BOSTON (CBS) — Deatrich Wise Jr. certainly sounds like a Bill Belichick type of player.
Though Wise was listed as a defensive end when the Patriots drafted him 131st overall in the 2017 NFL Draft on Saturday, he moved all over the defensive line during his time with the Razorbacks. He took snaps both lining up on the edge of the line and clogging up the middle. He’s not sure what the Patriots have in store for him, but Belichick must love his versatility.
Wise met with reporters shortly after being drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round, and spoke at length about his “older brother-type” relationship with former Arkansas, now-Patriots teammate Trey Flowers. Here’s what Wise had to say:
Question: What are your initial reactions to being drafted by the Patriots here today?
Deatrich Wise Jr.: It was exciting. Once I got that phone call it got real quiet, and then once my name went across the screen my family, my girlfriend, my friends around me just jumped for joy. It was a very joyful moment.
Q: Have you heard from your former teammate at Arkansas, Trey Flowers, yet?
DW: I have not.
Q: What was your relationship like with Trey Flowers while at Arkansas?
DW: It was a great relationship, an older brother-type relationship. He was a mentor to me throughout his last two years, my first two years. He taught me how to do certain things, taught me how to watch film, taught me how to play certain positions, and on top of all that just the mindset to play and the mindset you have to have to go into a game, go into a practice, go into life. I have a good relationship with Trey and looking forward to meeting up there and working with him.
Q: At Arkansas did you play primarily on the edge of the defensive line or did you move inside at any time?
DW: That’s what I did, move both. But I don’t know what the Patriots have in store for me and I’m open to any suggestions they have.
Q: What was your pre-draft contact like with the Patriots? Did you visit the organization here?
DW: Yes sir, I came up to a visit a while back. That was my first time in the Boston area, in the New England area and it was great.
Q: Did you have many other visits with other NFL teams?
DW: I had four visits total.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player? What would you say your strengths are?
DW: My strength as a player is my versatility, my power and my football IQ. With those three things combined, [they] make me the player who I am today. Just the relentless mindset that I carry while having those three attributes [are] why [I am] who I am today.
Q: How has your father, who was drafted by Seattle back in 1988, been an influence in your life?
DW: He’s been the biggest influence in my life. He’s my best friend, my hero, my dad. He’s my physical, mental and spiritual partner. He helps me out with everything, whether it’s football, whether it’s not football. It’s everything. He always taught me along – he always taught me like how to conduct myself, taught me the ins and outs of football and he always shared his story of when he was drafted and his process through the league and it was an honor to have that and to share that with him today.
Q: What did he tell you about his career and have you had a chance to watch any old video of him playing?
DW: I saw one picture of him playing, didn’t see any videos. Most of the stuff that he told me was just have a positive mindset going into it and have an open mindset. Learn how to be coachable, because when you come into a new area don’t act like you know everything. Just learn how to embrace everything. Learn how to trust what the coaches are telling you, what the people around you are telling you and just be a professional. And he just taught me how to take care of my body so that my career can last long and that stuff.
Q: Does your father still coach football?
DW: Yeah, he is a teacher, athletic director and a coach for a middle school.
Q: Statistically you had a much better season as a junior as opposed to a senior. Do you feel like the stats were a fair representation of how you played last year?
DW: I would say no, but last year was last year. I’m moving on to the future now and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Q: In addition to the Patriots, which teams did you visit before the draft?
DW: It was just a few teams in the NFC East and NFC West. I’m not really going to say their names, but it’s an honor to be drafted by the New England Patriots.
Q: How important was your experience working with a defensive line coach [Rory Segrest] at Arkansas who had previously coached in the NFL?
DW: It was great. I had chance to know what NFL coaching was like. He coached in the league for a few years and he knows what it takes to get to the league. He knows the ins and outs of it. Just to have an ex-coach coaching me was great. He taught me a lot of technique. Trey is very technical. For me to have three years with Coach Segrest, he taught me a lot about technique and things to be successful while playing D-line.
Q: Did you hope to play more in your senior season?
DW: That was all up to game plans and coaches’ decisions. I have no say-so over when and how much I play. All I do know is when I get on the field, I do my best to make plays and help the team to win.
Q: Where you healthiest at the end of your senior year?
DW: Yes sir.
Q: How important was the East-West Shrine Game for you in how teams looked at you during the pre-draft process?
DW: It was very important, very important. I told myself, since I’m healthy, I want to show the world, show the coaches, show people, when I’m healthy, that I can pretty much do my junior year and I’m still that same guy. I wanted to show all my attributes. I wanted to show my speed, wanted to show my football IQ, wanted to show my versatility, my power and I believe that I did a real good job of doing that at the East-West Shrine Game.
Q: How fun was it to watch Trey Flowers emerge last season and in the Super Bowl?
DW: It was great to watch him. Working with him in the past, I knew what he was capable of. I know Trey from a player standpoint, from a brother, as a teammate, and just watching him emerge over the years was great. I always knew that he had that in him, and I know he’s not done yet.
Q: What do you think of Chandler Jones’ game? Is he someone that you’ve watched and tried to mold your game after?
DW: Yes, I’ve watched him a few times. I was also compared to him by a few people – similar body styles, similar play styles. We have long arms, we’re real good with our first step, great coming around the edge rushing the passer. He’s a relentless, aggressive player, and I model my game similar to his.
Q: How do you pronounce your name?
Q: Did you feel like you were limited at all physically in your senior season?
DW: Physically limited, yes. I came into the season with a hand injury and then four or five weeks into the season, I had that shoulder injury. It was difficult. It was tough to play with those injuries, but I persevered through them and that’s what happened.