Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta & Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz
Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta opening statement: "We are excited to get Arthur Brown here to Baltimore. He's a guy that we coveted. We thought he was one of the best inside linebackers in this year's draft. We had a chance to see him a lot this fall and also had a chance to spend some time with him at the Senior Bowl. He's one of our favorite players. Coaches like him. The scouts like him. He's a guy that plays relentless football. [He is a] two-time captain at Kansas State. [He] transferred from Miami and was actually elected captain as a junior after he transferred. I think that speaks to the type of kid he is. He's good in coverage. We think he's a four-down linebacker who can play in passing situations, play the run and also play on special teams. We are very excited."
Director of college scouting Joe Hortiz opening statement:"I echo a lot of that. [Brown is a] really instinctive player who plays hard every snap [and] finds his way to the ball. [He] shows very good speed. I don't know if you saw those highlights, but that was [Washington Redskins quarterback] Robert Griffin [III] he was tracking outside. So, he can really run. He has great lateral range. 'Red star' type of guy – you've heard us talk about it. He's just a leader – great kid. He's passed every test along the way."
When it comes to value picks, is this a typical value pick? A guy who you could have probably had in Round 1, but you figured you could wait a little bit and get him?* (Joe Platania)*
(DeCOSTA) "I think he definitely [was] consideration for us in the first round – there's no doubt about that. Fortunately, we had some compensatory picks, which allowed us to deal a couple of picks later in the draft to go up and get him. We started to sweat a little bit as we start to see some good players come off the board, and the idea of not getting him was pretty scary. So, we decided to make the move."
Is this the situation where you have three or four players that you are willing to wait on and as they were whittled down, you decided to make a move? (Stan White)
(DeCOSTA) "I think pretty much. There were a few players that we really liked in a span of about eight picks. A few of those guys disappeared. Ironically, he was probably the highest of all those guys still there. It was easy for us to make that decision."
You guys like him more inside or outside on the edges? (Stan Charles)
(HORTIZ) "I'd say in our scheme, he's an inside guy. He will fill one of our inside 'backer roles – compete for those spots."
Joe, is there someone he reminds you of in the league right now? (Brett Hollander)
*(HORTIZ) *"To pinpoint one guy … He's a little undersized. He's fast, and he's instinctive and tough. There's a lot of those guys like that – [San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker] NaVorro Bowman is one of those guys that comes to mind. [He was] a second-round pick when he came out and just plays the game with that type of mentality and temperament."
Do you think he's a guy that can be a plug-and-play right here, compete for a starting job from Day One? (Garrett Downing)
*(DeCOSTA) *"He's going to compete. Coaches are going to play the best guys. He's going to have an opportunity to compete. We are going to have some pretty good linebackers – guys that have played a lot of football. But, Arthur [Brown] is a motivated guy. I think he's a mature guy. He's a very talented player, and he's going to have a chance to compete to play."
What made him a "red star" player? Was it the transfer and all that and fighting through that? (Ryan Mink)
(HORTIZ) "Just the makeup of the kid. He's a great kid. Like Eric said, he's a two-time captain. To walk into a school and be a fresh face and get that honor – that's hard to do. You have a lot of guys that are established there, and his teammates recognized that. He's a great kid. He's a great leader. He passes all the intangibles – hard work, smart, tough, everything."
Having played the Big 12 conference, how much did that give you guys confidence not having that size wasn't going to matter because he played in a real physical league? (Aaron Wilson)
(DeCOSTA) "I think he's a fast player. I think one of the interesting things is he's played against a lot of spread offenses. We are starting to see more and more of that at our level. He's a guy that's good in coverage. Obviously, he has played against a lot of really good players – a lot of good teams. He's played well at Kansas State this year. They had a very good team, and he was big reason for that."
Eric, you've talked about building through the middle of the defense. Do these two picks do that, or is there still more building to be done? (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
(DeCOSTA) "I think so. We've made some picks that we think strengthen the interior of our defense. We would like to continue to do that. We have a lot of other needs, but I think these guys are really stabilizing forces. Both players are captains of their teams. I think that speaks to their ability to lead and be good players. We're excited."
LB ARTHUR BROWN CONFERENCE CALL
On the comparisons to LB Ray Lewis based on his size:"I've heard it from person to person, but honestly, it's an honor to be even mentioned in the same sentence with him. I have a lot of respect for Ray, not only the player that he is, but the person of which he projects himself to be. He's truly had an impact on the game and also many people throughout the game. That's what I was thinking what I appreciate about him the most."
On how much he thought the Ravens were interested in him:"Honestly, it was a tough situation in regards to trying to figure out who had the most interest, but I had a little bit of time during my workout with the linebackers coach [Ted Monachino]. I really felt like he believed in what I was able to do. So, just them choosing me and giving me the opportunity, I am just honored."
On his transfer from the University of Miami and why he chose Kansas State:"It was a family-led decision. Truthfully, during that time, I was really in need of just the support and just really my family. My father thought it would be best for me to come back home in regards to just the opportunity that lies there, and initially I didn't want to, [with] me being where I was and in the position that I was during that time. But, I eventually followed through with his advice and made well during my time and my career at Kansas State."
On being named captain at Kansas State following his transfer:"Our captains were chosen by our team, and I felt like my impact, not only on the field, but my impact off the field as well led our team to decide that I was a likely candidate to be a captain, and that just goes to show how much off the field really does play a part in the impact on the field. So, I really give credit to my team and really just getting the opportunity to lead and being in that position. I learned so much from our coach as well."
On his response to the people who question his lack of size:"Honestly, I really never figured myself to be a smaller linebacker, but I know to some it may matter, but you can never measure the heart of a man. It really is just about your willingness to put it all out there, and I am really willing to give it all up. So, that's what I play with: my heart and my passion and my love for the game. You really can't put a size on that."
On if leadership comes naturally to him:"I would say it doesn't, but I've always been gravitated towards by others. Throughout my time at Kansas State, coach [Bill] Snyder was very helpful in assisting me in regards to developing me as a leader. That's why I am thankful for him and the opportunity that I had to learn under him, because it's really just always about being one step ahead, and as long as you are one step ahead, you are able to lead and set an example for others to follow, and that's really true to what it is, and that's what I've always done throughout my entire life. So, it does come naturally, and I am learning, and I am growing into my leadership ability, and it's just been an enjoyable experience."
On competing for the spot at inside linebacker that Lewis occupied for so long:"I think you said it best: It's a time that's an opportunity to compete to be in a position to play a great role within the defensive scheme, such as Ray did. So, [I] just have an opportunity to fulfill what he was able to accomplish throughout his timeframe, [which] is a great honor."
On what his strengths are:"I would say just my impact, regardless, really, coming in with a strong drive. Definitely, [I am] a player that possesses great instincts, but on top of that, just the athletic ability and the heart really to elevate not only those natural skills. So really, I'm a downhill, hard-nosed type of player. I love to run. I always play the pass expecting and hoping for the run though. Like I said, I am versatile and not limited to any particular one linebacker position. But, I bring a lot, and I would say just my weaknesses … I describe them as room for improvement. I can improve in really every area, and it's just a matter of time, just a matter of commitment and a matter of dedication and just the willingness to invest time and to develop my weaknesses, so to speak, and just to go out there and learn the scheme and being able to adjust to the concept."
On what it means that the Ravens traded up to pick him:"Like I said, I told [head coach John] Harbaugh, and I appreciate them because it shows that they believe in me as a player and as a person, because that's how I projected myself throughout my college career and just having the opportunity that they've given me. Picking me where they did just shows me that they believe in me, and I am definitely ready to be a big part of this team."
On how having a brother, Bryce, who plays in the NFL, has helped him prepare for this:"I think it gives me insight in regards to just how to approach it and just being able to watch and observe and listen to him and going through his experience definitely has given me, like I said, insight into how I need to approach this coming year, and just investing a lot of time to being the best that I can be, making the impact initially, not waiting but really willing to make an impact."
On if he visited or worked out with the Ravens:"I didn't get a chance to visit, but I did do a private workout, and I did get the chance to meet with the coaching staff there at the Combine."
On what it means to come to a team with the type of heritage as the Ravens:"It's great. Just the tradition and the history there [shows] what this team has been able to accomplish with some of the players that have been a part of this team. Like I said, it's just an honor to even be a part of it."