The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone. The Atlanta Falcons selected eight players in the draft but in all, they’ve added a lot more due to the recent addition of undrafted free agents. Although they didn’t hear their name called over the weekend, undrafted rookies share the same dream as drafted players — to make an NFL roster. The task is more difficult for undrafted players but still quite possible, as the Falcons have benefited from UDFA’s such as linebacker Jessie Tuggle, long snapper Josh Harris, cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Brian Poole, and former right tackle Ryan Schraeder over the years.
For the third season at The Falcoholic, I have begun my UDFA interview series for the 2022 season, where I’ll speak with those players who want the fans to get to know them better heading into training camp. Two players from last seasons’ series are still on the team’s roster: offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil and running back Caleb Huntley.
Today, we’ll be speaking with guard Tyler Witt, who has been invited to the team’s rookie minicamp. Witt is measures in at 6’2, 305lbs and made 43 starts at Western Kentucky before transferring to Purdue for one season in 2021.
How would you overall describe your collegiate career, playing at both Western Kentucky and Purdue?
I would say — I played a lot of football (laughs). I started 55 games and was a 5-year starter with the COVID-19 year. I would say it gave me a blue collar mentality, and that’s really what I bring. Starting off at Western Kentucky, it’s not that big of a school but it’s still Division I football. So, I’ve always had to work for what I have. When I got the opportunity to go to Purdue, it was kinda the same deal.
Purdue has never really been looked at in the Big Ten Conference as a threat, but this past season we were able to beat No. 2 Iowa, beat a ranked Michigan State team. So, just a blue collar mentality, coming in to work everyday — just balling.
Favorite NFL player growing up? Who have you modeled your game after?
I would say, probably my favorite is Kyle Long. He used to play for the Chicago Bears. Olin Kreutz as well, I used to watch him. I’ve watched more Olin Kreutz film because I got the opportunity to work with him during my Pro Day training and in preparation for mini camp workouts that I have coming up. So, it’s been easy to pick his brain and try to model myself using the things that worked for him during his career.
Do you have any hobbies?
I draw in my free time a lot. I’m big into art, and with that I also tattoo. I taught myself how to do tattoos. Those are a few thing that I enjoy doing.
Have you been to Atlanta before? Are you excited for rookie minicamp?
I’ve been to Atlanta once or twice, I have a family member who lives in Atlanta. I’m super excited, I’m really happy to have the opportunity to go out there and earn a job. I’m going to do everything in my power to get that job.
What motivated you to pursue an NFL career?
When I was in middle school, we did a Red Ribbon Week goal sheet. That’s kinda the time that playing in the NFL was something I wanted to do. I’ve carried around this goal sheet since 2011, which has all of my goals on it and one of them is to play in the NFL. So, I’ve used that as a reminder. It’s always hung up wherever I go, wherever I travel — It’s always with me.
What type of player will the Falcons see at mini camp?
I like to say that I’m an old school offensive lineman. I’m physical, I’m going to strive to outwork everyone and I’m always going to give my best effort on every play. I’m going to try to finish guys and do everything in my power to make the Atlanta Falcons better.
Typically I like to link a highlight package above, but I was unable to find any. Witt clearly brings that blue collar mentality and is an “old school” offensive lineman, however. As a key contributor to the Boilermakers offensive line in 2021, Witt helped lead the way for the fifth-ranked offense in the Big Ten. Witt was an All-Big 10 honorable mention last season, and was a part of an offense which averaged 439.5 yards per game and 29.1 points per game.
Witt primarily played guard in college, and the Falcons have some questions at their left guard spot currently, so there’s opportunity there for Witt. Although Witt’s invitation to Falcons’ mini camp isn’t necessarily a guarantee to be signed to the roster, we have seen undrafted players in the past make push their way onto the 90 man and beyond in recent years. We wish him luck as he competes for a spot.