General Manager/Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh,
Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta & Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz
Ozzie Newsome opening statement: "A nine-month process led us to the pick tonight. I know we got better as a football team because of the way C.J. plays, but I really know we got better as an organization because of the person that he is. There are very few people who can be a two-time captain at that university. We're excited to have him. When he gets here, I think what he brings as a player and as a person, each and every fan in Baltimore, his teammates and all of us who work for the Ravens will be very proud.
"We worked the phones, and there were some calls while we were on the clock. By the time we got to six minutes, there were no calls. We're just elated to have C.J. Mosley as a part of our football team."
John Harbaugh opening statement:"There's really not much more to add other than he's a really good fit for our football team and our defense. He's a good fit from the standpoint of the position he plays and how he plays the game. And he's a good fit for our personality as a team and our organization. You're going to love him, you're going to love his work ethic, you're going to love his personality. He's going to be here Monday ready to go to work. He's a football player, first and foremost, and he's really excited to be a Raven."
Eric DeCosta opening statement: "He's fast, instinctive, tough, smart and productive – a playmaker. People always ask about best available player and what that means. He was the best available player on our board, and he would have been the best available player on our board at [No.] 10. We think he's a great football player, and we're very excited to get him. Coaches are very excited; scouts are very excited. It's a win-win."
Joe Hortiz opening statement: "Just to echo that, the scouts are pumped. He's a guy who came out of the fall with high grades and a guy who stayed up there throughout the process. We enjoyed watching him, had fun watching him, and we think he's going to fit in great. We're looking forward to seeing him out there."
Ozzie, how confident are you that he's sound enough physically to step in and play right away as a top pick should? (Joe Platania)
(NEWSOME) "We put players through the process from a medical standpoint, as well as a film evaluation. And there's no question in my mind that he's going to be ready to play from Day One. The day he gets here on Monday, he'll be ready to go out there and start to prepare himself to get ready for our first game against Cincinnati."
Ozzie, you said that you had some calls. Because of how you had Mosely so highly-rated, were you at any point interested in moving back at all?* (Jamison Hensley)*
*(NEWSOME) *"We always have interest in moving back, but basically, we talked about it early this afternoon that in order to move back, and get back to where we've been picking for the last five years – where I plan to be picking back in that part of the country again next year – that it would take a significant trade for us to do it. There were some offers, but nothing came close to what we felt like the value was for us to move back that far."
Ozzie, C.J. was saying that he was told that Zack Martin, who went right before him to Dallas, was under some consideration. Was Zack someone that you had rated very highly as well? (Aaron Wilson)
*(NEWSOME) *"The board was stacked very well. All of the players that went before us are players that we had considered at the 17th pick."
Some people would say that safety was a big need for this team. Was there any consideration with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as well? Was it close at all with Mosley, or was Mosley your clear-cut pick today? (Jamison Hensley)
*(NEWSOME) *"C.J. was the clear-cut guy at that pick."
John, C.J. talked about his versatility, that he felt like he played inside and outside at Alabama. Do you see that on tape? Do you see him able to play a number of different positions? (Ryan Mink)
*(HARBAUGH) *"If you look at their defense, he's talking about different fronts that they're in. So, when they get into a 4-3 front … He's usually always off the ball for the most part. He can play on the edge, he can rush, he can do some of those things, but in our defense, I think you define him as an inside linebacker. He's going to be in the positions that Daryl [Smith], Arthur [Brown], Josh [Bynes] … You've seen those guys play here – of course, Ray [Lewis]. It's those positions inside and off the ball in our defense."
You guys watched so much tape and watched him in person. When you watched Mosley, which one or two characteristics set him apart and made him that guy at that position at that pick? (Gerry Sandusky)
*(DeCOSTA) *"Smart – very smart, relentless player, fast, always involved. He can play the run, can play the pass [and] should be a great special teams guy for us if we need him to do that. [He's] just a relentless, smart, tough football player."
Ozzie, you know I asked about the Alabama history at the pre-draft press conference; I'm not going to go there right now. But was there a seminal moment where it clicked for you and you said, "If he's available, this is our guy."? (Jerry Coleman)
*(NEWSOME) *"We worked the process throughout tonight, and as the picks started to come off the board, we stood there and we marked them down. And then we started looking at, 'Well, we knew we were going to have the opportunity to get these three players.' Then another one goes. So, what happens is, when we got to our pick, we went on the clock, the phones were ringing and we were taking all the calls. And when we knew we had a player that was rated higher than where he was getting picked, we were willing to accept all the calls and see if we could get a bonanza. That bonanza never came, the phones stopped ringing, and at that point we called C.J."
Mosley is your first inside linebacker drafted [in the first round] since Ray Lewis in your first year. I don't think anybody is going to say he is the next Ray Lewis, but when you guys watched tape and talked to him, did you see any Ray Lewis-type abilities or qualities that stood out? (Jamison Hensley)
*(NEWSOME) *"They both play inside linebacker. I would never want anyone, nor would C.J., to have to come in here and try to be the next Ray Lewis. He needs to be C.J. Mosley for our football team for us to be successful."
Joe, you gave a passionate defense of certain Alabama players at the luncheon. You guys talked a lot about his character. What sort of impression did he make on you when you guys met with him when he visited here? (Jeff Zrebiec)
*(HORTIZ) *"He's all ball. He's passionate about the game. He's a great worker. You go into Alabama, and you talk about their players – each individual player – and he's the one guy that you can't find anyone saying anything negative about. How reliable, accountable, dependable he is on and off the field. And then you watch the film, and he's instinctive, he's tough, he uses his hands well, he gets off blocks, he takes on guys, he covers versus the pass. He is just a real fun guy to evaluate, and I know our scouts enjoyed watching him and doing him throughout the whole process, and we're pumped to have him. You just see it all, and you feel good about him."
(HARBAUGH) *"Are they going to take away your Auburn card?" *(laughter)
(HORTIZ) *"They might. They might. [Auburn's] Greg Robinson is a good player, too" *(laughter)
John, you re-signed Daryl Smith this offseason, and you invested a second-round pick in Arthur Brown last year. How do you see C.J. fitting into that inside linebacker competition? (Jamison Hensley)
*(HARBAUGH) *"He fits into the inside linebacker competition really well. He bolsters us, he bolsters our group there, he makes us better, and that's what you try to do. I think we've got a number of guys in there that can play. We've been practicing now – if you can call it that – in phase two for this last week, and it's been fun watching those guys out there. The thing that you notice, though, is that there is not many of them. They're all good players, but we need a few more of those guys. So, adding C.J. – it fills a real need for us, and I think it's going to make us a lot better on defense however he ends up fitting in. And it will be a competition."
C.J. said there are no red flags with his injury history, but were there any concerns with his injuries?* (Matt Zenitz)*
(NEWSOME) "We put everybody through the process as far as the medical, and then at the end of the day our doctors come in and give us a grade, and once we get the grade it determines whether they're draftable enough for us. And he was very draftable."
By the time you came down here, there were probably 12-13 picks still left. With what has transpired so far, are there any big surprises to you, and how does it set up for you guys filling a lot of needs on Day 2? (Jeff Zrebiec)
*(DeCOSTA) *"This board reminds me a lot of the 2011 Draft, when it kind of came off as we had it – very clean off the board pretty much that we could predict, for the most part, who was going to get picked. There might have been one or two picks that were kind of surprising. I think looking at tomorrow, we like the board quite a bit. We'll go back tonight after this and get together as a staff and talk about all the different things. We'll tweak the board. We're probably not going to draft an inside linebacker tomorrow at Pick 48. So, we'll tweak the board, we'll make some adjustments, we'll take those players probably out of that range in the second round and just change it a little bit. But we love the board, we feel really good about the process, we've got a lot of guys to pick from tomorrow. We've had a lot of success the last few years in the second round – guys have fallen to us – and we're excited about that, and we'd like to see what happens."
**LB C.J. MOSLEy CONFERENCE CALL
On being drafted by the Ravens and what he can bring to the team:"I feel great about it. Growing up, I was a Ravens fan because of Ray Lewis, my favorite linebacker. I got to meet him, actually, this past summer going into my senior year, and he gave me a lot of insight. So, I'm just excited to add on to the tradition of bringing some Alabama players [to Baltimore]. And I also feel like I can bring a lot of versatility as far as being a cover linebacker and a run-stopping linebacker and just try to make plays and help the team win."
On when he realized the Ravens were seriously considering him:"I was talking to my agent, and he was pretty much saying that it was between me and one of the O-linemen, and the O-lineman went right before the pick, so I was pretty much just waiting for the phone to ring, and it did."
On the phone call he received:"I was really relieved. I wasn't really going in expecting a certain pick. I talked to the Ravens multiple times. I talked to Mr. Ozzie Newsome, and he told me if I was still there I'd have a high chance of going there. I was pretty much just waiting it out, and once I realized I was a good chance of being that pick, [I] was just living in the moment. So, I was just happy."
On if he had a feeling he would be drafted by the Ravens:"It was a great vibe from the Alabama connection that I have [with] the Ravens. Visiting there, talking to all the coaches, visiting staff, it was nothing but good vibes, so I'm pretty sure that helped them make their choice a little bit easier. I'm just excited to get there now."
On what they told him about fitting in with the Ravens: "Some say I'll be inside; some say I'll be outside. Like I said, I'm a versatile player, and [I'll bring intensity] and be productive."
On being the first inside linebacker taken by the Ravens in the first round since Ray Lewis in 1996: "It's a blessing. I'm happy I can share this moment with my family. I'm happy to be in the position that I'm in, happy for all the ups and downs I had through my life and through college that I'm here in this moment. You've got to just stop all the talking and get to play."
On if he feels he fits better at inside or outside linebacker: "I'm pretty comfortable at both. Playing at Alabama, playing with [Alabama head] coach [Nick] Saban in his system, I've been on the outside and inside, actually. Like I said, wherever they need me at and wherever I'm most productive for the team, that's where I'll play."
On his health: "I'm 100 percent healthy, no red flags coming through the Combine and through all the visits. The knee checked up, and I'm still good. I have a lot of mileage on my body, but I'm ready to go, and my past injuries won't affect my play."
On if he feels any pressure to live up to the standard set by Ray Lewis: "You obviously look up to him. Like I said, Ray Lewis is one of my favorite players. My favorite two linebackers were [Brian] Urlacher and Ray Lewis, and they're two totally different guys on the field. But one thing they have in common is they're both playmakers, they both control their defense, and they're leaders. As long as I have those three things, I should be good. I'm not trying to go in there and be the next [No.] 52 or anything like that. I'm going in there to be C.J. Mosley and help the team win."
On meeting Ray Lewis: "I felt just like a little kid in a candy shop. I see him all the time on TV, all the great speeches he's done, and that's just something I can knock off my bucket list, really. I'm just glad I got the honor to see him and talk to the team and talk to me in person, so it was a great experience."