It’d be an understatement to say Luke Goedeke had an unusual path to the NFL Draft. Before he turned into a big-time offensive tackle at Central Michigan, he was actually an all-conference tight end in high school.
A knee injury prevented Goedeke from showcasing his skillset in 2020, but he bounced back with a really strong campaign in 2021. In fact, he played well enough to receive an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
Goedeke’s time at the Senior Bowl was cut short because of a hamstring injury, but he believes that’s just a minor setback for a major comeback. After all, he’ll be competing at the NFL Combine and Central Michigan pro day in the coming weeks.
We caught up with Luke Goedeke to discuss his preparation for the NFL Draft, why he plays with such a huge chip on his shoulder and much more.
The Spun: How has this draft process been for you so far?
Luke Goedeke: It’s been an exciting time for sure. Going through all the different training stuff is fun. I love putting in a lot of hard work so this is right up my alley. I’m in California right now training with a great group of guys. We’re working on weight lifting and speed work. I’m also working on position drills with Paul Alexander with Joe Staley. I’m really fortunate to work with them. I’m putting in extra hours on my own to make sure I’m as ready as possible for the next level.
The Senior Bowl was a great experience. I’m thankful for Jim Nagy and his crew. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I envisioned it would considering I strained my hamstring in the first practice. That was devastating to me. It was tough to swallow because I love competing. There’s nothing I hate more in life in losing. That felt like a loss to me – not being able to compete against the best of the best. I know what I could’ve done there. I’ll never get that opportunity again since it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A little adversity isn’t a bad thing, though. I have to get ready for the NFL Combine and my pro day.
Thanks Coach!! Fortunate enough to work with one of the best in the business!! https://t.co/Pe6pclQzln
— Luke Goedeke (@lukethelifter) January 6, 2022
The Spun: What was it like getting an invitation to the NFL Combine?
LG: It was mind-blowing. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be invited to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, I’d say, ‘You’re absolutely crazy.’ My goal growing up has been to play in the NFL, but this is one of those things where it’s actually coming to fruition. Getting that invite was eye-opening to me.
The Spun: You said you’re training with Joe Staley. What type of pointers have you received from him?
LG: On top of all the training, I’m able to pick his brain on what’s it like going through your rookie year. He was able to have such a successful career, and along with that, a long career. Being able to pick his brain on stuff like that and his mentality in certain situations is a great opportunity for me.
The Spun: Which offensive linemen do you like to study on film?
LG: I really like to study Zack Martin a lot because he’s one of the most dominant guards in the NFL. I love the way he gets off the ball, the leverage he gets in run blocking, and his ability to finish off defenders. I won’t lie, I really like watching Joe Staley play too. Not only was he a former alum, he was a great player. He was an extremely talented run blocker, which is something I pride myself on. I also watch Tristan Wirfs from the Buccaneers. His hand usage is great. Brendan Smith from the Colts is someone I watch as well. He gets knocked for having short arms. I’ve been criticized for that as well. It’s interesting to see how that doesn’t affect his ability to pass protect.
Lowest pressure % allowed with screens, play-action and RPOs removed among 2022 NFL Draft OTs, per @PFF:
1. Luke Goedeke (1%)
2. Kellen Diesch (2%)
3. Darian Kinnard (2%)
4. Abraham Lucas (2%)
5. Charles Cross (3%)
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) January 8, 2022
The Spun: What’s your biggest strength? And on the flip side, what’s your biggest weakness?
LG: For my strength, I’d say my run blocking. I’m very dominant when it comes to run blocking. I pride myself on kicking the guy’s ass across from me. A lot of times that’s my mentality. At any cost, I need to kick this guy’s ass no matter what. That’s my mentality. I’ll do whatever it takes.
My biggest weakness I’d say is that sometimes I dwell on a negative play. I’ve gotten a lot better at that, but I still need to work on getting over mistakes. They’re going to happen in life, and I just need to find a way to come back stronger and better.
The Spun: Some people have said you’re “new to the position” when it comes to playing on the offensive line. What would be your response to that claim?
LG: I definitely feel like the newness to the position isn’t a knock. At the end of the day, I’m still growing. I’m barely scratching the surface of the player I can be. I could, one day, become an elite player. I feel like it’s hard to transition from tight end to offensive line, but I was able to. It also changed my mindset, and as a result, I have a better understand of defenses.
Two of the three highest-graded FBS Tackles in 2021 are from @CMU_Football
2️⃣ Bernhard Raimann – 94.6
3️⃣ Luke Goedeke – 92.2
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 24, 2022
The Spun: Have you thought about catching a touchdown pass in the NFL?
LG: That would be crazy. That would be a dream come true. Believe it or not, I can still catch. We did this mock combine in college during the COVID year. We did the gauntlet drill for receivers where you catch passes from all directions. I was the only offensive lineman who didn’t drop a single pass.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Luke Goedeke?
LG: At the end of the day, you’re getting a tough motherf—er. I’ll be relentless and do everything I can to help my team win. I’m not wired like most guys. I have an obsession for football. I strive for greatness in everything I do in life – especially football. I’ve taken a different path compared to other guys. Coming out of high school, I had no recruiting process. I started at a Division III school. I wanted to challenge myself. I wasn’t blessed with incredible talent. I worked my ass off for everything I earned. There aren’t a lot of people who know the amount of hours I put in. I don’t like to broadcast that on social media. I let my play do the talking. What gets me going in the morning is playing football with my brothers. There’s nothing I enjoy more than that.
Very physical rep from Luke Goedeke. Just throws his man to the ground. So strong. pic.twitter.com/JO3eANjL8x
— Matt Alkire (@mattalkire) January 14, 2022
Goedeke is considered one of the best run blockers available in this year’s draft. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein raved about the Central Michigan product in his recent scouting report.
“He balances a surly field demeanor with above-average technique and frequently sustains and finishes the block like an NFL veteran,” Zierlein said.
There’s no doubt Goedeke will draw a lot of interest from NFL teams over the next few weeks. The only question that remains is whether or not he’ll be able to solidify his spot as a Day 2 pick.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.