Senior Bowl: Interview with 2021 NFL Draft and UVA LB Charles Snowden

Oct 19, 2019; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Charles Snowden (11) deflects a pass by Duke Blue Devils quarterback Quentin Harris (18) in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2019; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Charles Snowden (11) deflects a pass by Duke Blue Devils quarterback Quentin Harris (18) in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
Charles Snowden
2021 NFL Draft prospect Charles Snowden. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Charles Snowden, one of the more versatile prospects, sits down with us

The 2021 Senior Bowl is underway and, fortunately With the First Pick has media credentials to access the film and prospects of this all-important week. Yesterday, Felix Davila was able to have an exclusive interview with one such prospect in versatile Virginia Cavalier defender Charles Snowden III.

Snowden made a name for himself playing all over the front seven. He lined up at inside linebacker but showed ability at outside linebacker and as an EDGE rusher. With excellent length at 6-6, he has rare size and movement skills in space that should not be possible by a man his size.

In all, he racked up 191 tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, two interceptions, 15 passes defensed and three forced fumbles. Not bad for a guy who handles multiple responsibilities. Charles Snowden looks to be one of the more versatile weapons in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, Charles Snowden suffered a late-season ankle injury that is sidelining him from competing directly in the Senior Bowl. However, he is in great spirits, excited to participate in the event and looking forward to interacting with teams as the week progresses.

Felix Davila: The Senior Bowl is a big event for any draft prospect invited. How has your experience been these last few days?

Charles Snowden: “It’s obviously a strange year. When we first got here, we had to quarantine and change hotels but I got to give it to all the organizing by the staff, they did a great job of putting this all together. But it’s been really exciting. The Senior Bowl I’ve been watching on NFL Network since I was a kid, and now to be out here a part of it, it’s been really cool. All the guys I’ve met have been really cool, we get along really well, and, it’s been three days and I’ve already learned a lot.” 

FD: What has it been like being around the other prospects? Obviously, it’s a transition from being around the same team to being around guys from every conference. 

CS: “Definitely. A lot of the guys coming in, I have only known a handful of guys really, so, that’s not like you’re coming into an already established team. Nobody knows anybody well. So just from that you’re really trying to get along, kinda mesh with guys. But the funniest part really is when I have to introduce myself to the guys that I already know exactly who they are. I could tell you who they are, I could tell you their stats. Like I’m a huge college football fan, so, the other day I ran into Sam Ehlinger and I had to introduce myself like I had no clue who he was haha. So stuff like that is fun. But it’s cool going up against guys that I’ve been going up against for four years in college now and now to be on their team. It’s just really cool.”

FD: The experience with your peers is a bit different since you’re coming off of your ankle injury. How has your recovery been coming along?

CS: “I’ve been training at Dr. Mark Andrews facility in Pensacola, Florida. Rehabbing everyday, kinda gets more mobile, stronger, more stable. So it’s been progressing really well. Still, I have a walking boot now, I’m in it for a couple weeks, but after that just have to get on the field and have to slowly but surely, get back in the process and get back to full speed.”

FD: Speaking of the Senior Bowl and your experience, I got to see your weigh-in numbers and thought, “Wow, that’s a big man.” Are you happy with your measurables?

CS: “Um, honestly, I think they shortchanged my height a little bit by maybe a half an inch, haha I’m gonna blame it on my ankle. But, my weight, after surgery, I lost a fair amount of weight. I played this past season in the 240s, and I was down to the 220s just a couple of weeks ago. So now getting in that process of getting the routine and getting that weight back. Hopefully by the pro day I’ll be back up to the 240s, so I was happy with the progress with where I am compared to where I was just a couple of weeks ago.”

FD: Your career at Virginia was really characterized by playing all over. Watching film, I see you line up at inside linebacker, rush the passer from outside… Do you see yourself keeping that versatility at the next level? Or possibly focusing on one position more than before?

CS: “I feel like one of my best abilities is my versatility. So a valuable trait to have is versatility, someone goes down, they plug you in anywhere. I do hope to be able to play kind of all over on the front seven. And part of that is not just being physically capable but mentally capable, knowing what every guy has on any given play, just honing in on that and locking on that affects my game as well.”

FD: Other than versatility, can you pinpoint one particular skill that you do best and think NFL teams will value?

CS: “I think my best ability is shedding blocks, using my length to shed. I think as I’ve gotten older and added strength, that’s helped me in that aspect. So I think causing havoc in the backfield, with getting turnovers, getting tackles for losses, getting sacks, the ability to get off blocks is probably my best ability.”

FD: How do you see yourself building your frame for the NFL? Do you see that 240s weight range as still an ideal weight or do you want to pack on more?

CS: “Yea, I definitely think I wanna put on even more weight for the next level. Even though I played in the 240s, I felt like I was moving great, I felt like I could put on more weight. It wasn’t really restricting me or slowing me down or anything like that. I feel like I could play in the 250s and not lose a step.”

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FD: Have you been able to speak with any representatives from NFL teams or scouts?

CS: “I have not, no but just because of my injury and kind of the rehab schedule and how everything worked out, I’m interviewing with half the teams tomorrow and then the other half on Thursday night.” 

FD: In these pandemic times, with COVID-19 a major concern, it’s not only changed our way of life but how we need to handle our mental health. I think it’s important to highlight how athletes are dealing since you all are an escape for everyone but your perspective isn’t focused on. How has the pandemic affected you and how have you coped?

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Charles Snowden: “I think it’s really increased team bonding. Like when I was at UVA, we couldn’t get outside that football bubble, so we hung out with each other a lot more. But it definitely did get tough. There were a lot of days where it felt like there was no escape from football. It was kinda like go to football practice, then back to your apartment, go to sleep, and then go back to football practice. So that got pretty tedious, and it was pretty tough. But guys have been very creative in how to escape that and even events like the Senior Bowl are a great way to change the pace of everything.”