Ravens Saturday Draft Transcripts



Ozzie Newsome opening statement: "I would say we've come to about the conclusion of the 2018 Draft. The reason why I'm saying that we're not at conclusion yet is we have the undrafted college free agents to deal with. But, a lot of work has gone into this, starting back last June when our area scouts had to do spring grades. I just want to thank all of the scouts, and all of the guys that work in pro personnel, for the job that they did in order to help us put together this draft class. I really, really feel very good about this class and how it came to be. Twelve picks, we made six trades, we addressed a lot of areas on the football team, and I think after today when we're finished with the undrafted college free agents, [I can say] that the Baltimore Ravens – there is no doubt in my mind – are a better football team and will give us an opportunity to get to not only where we want to go to, but all of our fans and everybody that wears that purple. Let's get into the playoffs and hopefully get to another Super Bowl."

Eric DeCosta opening statement: "A lot goes into this, and I want to thank the coaches and the scouts. It's a labor of love, and a lot of long hours away from families in some cases, but I think we got a lot of really good work accomplished over the last couple of days. I think we found some good players, and I'm very proud of the way that we worked together as a group. We listened to each other, we trust each other, and we depend on each other, and I think that's one of the things that makes this organization great. I know that will continue, and in the end, I think we got 12 really good players."

John Harbaugh opening statement:"This is my 11th draft with Ozzie, Eric and Joe, and I told Ozzie just as we finished this thing up I feel like this is his best draft since I've been here – heck, maybe the best ever. I don't know. The job that was done by Ozzie and by our scouts and by everybody involved – the coaches – it was just awesome to watch the way the draft was managed and also the players that we got. It's our job as coaches to make that into a reality on the field so that everybody can see it. So, I couldn't be more excited about this bunch of guys we've got coming in here to help make this football team great. Ozzie and everybody in the building have done a great job."

Joe Hortiz opening statement:"Just a fun three days, and I feel like we've acquired a lot of good players to help us. But like everyone else, I want to thank the scouts and the coaches. It's a lot of work, and it's a lot of long hours, and there is a lot of dedication poured into this process by everyone involved. To come out with this group of players is a very rewarding feeling, and I'm looking forward to seeing them out here in a week."

Ozzie, can you talk about – you make your final pick and this is your last draft – just the emotions that are going through you at that moment? (Garrett Downing)

*(NEWSOME) *"Yes, it was emotional. The kid [Zach Sieler] told me he was going to make me proud. That was a good part of it. But, there have been a lot of picks, a lot of wins, a lot of losses. Even though there is some finality with that, there's not finality with what I'm going to continue to do for the Baltimore Ravens."

Eric, you've grown emotional talking about Ozzie and what he has meant to you. Was it emotional for you to see him make that last pick? (Jeff Zrebiec)

*(DeCOSTA) *"Yes, definitely. I would say that it is emotional. It is, there's no doubt. Ozzie has taught me a lot about football, but more about life. That's going to continue. And Steve [Bisciotti] did a really cool thing where he just basically switched our seats. I've always kind of sat on this side – on the right side – and I think I'll probably still sit there, because I can see the board. *(laughter) *It's actually a better seat. I mean, he's at the head, but actually he has to turn around, where I can just kind of look over there. You know, I don't know what to say really; he's probably my best friend. So, we'll be together for a lot more time. Not much is going to change." 

Ozzie, did they do anything special for you after that last pick? (Jamison Hensley)

*(NEWSOME) *"All the coaches and scouts and Kevin [Byrne, senior vice president of community and public relations] and his department and [director of football administration] Jessica [Markison] – they all came in and gave me an ovation. It was nice."

Ozzie, it seems like you filled a lot of the holes and even addressed the future of this team with QB Lamar Jackson. When you look back at this, do you feel like you accomplished what you set out to do? (David Ginsburg)

*(NEWSOME) *"We made our team better. The Baltimore Ravens are a better football team after the past three days. Hopefully, we'll get better going into tonight. But yes, we did address a lot of areas. But ask me two years from now, because now we have to get them in, we have to work with them, we have to develop them, and then two years from now we'll be able to determine what job we did this weekend."

Ozzie, you talked yesterday about how you liked the way the receiver board was stacked today. Can you talk about the two receivers you drafted and what you like about those guys? (Garrett Downing)

(NEWSOME) "We signed Michael [Crabtree], and we signed John [Brown], and we signed Willie [Snead IV]. We felt that Jaleel [Scott] … He brought a different dimension to the type of receiver in the group – a 6-foot-5 guy that can make unbelievable catches. I think if the ball is what I would consider 'thrown in the area code,' he could come away with it. Lastly, he's one of those guys where the four of us, we all looked at him, [and] he has an explosive trait about him. There were some issues early on in the senior year, but he bounced his way back. I'll let him tell you what the one quote he said to me about being picked in the fifth round. At some point, he'll be able to tell you that, and I hope he can live to what he said to me."

When you talk to a player about some off-the-field stuff, how do you handle that process with the player? What do you look for in hearing from a player before moving forward? (Terry Ford)

(DeCOSTA) "Usually we already know a lot of the details, so we hope that the player is as transparent with us as possible, is able to give his side of things and kind of explain to us what happened. But a lot of times it doesn't really stop there. We talk to a lot of other people, as well, and we try to generate as much information as we can – coaches, teammates, family, whatever it is – and try to get a picture and really figure out if this is an isolated thing, is this a pattern, and what's the risk to the Baltimore Ravens, and do we consider this to be a significant risk. We make our decisions based off of that. In some cases, if we have to, we have support staff that we can count on, different doctors and people that can help us navigate through different issues to help us make our decisions as well."

Ozzie, you picked two Alabama players on the last day of your last draft. What did that mean to you? What did you see from CB Anthony Averett and C Bradley Bozeman? (Ryan Mink)

(NEWSOME) "When we took Anthony [Averett], he was the highest rated on the board at the time. Every year we go into an NFL season, and you don't ever have too many corners. Anthony is a guy that started 25 games at Alabama, and I think he'll come in and compete and add depth. Bradley is a guy that's multi-positional. He started at guard, and [when] Ryan Kelly left he took over to center. It was more about them as players than that they're from the University of Alabama – but it don't hurt that they're from there." *(laughter) *

John, how much do you like the offensive linemen that you got? You have been building some young depth there. Do you like the numbers that you're developing at each spot? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(HARBAUGH) "I do like that. I think that's exactly right. We did need to bolster that, numbers-wise, and we are young. We think these are all guys that can develop into really good players. I feel like [Greg] Senat … You're going to like him when you see him walking in the door on Thursday. He looks the part. He's a little green; he hasn't been playing football that long, but he's a super talented guy. [Bradley] Bozeman, man, this guy's an Alabama [player]. He's a physical center; we like those kinds of guys at center, so I think he fits what we're trying to do offensively. They all have a very good chance to make the team, and it's going to be very competitive. We've added a lot of competition everywhere. Every coach loves competition. So our guys are going to come to work this week and start competing. That's what you do in football, and that's what you do in life. I'm excited about the whole group, including the offensive line."

Ozzie, what did you like about ILB Kenny Young? Did you realize that you hadn't drafted a UCLA player since Jonathan Ogden? (Luke Jones)

*(NEWSOME) *"No, I did not realize that, but I ended up getting two today. *(laughter) *He's a guy that does a very good job of playing in space, can cover running backs and tight ends. He has a quality about him when you talk to him that you just feel like he's a Raven. I think he'll come in, he'll compete with 'Peanut' [Patrick Onwuasor] and the other guys to see if he can get on the field. The other good thing about getting a guy like that is he can probably be good in four phases of special teams – that's value also."

Joe, can you talk about DT Zach Seiler? How did you guys discover him from Ferris State? He's a small school guy. (Garrett Downing)

(HORTIZ) "He was a junior to declare [for the draft] out of a small school, which is pretty rare. [Midwest area scout] Dwuane [Jones] was the first to look at him. Dwuane liked him; we did some more work on him, had [defensive line coach] Joe [Cullen] and [assistant defensive line coach/OLBs] Drew [Wilkins] look at him and [national scout] Milt [Hendrickson] as well. We were able to be at his pro day, and the guy tested extremely well. He's 6-5, 283 pounds, I think, ran sub-5 flat, was an inch away from being a 30-30-30 guy – which is the 30 Wonderlic score or above, 30 bench press [repetitions] and 30- [inch] vertical. He's a really explosive athlete. I think he had 33 career sacks and 17.5 last year. He just plays hard. [He] draws a lot of attention at Ferris State. There are games where he was being triple-teamed, double-teamed. He is a prototype five-technique, so we're excited to get him."

Ozzie, at the Combine you vowed to change the look of the wide receiver room. You've now signed four free agents basically and drafted two more guys. How do you think that group has come together? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(NEWSOME) "Like I said before, we brought in different types: a vertical guy in John [Brown], a very good slot guy in Willie [Snead IV] and a guy that can do a little bit of both in Michael [Crabtree]. Then, you add Jaleel [Scott] and Jordan [Lasley] and then DeVier [Posey]. We still have the young guys! We still have the young players that we're still developing, that we had here a year ago. What John [Harbaugh] has just talked about is [that] we have competition. I don't know whether we'll keep four, five or six – I don't know. But those guys are going to be competing, and we'll keep the best ones. Hopefully each and every one of them will be guys that will be really friendly to Joe [Flacco]. When Joe throws the ball to them, they'll be able to come away with it." 

John, did you see anything different with Ozzie Newsome's last draft? (Jamison Hensley)

(HARBAUGH) "No. He's about as even-keeled as you can find. [He's] enjoying the process, and to me, he's the same. I will say though at the end, the very last pick, I would say that Ozzie did get emotional. But it was probably because we were getting emotional. *(laughter) *That was one of the greatest moments that I'll ever experience in professional life. The good news is it's not really the end; it's kind of the beginning of a new era. But we're all together. It's just an awesome deal, an amazing thing. One thing about Ozzie, maybe just share this with you, I know we all feel this way: He makes you your best self. You can have a good day, he makes you be better. You can have a bad day, and he still brings out the best in you. He's a mentor, he's a friend, confidant – all those things. You can go seek advice and talk to him about becoming a better coach or a better evaluator. But really, more than anything, just life stuff. I don't know, it's just been an amazing 11 years, and I'm looking forward to the next however many years we both walk on this Earth. I know all the coaches feel the same way."

Eric, in the draft, you filled pretty much every position people were expecting you to fill except maybe adding a running back. Was that a show of confidence in the guys that you have on your roster? Was that just a matter of the board not falling in that way? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(DeCOSTA) "We had some guys that we liked at probably two different opportunities where players got picked right in front of us. That happens every year. I think I had less patience for it this year for some reason; I got kind of angry. But it did happen a few times, and one specifically was a running back. We tried. We had a couple other guys that we liked that we didn't' take for various reasons. We like our running backs, and there are still opportunities for us. As Ozzie always says, 'We don't play games until September.' We'll have some chances between now and then maybe to add a couple backs. Also, the undrafted free agents … Our guys are upstairs right now recruiting, and we'll probably take two or three backs as well. We've had good success with that in the past finding running backs, and I think that will continue."


On what it feels like to be drafted by Ozzie Newsome, an Alabama legend:"I feel right at home with him drafting me! I'm a Jersey guy, and Baltimore isn't too far [away]. I can't wait to get started. This is just a blessing for me and my family. I just can't wait to get started with practice."

On reuniting with former Alabama teammate CB Marlon Humphrey: "It's just going to be like old times. That's what they were teasing me about once they drafted me – talking about Marlon – like, 'Are you still faster than him?' and stuff like that. Me and him – we're going to be happy playing both sides. We're going to see what happens. We're just going to give our best effort and show what time it is."

On what CB Marlon Humphrey has told him about the Ravens:"He said he loved it. I spoke to him a few times before the Combine started, and he said he loved it. The organization, he loved everything about the Ravens."

On if the two of them were close:"Yeah, me and Marlon were locker buddies – his was right next to mine. I was on the other side, and he was on the left side. We have great communication on the field, one. Marlon is my guy!"

On the media's opinion of his size as a cornerback:"I have a [big] heart though – that's how I feel. It doesn't really matter. I'll play next to [anyone]. Big, tall, fast, small – it didn't matter who I was facing. I felt like I had great numbers against the best of them. It really doesn't matter. I'm pretty sure I'm going to gain a few pounds when I'm in the NFL anyway. I'm not really worried about that part."

On who the better track star is between him and CB Marlon Humphrey:"I'm definitely the track star. He can do the 400- [meter dash], but I'm the sprinter. I'm more of the sprinter side." (Reporter: "Aren't you a long jumper or a high jumper, too?") "Yes, that too. I'm a long jumper. I jumped 25 feet-and-a-half in high school. I was No. 1 in America in high school as a junior. I just decided to keep playing football into college, obviously."

On if former Ravens T Bryant McKinnie reached out to him:"No, not yet. My phone has just been blowing up. A lot of people have reached out, so I'm not sure. I have to look through. I haven't had time."


On being drafted by Ray Lewis' former team:"To be honest with you, this guy Ray Lewis … Ask anyone, ask anyone out here … I'm out here in the woods; I'm probably 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. These workouts, these films that I'm watching were to try to at least do what that guy did in the NFL. For me, my first step was just to get to the NFL. To know that I'm going to be a part of a team that he played at, guys like C.J. Mosley played at and even Ed Reed … [Reed] lives 40 minutes away from me here in Destrehan. Just to see the way those guys played … That's who I really modify my game after. Honestly, I just want to come in and wins some championships. Baltimore is a great defense for that. We have great talent coming on up. We have that dog and that mentality that nobody can stop. I'm excited to get up to a Super Bowl this year and working, whatever it takes – scratch, claw – to get up to where we need to be. That's my job – to come in here and contribute from Day One. That's why I think these guys drafted me."

On if he felt he was going to be drafted by the Ravens: "It was [a feeling]. I had talked to a few teams prior to that, and the defensive coordinator [Don Martindale] called me from Baltimore and said, 'Hey, listen. Are the Bills picking yet? They're talking about getting you. But if not, let's see what's going to happen when their pick is up. OK, their pick is up in two more picks.' And I said, 'OK cool.' So the Bills didn't pick me, and he was like, 'Hey, Kenny, listen, man, you're a Baltimore Raven. Congratulations!' I was like, 'Man, wow!' That was just … I couldn't tell you how I felt after that. My family was excited; I was excited. It was a big boulder lifted off my shoulders. I love that type of defense that they have. I fit perfect with that, as a far as character-wise, what I bring to the table, my speed, my tackling, my discipline. I think we can get something done very special here."

On if he has ever met Ed Reed:"Yeah! We have met a few times. Ed was [my father's] best friend in high school. I was supposed to go to Hahnville High School, [which] Destrehan has a rivalry [with]. Ed Reed played with my dad. My pops, who I live with, played with Ed Reed, but [Reed] modified his game and some of his techniques after my dad. So him and my dad know each other very well. But yeah, Ed Reed lived in Destrehan, and that's like 30 or 40 minutes from [New Orleans]."

On if he grew up emulating Ed Reed as a defensive player:"Yeah, correct."

On the potential to play alongside OLB Terrell Suggs: "Man, [the Ravens] have great guys! I mentioned off the top of my head: C.J. Mosley, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and you just mentioned Terrell Suggs – another great guy. For me, I want to soak up all the knowledge Terrell Suggs has. I don't want to … Teach me the way you do it, Terrell Suggs. Or, what I can do [that can be] better. I'm just going to flow through what he's giving me and school me and teach me. We're just going to get our job done on the field together and have fun with it."


On how it feels to be drafted by the Ravens: "It's just a dream come true, to be honest with you, because growing up this was my favorite team since Jamaal Lewis. The defense that Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs … I always thought I was going to be a defensive player growing up, so that was my favorite team, [because of] just how feisty the defense was. Now, for me to get picked up by the Baltimore Ravens? That's a dream! That's a dream come true."

On the confidence he gained from his senior season performance:"So much confidence. I worked; I worked. Everything I had happen that season year is because of my hard work, because of the things I did off the field that nobody sees. I've seen the success that came with that, and I'm addicted to success. I realized that was something that I could keep on doing, just keep on working, showing my teammates that I am a great player. It brought a lot of confidence being that guy."

On what he has learned from his journey up until this point: "What I learned from my journey is [that] you can never give up on yourself. You have to always bet on yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything . You have to work and earn everything that you want in this world. My dad preached that to me growing up, that if there's anything you want, you're going to have to work for it. I realized that, and that made me the man that I am today, and the football player that I am today."

On his one-handed touchdown grab against Arizona State:"That Arizona State catch was like my breakout play of the season.  I was excited. My quarterback had faith in me throwing it up, and the defender was on one of my arms, and I had no choice but to go up with one hand, and I came down with it." (Reporter: "I would assume that was your first time ever on ESPN, but hopefully not your last?") "No sir, not at all."

On what he needs to improve on: "Getting out of my break. As a big-bodied receiver, we cheat. We use our body a lot more than the little receivers to getting out our breaks. I feel like getting out of my break – that's something that I need to work on so I can perfect my profession."

On what it means to potentially be the last wide receiver Ozzie Newsome ever drafts:"Yes, it's a dream come true. It's really a dream come true. I'm just so thankful that he picked me as [potentially] the last receiver he may be able to draft. So, it's a blessing, a dream come true."

On working alongside QB Lamar Jackson and QB Joe Flacco:"I'm excited. Joe Flacco – he went to the Super Bowl; he knows how to get to the Super Bowl. He's a professional. Lamar Jackson is a rookie, but he has a lot of attitude. I like the confidence that he brings. I know he's the type of guy to put in the work. I'm excited. I'm excited to work with both of those guys."