or because they didn't go to a bigger football conference. Why do you think you've been overlooked up to this point?
Dogbe: Coming off a season where I wasn't as productive due to injuries really put me under the radar. Not having the same production as my senior year hurt a bit, especially in a deep D-line class.
Me: Let's talk about this year's D-line class. It's the deepest position group in the draft. You could make the argument that in a less deep class that you would go much higher. Do you think you'll fall as a result? Or do you think you're going to get drafted right about where you should be?
Dogbe: I know my worth and the work that I have put in within the last four and a half years. I believe I will get drafted. I believe one team will take a chance on me. I'm not worried about which round, I just want to come in and show I belong and can contribute to a team as best as possible.
Me: You've got a lot of desirable traits. You're big, fast off the snap, you show a lot of power at the point of attack and you've played all along the defensive line. You've covered the center, you play the 3-technique and even outside on the edge. What system do you think you best fit, and what position do you think you should play at the next level?
Dogbe: I am really comfortable playing a true 3-tech and a 5-tech but I do it all from 6, 4i, 2i, 3, 5. I learned all the spots at Temple but being a guy closer to 290, I feel D End and a 3-tech is where I'll be most successful.
Me: What would you say is your best attribute?
Dogbe: My strength, and ability to rush inside and off the edge.
Me: The Dallas Cowboys are a team that I write about, and they showed strong interest in you. How would you feel about wearing a star on Sundays?
Dogbe: It would be a great honor to play for them as it would be to play for any team in the NFL. Not many get the opportunity and I'd be so extremely blessed to do so.
Me: Many players like you go from being a student athlete to an actual professional. Now, you're a businessman just as much as you are a football player. What's that process been like? And what's been most difficult about that transition?
Dogbe: It's definitely different. It's no more classes or study hours as far as college. You get time to focus on football and taking care of your body 100%.
Me: If there's one thing you want every team, every fan base, every GM to know about you and why they should go with you, what would that be?
Dogbe: I'm a guy that will come in and contribute. I will do everything I possibly can to help the team win a Championship. I'm a guy who is a worker. My priority is football and I do everything I can to get better each and every day. I stay coach-able and look to learn different things to be the best football player I can be. Talent is God-given, but I'm a guy who controls how much effort I put in everyday on the field and on the board. I remain coach-able and give it my all.
Me: Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.
Michael Dogbe still has a few months to go until his name is called in late April, but his stock is only growing. Once America sees him at the combine, and once he meets with all those NFL exec's, don't be shocked if Michael Dogbe becomes one of this year's draft risers.