LAS VEGAS, Nevada — It’s no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders will be looking for defensive backs this offseason and that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has an affinity for versatile safeties. NFL Draft prospect Trey Dean III played all over the field in college for the Florida Gators and spoke with the Raiders at the Shrine Bowl this past week.
I got a chance to chat with Dean in Las Vegas, and he said he was looking forward to showing off his swiss-army knife skill set. The full transcript of our conversation is below.
Question: What are you looking to prove here at the Shrine Bowl?
Answer: Really trying to prove Trey Dean is one of the best safeties in the draft class.
Q: Do you see yourself playing a specific type of role in the NFL?
A: I’m versatile I can play any position. A lot of people say: “Oh I can play defensive back, I can play corner, I can play nickel or safety.” I did it at a high level at the University of Florida. To be versatile, that’s not a question. And it’d be able to do that at 6’3”, 210 [pounds]...that’s kind of hard people say but it’s not when you prepare and you have great coaches helping you play, so that’s why I’m labeled as a DB [and not just a corner or safety]. That’s gonna be great for teams.
Q: How about playing in the box against the run? Is that something you look forward to?
A: Oh everything! So that’s another thing if you have a lot of people say oh just to add that to me and I can play down, play in the box, play the dime, play everything.
Q: Is there a scheme that you like to play in best? What really gets you going?
A: Man coverage, but I can play any scheme and I’m open to any scheme.
Q: How did you handle the coaching change at Florida this past year, and how do you think that will help you transition to the next level?
A: One thing that really helped me was having three different coordinators because I got to know what their different lead calls were. Lead calls were totally different...so I had to know every part of defense so now I can go to different skills and be effective. If I had played man [coverage] the whole time [in college], and if I go to a team that tries to play zone [in the NFL] it would be difficult.
However, I played every coverage because each defensive coordinator, they were totally different. So I’m able to learn different schemes and...learn them quickly. I had a new defense last year and the year before that, I had a new one. Now I’m going to a new defense in the league and putting them all together.
I’ve already had that change before I even get to the NFL, so I’ll really be able to learn the playbook faster and be able to play and execute faster and be able to help my team win.
Q: What was the biggest takeaway you had from [Florida head coach] Billy Napier this year?
A: Discipline and preparation. The power preparation prevents poor performance. So that’s what I use each and every day going into the game. Hard work pays off, nobody’s perfect but [I want] to be close to perfect.
Q: Have you talked with the Raiders this week?
Yeah, I’ve had some conversations with the Raiders. I’ll pay for anybody but the Raiders, I’d love to play for the Raiders. Any team gets me, they won’t second guess it and will be happy. I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win. And if the Raiders choose to choose me, trust me, they’re gonna love what they’re gonna see.