Tulsa tackle, draft prospect Chris Paul displays leadership, versatility for NFL teams

Tulsa offensive tackle Chris Paul is community-minded, experienced on the football field, and ready for the NFL.

HOUSTON, Tx. — Chris Paul has a simple philosophy about the NFL Draft process and life — enjoy the moment. The versatile Tulsa offensive tackle, university leader, and budding musician is soaking up the experience.

“I’m enjoying every minute of it,” Paul said in a telephone interview with Pro Football Network. “I really feel like I’m blessed to be able to have gone to all of the events I’ve gone to and met a lot of people and soak up the process. It really is a blessing.”

Tulsa tackle Chris Paul was a four-year starter and team captain

Paul is a 6-foot-4, 328-pound four-year starter who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.89 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. It was the second-fastest time among offensive linemen at the Combine. He also had a 1.67 10-yard split and bench pressed 225 pounds 26 times at the Tulsa Pro Day workout.

At Tulsa, Paul played right tackle, left guard, and right guard. In high school, he was a team captain and school president at Jersey Village High School. Paul excelled academically and graduated with a degree in computer information systems and is currently working on his master’s degree. He gets high marks from NFL teams for leadership and character and consistently graded out at 91% or higher.

Paul is active in the community

One of Paul’s goals is to meet President Barack Obama. His overarching goal is to do good work and benefit others, especially in the area of racial equality.

Paul earned a spot on the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee as a student-athlete advisory committee representative from the American Athletic Conference. He was a member of the NCAA Board of Governors committee to promote cultural diversity and equity. April 28 was Chris Paul Day at Jersey Village High School.

“I look back at my days at Jersey Village. Starting as a freshman, moving on up and deciding to play ball at Tulsa, not having any clarity of where that journey would take me, I’ve always known it’s a process,” Paul said. “I’ve been enjoying what I do and keeping my head down, and it’s paid dividends. Coming out of high school, I was really involved as the president of my class and got involved in numerous organizations. The community aspect was really important to me.

“When I first got to Tulsa, I was really doubtful and unsure of what the student-athlete experience was. When I got there, it kind of clicked and set me out on a mission to be the one to bridge any gaps I could see between athletics and the university community and break down any barriers and any preconceived stereotypes of what a student-athlete and, especially, a football student-athlete is like. I achieved that.”

Senior Bowl selection

Paul played in 42 career games and started 38 contests in his four seasons after redshirting as a true freshman. He started nine games at right tackle and one on the left side last season. He earned a selection to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl all-star game.

“What a blessing it was to be able to play for such a great team for four years and be able to do so much on and off the field as a two-time captain with opportunities to lead my team and see what all of that looked like,” Paul said. “It challenged me to grow in terms of leadership development. I’m very grateful to Tulsa for our amazing staff for providing me opportunities to play.

“I’ve learned to enjoy it, be grateful for all the things in my life, and recognize I’m very blessed to be able to go through this process. And recognize that a lot of people don’t have the same opportunities I’ve been given.”

Paul has met with several teams for visits and interviews ahead of the draft.

“I’ve been staying very busy with that,” he said. “I’ll be doing more interviews in-person or via Zoom and will be in Tulsa training when I’m not traveling. It will all be great. I’m very excited.”

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