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Transcripts: CB Nate Wiggins Introductory Press Conference (4/26)

Zach Orr opening statement: "[I] appreciate you guys coming. Obviously, you can see the smile on our faces. This is a great day to be a Raven. Last night, we drafted Nate Wiggins, who we obviously believe is the best corner in the draft – not only one of the best corners, but one of the best defensive players overall. Early in the process – you can ask Nate – when he came on his [Top] 30 visit, I was like, 'Man, I don't know if you're going to be here at [No.] 30, but if you are, I'm going to make sure that I fight on the table for you.' Obviously, we were able to get him. Eric [DeCosta] and the personnel staff did a great job, and we were able to get him. Just speaking about Nate – he's tall; he's fast; he's athletic. [He] plays hard, plays physical, plays like a Raven. But, what stood out to me the most is [that] in the big-time games, at the big-time moments – talking about third down, fourth down, two-minute, end of game, end of half – whenever the ball came his way, he made the play. So, we're excited to bring him in [and be a] part of our organization, a part of our defense. [We] expect great things out of him. I know he's hungry. He plays with a little edge, which we like. Like I said, [I] can't thank everybody enough for coming, and congratulations to Nate. We're happy you're here."

Chris Hewitt opening statement: "First of all, I want to thank [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta], [executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome], 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh], Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti and the rest of the scouting department, because there's a lot of things that go along with the draft process and identifying guys, and they identified Nate in the process. All I had to do was just turn on the tape. As soon as you turn on the tape, you already knew. As soon as you turn on the tape, you're like 'God dawg, look at this guy go.' I mean, the guy is a blur on the field. Just about all the things that [defensive coordinator] Zach [Orr] talked about – whenever it was time for a guy to make a play, this guy was making plays all over the field. There are two plays that stand out to me the most. The two plays when [Nate Wiggins] was running that kid down, the running back from North Carolina and the other from Miami – [he] runs all the way down, tracks the guy down at the end zone and knocks the ball out on the field. Those are game-changing plays, and those are the kind of players that we look for. A guy like Nate – he's going to fit great in our organization. He's going to be a guy that's able to make some great plays for us, fit in within our defense and take us to that next level that we're looking for."

Nate Wiggins opening statement: "I'm happy to be here. Like they said, I'm a passionate player. I love the game of football, so that's why I feel like I'm the best player to be here. I feel like this program, this organization is about passion and winning. That's all I care about. That's all I came here to do. I'm here to win, and I'm here to get the job done. So, that's what we're going to do."

A lot of people, coming to the NFL, they talk about the speed of the game. Obviously, you're one of the fastest players out there. What do you think for you will be the biggest adjustment coming to the NFL? (Jamison Hensley)

Wiggins: "Probably just my time, having more time."

What have the last 12 hours been like – waiting for your name to be called, and then shuffling back here to Baltimore and coming back into this facility knowing that you're going to be part of the future here? (Jerry Coleman)

Wiggins: "It's been crazy. I've been having up-and-down moments in the Draft process. It was crazy. But, I'm here now, and I'm about to make everybody pay who looked over me."

Going 30*th, I'm sure you want to go as high as you can. Is there any extra motivation for you for teams that passed on you? (Brian Wacker)*

Wiggins*:* "They're going to see what they passed up. They're going to see."

You said when you had conversations with him, that, 'If you're here at 30, great,' kind of not thinking it was going to happen. To see it all play out last night and to realize that it was getting closer and closer to him, what was going through your mind that you could actually get him? (Morgan Adsit)

Orr*:* "It was kind of mixed emotions. Firs thing, I was like 'Man, I hope no one else picks him before it gets to us.' But, it was great. [I] just started getting excited because we knew he was our guy. Like Chris [Hewitt] talked about, seeing the process of the whole scouting department led by Eric [DeCosta] and Ozzie [Newsome], just seeing those guys work and seeing the whole process play out where Nate [Wiggins] was falling to us. When we knew we had a chance to get him – you saw how fast that pick was turned in. It was joy in the draft room. We were so excited. We felt like we got the best defensive player in the draft."

Overall, how do you feel about the additions to the defense this offseason? (Todd Karpovich)

Orr*:* "I think it's coming along well. We just added, like we said, who we think is one of the top defensive players in the Draft to our defense. Obviously, we signed 'Beeks' [Justin Madubuike] back earlier in the offseason and made some other free agent signings as well. I think it's coming along well. He's going to be a great addition to a talented secondary, and he's just going to make us better."

Last night, Eric said he lost some sleep over going with O-Line versus quarterback, both positions of need. What were those conversations like from your side, getting someone in here after all of the guys that you lost? (Giana Han)

Orr*:* "Shoot, I only watch the defensive players, so I only know about the cornerbacks. If we took an offensive lineman, and he was going to help our team, that would be great. But, I knew that Nate Wiggins was a guy that was going to be a great addition for us. So, I was like, 'If Nate's there, let's get him.' And it shook out in our favor. So, we're happy that it played out the way it did."

Eric DeCosta usually waits to make the pick, for most of the time to run out and all that. Yesterday, he turned it in right away. Can you take us in the room yesterday when they turned that pick in right away as soon as you guys were on the clock. (Garrett Downing)

Orr*:* "I mean, we kind of knew. He knew that if Nate was there, that was the guy that he was going to take. I think he talked about it last night. It was a lot of phone calls, a lot of stuff going on, and he was saying 'If our guy is there, we're taking him.' And, Nate was our guy. [As] soon as it was our time to go up and Nate was still on that board, it was time to make that phone call, and there was no hesitation. So, that's how bad we wanted him, and I think that showed."

I think Nate played most of his snaps last year in man coverage. What is the value of having a guy who can be a shutdown man-to-man corner when you guys need to call on someone like that? (Jonas Shaffer)

Hewitt*:* "Well, first of all, when you have a guy that is as talented as this guy is, it doesn't matter if you're playing zone, man-to-man, whatever it is. He's extremely talented. The other part about it is, he's got a high football IQ, as well. Going through the whole process, when we were at the NFL Combine, I think I stopped the meeting at like three minutes. It didn't even matter. It was over. The guy was so smart. He had all the athletic ability. All of those things were a given. It was all about what was in between the ears. That's the only thing that I really needed to know. So, as far as him having any issues or anything, I'm not worried about that. We're going to get this guy on the field, and you're going to see a great player for years to come."

How old were you, and who was it who first put you at cornerback? Did you sort of know right away, 'This is where I belong?' (Childs Walker)

Wiggins: "It was my ninth-grade year, it was actually – sitting in the front right here are my mom and my dad. I didn't really want to play cornerback; I wanted to play receiver, but they were like, 'There's a lot of receivers that are fast.' There are not that many cornerbacks that [are] tall that can do what I can do. I just started training, and it paid off."

We saw the video of LB Trenton Simpson welcoming you to the facility, what did he tell you about the organization that you're joining? (Nakhil Mehta)

Wiggins: "He was really just like, 'It's a passionate organization just like Clemson.' It gives off a Clemson vibe, and now it's home. I'm happy to be here."

As you're sitting there, and you're waiting for a name to be called, the teams are going fast, did you have in the back of your mind there's no way you were getting past [pick No.] 30 because you were confident that if you were still there, the Ravens were going to take you? (Jeff Zrebiec)

Wiggins: "Actually, when they called me, I was in the bathroom." (laughter) "I was mad. I'm not going to lie, I was mad. Then, I saw my phone ring, and everything just went – it was crazy."

What do you see as CB Nate Wiggins' role in this defense with the depth at corner that you already have and the talent the talent on the roster? (Kyle Phoenix)

Hewitt: "First of all, with the guys that we have in our room, they're truly interchangeable; [we're] trying to get the best guys on the field. Whatever that position is, or how we get them on the field, that's what it's all about, just trying to get the best players on the field and getting the best five or six guys on the back end to play and to play as one. You worried about it?" (Wiggins shaking his head no.)

Hewitt: "I'm not worried about it."

You put on about maybe 10 pounds between the Combine and your Pro Day, how did you go about doing that, and do you have an ideal weight you like to get to? (Brian Wacker)

Wiggins: "I was never 170 [pounds]; I just didn't eat at the [NFL Scouting] Combine. I just lost weight, and I just had to gain my weight back and eat right."

I think one matchup that people are looking forward to is you and WR Zay Flowers – two guys that are very fast with fast feet. What do you remember about your matchup with him in college, and is that a matchup you're looking forward to as ironing sharpening iron? (Ryan Mink)

Wiggins: "I remember, we were going at it in college. It was back and forth. He caught some passes, and I deflected some passes on him. We were going back and forth, but I know we're going to get each other better now. It's going to be good."

Who's the best receiver you ever faced in college? (Jeff Zrebiec)

Wiggins: "Probably Jordan Addison."

Is there someone that you looked up to or patterned your game after when you were growing up? (Jerry Coleman)

Wiggins: "I wouldn't say patterned, but [former Clemson and current Falcons cornerback] A.J. Terrell. He put a lot of chips in my ear; he talked to me a lot."

Can you tell us what it means to have your family here and the impact that they've had on your life and career? (Nikhil Mehta)

Wiggins: "It means a lot. Just knowing where we're coming from. A lot of folks don't make it where I come from, so it means a lot."

Chris, in the NFL today, you see so many extended plays. Nate's ability to really mirror the receiver with his quick feet; how much did that play into how much you really liked him? (Ryan Mink)

Hewitt: "That didn't have anything to do with it, because it's all about the fit. He has all the abilities and all of those things, but it's more about the fit and how he plays the game, how he approaches the game. It matches what we do in Baltimore and how our organization, how our defense, his mentality is the same. The extended plays and all of those things, that's just another extension of how we think. It doesn't matter how long the game is going to be, where the game is going to be, we're always going to fight to the end, and at the end of the play, it is what it is. We're going to compete every time. That's what it's all about. It's about what's in between the ears and how this kid plays, and you see that on tape and how he talks. It's just what he is."

During the Combine, Pro Days, facility visits, you meet a lot of people – a lot of coaches, a lot of scouts. What about the Ravens' leadership stood out when you got a chance to meet with them both at the Combine as well as here at the facility? (Gerry Sandusky)

Wiggins: "It was really just different. They let me be myself; they didn't have any critiques about it, so I just like to be myself. I don't really like ... I feel like I fit perfect here. I feel like God had a plan."

Did you see that Marlon Humphrey predicted that they would pick you a couple of hours before they did and how said that he thought you would be the best fit stylistically? Also have you heard from CB Marlon Humphrey or any of the other guys in the secondary? (Childs Walker)

Wiggins: "Actually I haven't. I haven't seen it yet."

You talked about your upbringing and where you come from. Was there an easy or hard adjustment when you got to Clemson? (Kevin Richardson)

Wiggins: "It was a hard adjustment. It was a hard adjustment and just trying to adjust to the different communities."

Can you tell us about the pendant about the chain on your necklace there? (Jonas Shaffer)

Wiggins*:* "It's just a Jesus face. It's about putting your faith in God."

I think I read somewhere about you writing a story or book or something about wanting to be a quarterback in the NFL when you were in the fifth grade. What motivated you to do that and gave you the confidence to think that you could get to that? (Brian Wacker)

Wiggins: "I used to play quarterback back in the day. I thought I was going to be Cam Newton." (laughter) "[It] turns out, I'm a cornerback. God had other plans."

One of the few critiques of Nate Wiggins' game has been from pundits who label him as undersized, what about his game and tape and everything that makes that inconsequential for you guys? (Kyle Phoenix)

Orr: "He comes up and tackles, he comes up and hits; he plays physical, and he's only 20 years old. I was a kinesiology major, and they say a full man doesn't stop growing until like 27 years old. He's got a lot of time to grow. We have a great strength staff, nutritionist and everything like that. On tape, I didn't see anything about him being undersized as anything that we critiqued. He flew up, set the edge in the run game, played physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage, came up, tackled, getting the ball off people, so he played like a Raven. We have no concerns about that at all."