The Colts prospect interviews are rolling along as we approach these players’ Pro Days. Today’s player interview is Arizona State DT Renell Wren. The Colts are looking for more help on the interior and the athletic Wren could provide the youth and upside they need.
The interview will be towards the bottom of the page as we talk about his “freak” status as an athlete, what he watches on film, and how he feels about one-gapping in the Colts’ scheme.
6’4” 315 pounds with 33 3/4 inch arms
40 Time: 5.01 / 10-yard split: 1.75 / Bench Press: 30 Reps / Vertical Jump: 32 inches / Broad Jump: 118 inches / 3-Cone: 7.65 seconds
81 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 5 pass deflection, and 1 forced fumble.
Fit with the Colts:
The Colts could use more interior help going into the 2019 season. Even with starters Margus Hunt and Denico Autry returning, there is a void at the run stuffing interior lineman spot with Al Woods departing in free agency. Wren could fill that role excellently and provide some much needed youth and upside to the interior. Wren is a force against the run with elite strength and get off. He will need to develop as a pass rusher but luckily he could sit behind Hunt and Autry until he develops more of a moveset. He would be a great developmental run stopper for this team.
As a run defender, Wren is a load for offensive lineman. He drives players back into the backfield every play with a nasty bull rush.
Renell Wren (#95, lined up at NT) explodes off the snap, causing the center to whiff and fall down. The LG, RG, and TE all get tangled up with him, leading to an easy TFL for #ASU. Wren affects four blockers in one play. pic.twitter.com/CSpq7tf3sE— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) February 20, 2019
Did I mention his power? On top of that, his first step is incredible as well. Flattens guys.
Showed that he was developing his pass rush as well in Mobile for the Senior Bowl.
ZH: You were awarded the Tim Landers Iron Man Award and Team Captain honor this past year for Arizona State. What did those awards mean for you?
RW: Winning the Iron Man award from the strength coach was definitely a blessing, just knowing that I put in the work during Spring ball and still in the summertime. I was also grinding it out in season because our coach didn’t believe in us just lifting a small amount of weights here and there during the season, we kept going strong. It was definitely great receiving that award and just knowing that I had to work my but off in order to get that.
For the Captain, a lot of people this past season on my team believed in me and just knowing that I can hold my composure and lift the team up when we go through adversity whether it is practice or a game and understanding that I wanted my team to come together and take care of a win each week that we had.
ZH: You were listed as one of Bruce Feldman’s “Freak” college players going into your Senior Season. Would you describe yourself as a “freak” athletically?
RW: I really would. For my size, being able to put up numbers like that is just outstanding for others to see and just knowing that I have the capabilities of being one of the best players on the field.
ZH: He mentioned that your squat was 600 pounds and your bench was 430 pounds before your Senior year. I’m just curious, what is it at now?
RW: For squat I’m still around the same. For bench I’d say 450 is my max now.
ZH: Going to your play on the field, you had your career best year for Arizona State this past season. What was the key to making that big jump your Senior year?
RW: The key thing is that it was my last go around playing at ASU. I wanted to reach my dream of playing in the National Football League and knowing that I had a lot of work to get there. I really just put myself before others as far as just sacrificing. I heard about the Reese’s Senior Bowl and I wanted to get invited to the Combine so I said I’m just gonna work and I wanted the coaches to believe that I can bring a lot towards the team for whatever organization I get picked to play for.
ZH: A lot of scouts and evaluators talk about you as more of a two down run stopper. Would you agree that you are that or argue that you are more?
RW: I would argue that I have the pass rush ability to be a three down player. When I attended the Reese’s Senior Bowl, I told a lot of coaches that I can rush the passer from bull rushing up the field to getting skinny and working around my opponent to get to the quarterback. It’s all about them just believing that I can bring a lot to the table if they select me.
ZH: Film review is a big part of football. As an interior defensive lineman, what are you looking at when you watch film?
RW: When I watch film now, playing in a three man front, I would really look at the two guards and the center. I would check out their hand placement, how heavy or how light they are, how balanced their stance is, and I’ll check the backfield with the quarterback and running back too. Are they offset or are they going here or there. I’d also look at the strength formation, if the tight end is on or off. A lot of things tell you where a play is going so I really had to get a feel for what side they run the ball, what side they want to pass and everything like that.
ZH: A big part of your game is your quickness off the snap or your get off. Is that a natural trait or something that you continually worked on?
RW: I really worked on that, I wouldn’t say there’s anything natural about it. It kind of became second nature when I was playing games this past season. I was really just on the timing of the snaps, I just had the instincts of like just knowing when they are going to snap the ball and watching film and everything of other team’s cadence and all that stuff. I really practiced that and really just focused in on looking at the ball and not the man so just the little things that I’ve been practicing in order to keep that natural towards the season last year.
ZH: You were invited to the Senior Bowl this offseason. How was that experience for you?
RW: The experience was great. Being selected out of hundreds of players, the best college football players in the nation, and just competing against the best in the three practices that we had and also in the game. Just being there, having interviews with scouts and coaches... I was on the North side so I had Coach Gruden, the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders, the Defensive Coordinator— Coach Guenther— and that defensive line.. Yeah man it was a great experience and it definitely helped me out with my draft stock a lot so at the end of the day it was a stressful week but it was all worth it.
ZH: Who in the NFL do you compare your game to the most/ model your game after?
ZH: I like that Chris Jones one. He’s a lengthy guy.
RW: Oh yes. A lot of people compare me to him because of my physicality, size, and being able to just disrupt the field and having the athleticism to get to the ball and being versatile. That’s the biggest thing. A lot of coaches are looking at players being versatile, I actually played the 1, 3, and the 5 at the Senior Bowl.
ZH: Last questions here are Colts-centered. The Colts run a scheme that is based around one gapping. Shooting gaps rather than taking on double teams up the middle. Do you think you would fit well as a one gapping type of player?
RW: Oh yeah most definitely. Wherever they want to play me, I will do my best to fit into it. We had a couple formations in the previous scheme at Arizona State where I had to two gap, I had to one gap because of the flank that we had to do so yeah I could definitely... going into it I’m not saying it would be easy for me but it's only because I did it so many times at Arizona State that I’m comfortable doing a one gap or two gap, anything really.
ZH: Finally, how would it feel to join a defensive group that consists of young players such as Darius Leonard and Malik Hooker? How would it feel to join a young, hungry defense like that?
RW: On a young defense we could grow each and every day and every year that we stay together within that organization. It also is an advantage being young so we can learn quick and still have those bodies to work and have our motors on 100 the whole time and just be more comfortable around each other and grow. I don’t really know how to explain it but at the end of the day having a young defensive line and defense group is a good thing.