The Colts prospect interviews are rolling along as we approach the NFL Draft. Today’s player interview is Ohio State offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon. The Colts need more depth on the offensive line, and the gigantic Pridgeon could be a good developmental option.
The interview will be towards the bottom of the page. Pridgeon interviewed exclusively with Stampede Blue, discussing his JUCO experience, his versatility on the line, and what he looks for on film.
6’7” 310 pounds
No Combine Invite
Fit with the Colts:
The Colts are set on the offensive line at this point, with all five starters locked in for next year. Along with those five starters, they likely already have two backups, in Joe Haeg and Evan Boehm, locked in as well. They could still use more depth and versatility up front as well, though. Pridgeon is a huge, versatile player who could play either guard or tackle for the team. He may not be ready immediately to contribute to the team, but getting him in a room with Howard Mudd and Chris Strausser should help him develop into a really solid player. I like the potential in a player like Pridgeon.
Pridgeon is a solid run blocker who understands leverage and how to flip his hips to create space for runners.
Pridgeon’s size and strength allow him to finish plays while run blocking. He’s a powerful player.
Pridgeon’s pass protection needs a bit of work, but his stance is great and he has a good punch to knock defenders off their moves.
ZH: You went the JUCO route out of high school. What was that like for you?
MP: I would say the JUCO route was the best route for me. I had my ups and downs, and my adversity. It was difficult, though, getting used to college and being away from home. Living situation was basically just football and classes, and how to manage all that stuff. It is definitely different going from JUCO to Ohio State, but it was worth it.
ZH: You redshirted your first year and then played some special teams afterwards. What was the transition like when you became a starter this past season?
MP: I would say that the first year when I got hurt was a little disappointing, but it was definitely a time I could use to adjust to Ohio State. From the classroom to the field, it’s just a lot quicker than JUCO. After that injury in 2017, I came back and played a little special teams and still wasn’t too too confident with the knee injury. 2018 came, though, and I had a good Spring Ball, and went to workouts, and came back much stronger every single day. I was getting stronger, moving better, learning the playbook, so I just felt good going into that season.
ZH: You’ve played with a ton of great players at Ohio State so I’m going to put you on the spot. If you were heading to war tomorrow and could only take two teammates, one from offense and one from defense, who would you take?
MP: Man that is tough.... You are really putting me on the spot here (laughs). On offense, I’d probably say my best friend, and we moved into together, which is Michael Jordan. On defense, I’d probably have to say Davon Hamilton. He’s another one of my best friends and a guy I’d go to war with any day.
ZH: Going to your film, you’re a massive player. Ohio State’s website has you at 6’7”. Do you think that you could maybe play tackle in the NFL with your size?
MP: I could definitely play tackle. I could mix it up and play guard but I think I have the ability to play either position.
ZH: How important is it for lineman to finish plays and put defenders in the ground?
MP: I know it is really important especially with my size. You have to have that desire to put any person that gets in your way on their back. Anybody who is trying to get to the quarterback is going on their back. That’s just how lineman have to play the game, you know.
ZH: When you watch film as an offensive lineman, what are you looking for?
MP: So, when it comes to my defender, I first like to watch how he switches up his stance. You know, from the three or four. I like to see how he gets off of the ball. I want to see how he reacts after a play or after a big gain. How he reacts even after we score. I like to find his key weaknesses and also find his strengths so I know how to counter them.
ZH: Who in the NFL do you compare yourself to the most?
MP: I don’t really model my game after anyone. I like to actually watch entire offensive lines when I’m watching NFL film. I like some of the techniques from teams like the Patriots, the Rams, the Lions.. I watch their footwork, and how physical they play on every snap. So, I don’t really watch players and compare myself, mostly watch films of teams I like to study on Sundays.
ZH: Last two questions are Colts-centered. First, the Colts are pretty set with starting linemen right now. How comfortable would you be coming in initially as a reserve and learning as more of a special teamer/backup player?
MP: I’d feel real comfortable. I mean, I’d take full advantage of any situation where I can learn more and be a better player. I’d love to be able to grow and develop with all of my teams until it is my time to go.
ZH: Lastly, how fun would it be to join a talented young offensive line that features Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Braden Smith?
MP: I mean it would definitely be fun. It would be fun just to learn the different techniques and just bond with each other. It really goes back too to just bettering myself and bettering my teammates so I’d love to be able to work with those talented players.