Congratulations, Daniel. I believe you met with the Ravens as part of this process. Was this a team where you foresaw there being a good chance that you'd end up? What did you make of that meeting? (Jeff Zrebiec) "When I took my [Top] 30 visit to the Ravens, I had a really good feeling. Coach 'D' [offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris] is an awesome coach. We had a great meeting. He talked about how he's coached Orlando Brown [Jr.] and stuff before. He just gave me that confidence. I know I'm in good hands. I had a good feeling there that we would be a good fit, and I'm just happy that everything worked out."
You bring up T Orlando Brown Jr., do you see a lot of comparisons between the two of you? (Ryan Mink) "Yes, I feel like just with the size comparison. One day, I'd like to play like him. His football intelligence is really good, and he uses his strengths to his advantage. I feel like Coach 'D' [offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris] has helped him develop those things, and I feel like I'm in good hands."
WR Rashod Bateman tweeted after the pick was announced. Clearly, he's excited. What's your relationship? Are you excited to be back with him? (Garrett Downing) "I'm super excited. Rashod [Bateman] was actually my roommate my sophomore through junior year. So, I'm super excited to connect with him again and be on the same team. We have a good relationship."
We know the Ravens love big linemen; they talk about it all the time. How would you say that you use your size to your advantage on the field? (Childs Walker) "I'd say in pass [protection], just using my length. I think I have 35 [inch] arms, so just using my length. In the run game, using my natural size to generate force and power and be able to play explosively and athletic for my size."
Can you talk about your rugby background and getting a late start to football? How did rugby help you? Do you feel like coming from Australia and getting the late start that you have a lot more to learn and have a high upside? (Ryan Mink) "I grew up playing rugby back home when I was younger, and then I transitioned to basketball. How I really got into football, I was getting scouted by the Hawaii coaches, and from there, I got interested. The University of Michigan helped me connect with IMG [Academy] coaches, and I was able to go there when I was 16. So, yes; being newer to football, it kept me at an advantage just because I haven't had as many coaches in my career. So, I have less bad habits, I feel like. Whatever I'm taught from here on [out] is what I know. So, I just feel like with the right coaching, like 'Coach D' [offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris], getting his professional coaching can bring out the best in me and direct me in the right direction."
You mentioned that you came over here at age 16, and you're now 22 and in the NFL. Does it feel like this happened fast – making that transition to the top level of professional football? (Jonas Shaffer) "It definitely feels super fast. I remember it like it was yesterday – leaving home and making that tough decision. But everything's happened for a reason, and it's worked out for the best, and I wouldn't change anything."
How did opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns help or hurt you? What was that year off like? And can you talk about that experience when you came back for your final year? (Cliff Brown) "Yes, so making that first decision, it wasn't easy, just because I had played a lot of football with the guys in the offensive line room and on the offense, and I felt like I was letting them down. But I felt like I didn't want for them to feel like I wasn't doing anything, so from the spring, when we went home, to the fall, when I came back, I decided to lose a lot of weight. I went from 410 [pounds] to 380, and that just helped me come back in better shape, being able to play longer and at my best. And I feel like coming back in the 2021 season, that definitely just helped me be more agile and play longer."