Long hair and a long road have characterized Greg Dulcich's journey to the doorstep of the NFL.
Once a prospective quarterback in high school, he became a standout wide receiver only to walk on at UCLA as a tight end.
Now, with curled, shoulder-length locks, Dulcich's do has drawn as much acclaim as his rise on draft boards since the conclusion of his 2021 season with the Bruins.
"It's been busy for sure," Dulcich told NFL Network's MJ Acosta-Ruiz and David Carr Monday on NFL Total Access of the draft process. "It's been a lot of fun, it's been exciting. When you can kinda take a step back and appreciate it for the process of what it is, it's been really awesome."
Dulcich, 22, estimated he's communicated with "three-fourths" of the league's teams via Zoom meetings, flying out to visit with a few and some flying out to see him.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers have met with Dulcich, who NFL.com's Bucky Brooks has rated as his No. 2 tight end in the draft behind only John Mackey Award winner Trey McBride (Colorado State).
As a redshirt junior, Dulcich flexed his big-play ability to the tune of 42 receptions for 725 yards (17.3 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. Perhaps his greatest highlight was a 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run versus LSU. Dulcich was wide open off a crossing route and sprinted up the sideline before juking inside past a Tigers defender and then hurdling through a would-be tackler into the end zone 20 yards later.
"That was a cool play for sure and that's one that stands out and I'm excited to show any team whenever I get to meet with them, that one specifically," Dulcich said. "I got a lot of open field, that's what I do."
Indeed, it's Dulcich's ball skills, his guile in the passing game and willingness to work to improve his blocking that's impressive. It's what he's shown at the NFL Scouting Combine and since then that has truly begun to open eyes, though. After his showings in the gauntlet, route drills and 40-yard dash, Dulcich hauled in a spot on Nick Shook's 2022 All-Combine Team.
A first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021, Dulcich's production at UCLA has been backed by the raw abilities showcased prior to the draft. He believes they'll translate to the pro ranks just as they have at every level prior, because they'll be backed by his work ethic.
"It's just gonna be continuing to do what I do, just day in and day out, on and off the field. High-work-ethic kinda guy, that's what got me to this point and it's going to be what gives me success in the future," he said.
Prior to his days at UCLA, Dulcich starred at St. Francis High in La Canada, California under the tutelage of the late, great Jim Bonds (who was once a standout quarterback who backed up Troy Aikman at UCLA).
At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Dulcich looked like he could be a prototypical quarterback, but he became a receiver whose field-stretching plays aided in St. Francis' run to a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division III title game in his senior season. Dulcich had 127 yards and a touchdown on just four catches in his final high school football game, putting an exclamation point on a playoff run in which he had 490 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in four games.
It led Dulcich to the Bruins, where he got some reps early as a receiver but bulked up and settled in as a tight end.
"I walked on as a tight end, but like you said I was 210 pounds," Dulcich told Carr. "Once I put the pounds on, I got in the trenches and had a lot of fun."
Fun has been had by many who marvel at Dulcich's lengthy locks. The longhair look is a new one for the former Bruin and was a positive byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was quarantine, so I figured, why not, no one's gonna see the awkward phase," he said. "And you know when else can I get away with it, other than when I'm 22 years old? So, I'm enjoying it while it lasts."
Unlike Dulcich's journey to the 2022 NFL Draft, the work he puts in on his hair takes little time.
"I roll out of bed and look like this," Dulcich said.
It's been a long road to get here, but it's getting shorter with the festivities in Las Vegas just days away. Heading into the upcoming NFL draft, Dulcich's hair and prospects are each looking good.