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NFL Draft Second-Round Conference Calls


On his knowledge of the Ravens:"I know that they're usually in the top-5 for defense yearly, regardless of what their record looks like. Usually, the offense struggles, but they've got [Joe] Flacco, so that offense is going to pick up like it did this year. It just feels good to be playing beside Cory Redding, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed. I'm not sure if [Chris] McAlister's still there... Oh, and the dude in the middle [Haloti Ngata] – I think he's Samoan. (laughter) No disrespect if that's not what he is, but yeah, he's a beast, too."

On what he will bring to the table for Baltimore:"I get to the quarterback – that's my deal. I can cover guys if that's what needs to happen, and I can play the run regardless of my size. I'm only 250, 245 [pounds]. But, my thing is I'll take up the lineman and cause a path. 'Ray Ray' [Ray Lewis] can slide and make the tackle in the backfield. That's what I'll do, that's what I can do. And, getting to the quarterback is my specialty, and I can only get better learning from Suggs and guys like that. The sky's going to be the limit once I get there and get in the system."

On the health of his knee and reports that he'll need surgery:"I don't think I need to have anything. I guess once I get there, I'll let them look at it again and see what needs to happen, but I feel like I can go practice once the time comes."

On what the last couple of days were like for him, falling into the second round:"I tell you what, it was hard. It was real hard seeing a lot of guys, in my opinion, that I was better than go ahead of me and things like that. You know, did the Ravens have a pick in the first round? [Reporter responds: 'No, you're their first pick.'] Exactly. So I'm a first-rounder in their book, and that's all I need to know." (laughter)

On what it will be like to play next to LB Ray Lewis:"Who else better could you play with? 'Ray Ray' is the leader of the defense and whatnot, but you've got leaders on all four levels of the defense. You've got Suggs coming off the edge who can teach me some things about coming off the other side. You've got Ray in the middle, and you've got Ed Reed in the back. Ain't no getting past the first three levels."

On how he would compare himself to Redskins LB Brian Orakpo: "Brian Orakpo has more pass-rushing moves. I've got a little bit more linebacker in me, but our pass-rushing ability, like our 'want to' to get to the quarterback, is about the same. So, once I learn the system, he's going to be competing in sacks with me. I'm getting the Rookie of the Year. That's my goal."

On whether there is a significance to him wearing No. 2 at Texas:"In high school and college, I wore that number because of my uncle. His name was Mark Walker; he played cornerback for TCU, [and] he wore No. 2. In high school, he wore No. 2 at the end of his career and college, and that's the only person in my family who ever went to college, so I just took it after that."

On what he can say about his recent driving incident of running into a house:"You know, it was just a dumb decision on my part. I was just texting and driving and having bad judgment on how fast and how far you can travel while looking down for a split second in the car. You know what I mean? And just that split second, in a second or two, you can go from 200-300 feet in a vehicle, going 30 [MPH]."

On the incident that occurred in 2007:"Oh, the DWI – that was a handful, man. I just made a poor decision of getting in the car after having some drinks, and that was my fault. But in my opinion, I feel like everything happens for a reason. The Lord put me through those situations for me to learn and to make me the man I am today – make me tougher, make me stronger, make me smarter in my decision-making. So, I'm a better man for it today."

On whether he ever had any previous meetings with the Ravens:"I met with them during the Combine, and it was good because they asked me about the [driving] into the wall thing, and I had to draw it up for them, and they were kind of laughing. They got a joke out of that, they got a laugh out of that, because I drew it up for them. And then I think they left it up and they were going to show the next team. But, they were real high on my skill level, but more so my tenacity on the field, the way I play. You know, the way I fly to the ball, if I'm in a 4-4 [defense] I can fly to the ball in the secondary, not knowing if I'm going to catch the guy, but still having the 'want to' to try. You know what I mean?"


On joining the Ravens and getting picked in the second round:
"It was a long wait. It was real nerve-racking trying to figure out who I was going to go to. But, it all ended up good and ended up where I wanted to be and where I was supposed to be."

On if he felt like Baltimore is where he was going to get drafted after his visits:"Yeah. I was like, as soon as I got there, just after everything, I felt like this is where I was going to be at."

On if he felt like it was his weight that made him fall to the second round:"I felt it was my weight and stuff that dropped me to this late. I mean, a lot of teams missed on a lot of things because I'm not just a run-stopper. I can do more than just that."

On what else he can do well:"I can push the pipe. I can make the quarterback run outside the pocket and stuff. I can collapse the pipe. I show flashes of rushing the passer, but through my career at Alabama, I didn't really show it. But, I do show flashes of it."

On if he was expecting the Ravens to call when they did and his conversations with Ozzie Newsome:"He called me and I didn't know who I was talking to at first. But then he told me and I was like, 'Ah man.' I was like, 'Man, man, man.' The conversation, it went good. They told me I'm going to be a Raven."

On his meeting with Newsome at the Alabama spring game, and if he got the feeling that he would be going to Baltimore:"Yeah, I had a real good feeling this is where I would be going. It took longer than I thought it would, but at the end of the day I'm a Baltimore Raven and proud to be one."

On what he knows of the Ravens' defense:"For me, playing in the 3-4, playing under [Nick] Saban, that defense is kind of just like ours – relentless. We win games with defense and win championships with defense. That's all I know about it. They win games playing good defense."

On if he feels the Ravens were heavily scouting him:"Yeah, I sensed that since Day One. I mean, after my junior year at Alabama I sensed they were looking at me."

On how his health has been throughout his career with playing at such a big size: "My health has been real good. I never had health issues. I've always been big my whole life. I never had health issues with weight."

On whether he has his weight under control now and how he plans to keep it under control:"Yeah, I've got my weight under [control]."

On what he had to do to lose weight before:"Just hard work, doing what you're supposed to be doing, eating right."

On whether his nutrition is much different now: "I never used to eat a lot; I just used to eat at night. I never ate through the day; I just ate at night."

On what he sees his ideal playing weight being: "I think my [ideal weight] would be 340."

On what he knows about DT Haloti Ngata and if he looks forward to playing with him: "I mean, I watched the Draft when he got drafted by the Ravens a while back, and I see he's a big guy, and he's strong and he makes plays."

On what last night was like for him having to wait through the first round:"Oh, it was real nerve-racking – the suspense and all that stuff. It was just [wondering] who was going to pick who, and a lot of teams kind of picked some weird picks in the first round. But, I just sat and waited, and I didn't hear my name get picked, so I went to bed and I waited until the next day."

On what he thought when the Ravens took LB Sergio Kindle: "I mean, I didn't think that much. I was like, 'That's a good pick; he's a good player.' He makes plays and he does what he has to do."

On where his weight is right now: "I'm 350 right now."

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