WR devin duvernay
Everyone kind of knows that you have a famous cousin in Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. Have you heard from him, and how close has your relationship been? (Jamison Hensley) "We have a good relationship. We link up about three times a week – throw, stay in-tune, making sure we are staying right. Our relationship is great. It's been fun being able to look up to him and kind of watch his career progress from high school, college and now to the NFL. I'm excited to be in the same league with him."
Throughout the process, were you looking at the Ravens as a type of team where you thought you would end up? What kind of contact did you have with them, and what sort of feeling did you get about them possibly picking you? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, I knew it was a possibility. I've talked with them through the process; at the Senior Bowl, Combine and then on. And then looking at it, I knew I would be a great fit. I kind of got excited. I know that offense is dangerous with Lamar Jackson and the pieces they have. I feel like I can fit in great with the things the offense does."
Along those lines, what do you think about being on an offense with WR Marquise Brown out there, who has great speed, and obviously, you have great speed? What do you think that your speed will bring to this offense to go along with those other guys? (Garrett Downing) "Just more of a threat, more pieces, and more versatility to be able to match up with some of the other guys like Marquise [Brown]. And to do things with the ball – go deep, short, screen game, handoffs, things like that."
Last night, Eric DeCosta said that he had identified you as one of his favorite players in this draft, and he loved the combination of speed and toughness. He equated you to WRs Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith Sr. and Derrick Mason. These are highly regarded players here in Baltimore. What's your reaction when you hear him associate you with those kinds of names and that kind of characteristic? (Bo Smolka) "It means a lot. Like you said, those are some great players, especially Steve Smith Sr. I grew up watching him and loved his game. [He] was kind of somebody I loved watching and wanted to be like – play with that chip on my shoulder. It means a lot to get a comparison like that. I just have to keep working, continue to get better, and maybe I can be like them one day."
Just kind of piggybacking off that last question, where does your style of play, your toughness, that kind of physicality come from? And John Harbaugh said that when he talked to you last night, you kind of had a chip on your shoulder that you lasted so long in this draft. Can you talk about those two things? (Ryan Mink) "Just me being a competitor. I feel like I match up with the best of the best. I work extremely hard to put myself in position to be successful. But, yes, [there's] a chip on my shoulder. [I'm] always playing with it. I feel like I have to. [It's] part of football. It keeps me going and allows me to play with that edge, play mean and physical."
Can you just talk a little bit about what you bring to the Baltimore Ravens and how excited you are? (Kyle Barber) "I bring versatility, toughness, physicality, being able to not just go deep [but] go short, take it the distance, be involved in the screen game and blocking. I'll kind of be an all-around player. I'm super excited. Ready to work. Ready to learn."
You talked a little bit about fitting in with this group. Did you get a chance to work out in the past with a guy like Cardinals QB Kyler Murray? And moving to a guy like QB Lamar Jackson, can you talk about what you've seen from Lamar on tape? The way he performed, obviously, was a great year. (Jerry Coleman) "He can do everything. He can throw, he can run. I feel I'll fit in great with that offense. Last year, of course, the Ravens were fun to watch. Being in this offense, it's crazy."
What is the best advice you have received from your football family members about playing in the NFL? (Ximena Lugo Latorre) "Really, it's fun. Just put your head down and work, like anything else. Just have fun with it. Go enjoy it. Just enjoy the process as well."
Who do you think would win in a race? You or WR Marquise Brown? (Garrett Downing) "I'm all in on myself."
This was part of a draft write-up on you that says, 'He runs like he hates humanity as he blasts through tacklers.' Where does that running style come from after you get the ball in your hands? (Garrett Downing) "Honestly, just trying to get every yard I can. Trying to just put my team in position to score points. Try to get yards after the catch."
How do you feel about fitting in along with WR Marquise Brown, but also with TE Mark Andrews as a great tight end in the middle of the field? (Garrett Downing) "Yes, 'Hollywood' [Marquise Brown] is tremendously fast. I saw him at O.U. [University of Oklahoma] – blazing, killed us every year. Mark Andrews also, great tight end. I had him on my fantasy team. On fitting in, I look forward to it. I'm excited, and it's a dream come true."
You said you had TE Mark Andrews on your fantasy team? (Garrett Downing) "Yes." (laughter)(Reporter: "He got you a lot of points last year.") "Yes, he did." (laughter)
There was certainly a perception with some analysts that you were most effective as a slot receiver. Do you agree with that, or do you see yourself as a more versatile player? (Childs Walker) "I feel like I can do both. My freshman year and senior year, I played strictly slot. [My] junior and sophomore year, I played strictly outside. So, I feel like I can be productive at both, and be able to move around on the field."
When you look at where you think you can still improve the most, what would it be? (Childs Walker) "Just continue [to improve] intermediate route-running. Continue to just clean things up, things like that. I'm not perfect by any means, so I feel like I still have a lot of game to work on."
I know you did some of it at Texas – have the Ravens indicated at all that they would like you to compete for a return role on special teams, on kick and punt returns? (Jeff Zrebiec) "They did say I would play some special teams. I'm not sure which ones yet, but they did mention special teams."
Did you have QB Lamar Jackson on your fantasy team also? And then, can you talk about your explosion your senior year? You were productive your junior year, but really took a jump as a senior. Can you just talk about why that happened? (Ryan Mink) "Actually, I couldn't get Lamar [on my fantasy team]. He got taken early. My senior season – credit to the hard work and dedication I put in in the offseason. I worked extremely hard. I wanted to put myself in the right position to be in this position I'm in right now. I just kept faith, kept working and it all worked out."
LB MALIK HARRISON
How exciting was it for you, especially when we know what the Ravens drafted in the first round [LB Patrick Queen] … How exciting is it to come in with another young linebacker and kind of grow up and develop together? (Jeff Zrebiec) "It's very exciting. Patrick Queen is a great linebacker. He got picked up in the first round. Me and him together is probably the most dynamic duo in the linebacker corps."
I know coming out of high school, you were a three-year starter at quarterback. What made you choose to go to Ohio State, and the fact that you guys had such studs at quarterback? And what made you decide to also go over to linebacker and the defensive side? (Kevin Richardson) "In high school, I just played quarterback just to be an athlete. In high school, I was just an athlete, and I was just playing any position I can just get on the field. [University of Cincinnati head coach] Coach [Luke] Fickell, he always had an eye for me since I first started playing quarterback. He always said, 'You can be a great linebacker.' So, I trusted what he said, and I went to Ohio State and stayed at home. One of the reasons why I really stayed home is because of my dad. He owns his own flooring business in Columbus. He has a lot of contracts in Columbus, so he wasn't able to – if I go hours away – he wasn't able to just be like, 'Oh, I'm going to take this weekend off and go see my son's game.' So, he was able to go to work on Saturday and bring his clothes with him and change in the car. Then right after work, he was able to come to the games."
I was watching some of your film last night, and I'm excited to ask you, actually, why do you think your ability in coverage has been so slept on? (Kyle Barber) "I really haven't showed it a lot in the last two years, where I really haven't showed my coverage ability. But, it's there. I wasn't really asked to do that at Ohio State. It's there – I know I have some improvement to do with it, but it's there. Once I get the proper technique and more reps, then I'm going to be great at it."
You're a different linebacker – 6-3, 247 [pounds] – in a smaller linebackers' game. Who do you emulate yourself after? And can you keep up with the lighter 'backers? (Kirk McEwen) "I definitely can. Just my ability, just me being this big and able to do the same things that the smaller 'backers are doing, that's a big plus for me. I can move; I can do everything that the smaller 'backers [can do], plus be physical"
And who do you emulate yourself after? Who did you watch growing up? (Kirk McEwen) "I watched a couple of guys: Ray Lewis. I know I'm biased, while I was at Ohio State, I was watching [Miami Dolphins LBs] Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillan, just because I was in the same room as them. I often looked up to them, because they're the ones who paved the way for me."
You were kind of known as a big hitter as a linebacker. Who is a guy that you're really excited to kind of lay a shoulder into here in the NFL? (Matthew Stevens) "To be honest, everybody that we play. I don't have anybody or a certain person I want to lay a hit on – just everybody that we play. We're going to get that 'dub' [win]."
You talked about LB Patrick Queen earlier. Do you see your style as complementary to his – maybe you as the bigger, more powerful guy and him as the speed guy? Not that you're not fast and he's not strong. (Childs Walker) "Oh yeah, definitely. I feel like it's like night and day. You get the best of both worlds with both me and Patrick [Queen]. He's the lighter one, and I'm the heavy linebacker. So, it's like a one-two punch."
You were talking about LB Patrick Queen. Do you have a history with him? Did you cross paths kind of in the pre-draft process? And the other question: How much interaction did you have with the Ravens, and did you kind of feel that you could be a possible fit for them? (Jamison Hensley) "Me and Patrick [Queen], I met him, I believe it was at the Combine. We had a couple of conversations with each other. One of the guys that was with my agency went to LSU with him; it was Jacob Phillips. I met him through Jacob. We had a couple of conversations and conversations with the Ravens. I really didn't think that the Ravens were going to pick me. We had a couple of conversations during the draft and during the Senior Bowl. It wasn't really heavy on that they were going to be the ones to get me"
You're coming to a team that, obviously, that has Super Bowl aspirations. You come from a program that is used to playing for championships. How much do you think that's going to help your transition, because you're coming to a team that's not rebuilding and they're looking to win, and if you play a lot, that's going to be expected of you? (Cliff Brown) "It plays a big part. Coming from Ohio State, it's a winning program. So, it's just going to translate – the same mindset, the same thing I had at Ohio State. I'm just going to translate that over to the Ravens."
How exciting is it to go to a team with RB J.K. Dobbins, your former Ohio State teammate? (Todd Karpovich) "It's very exciting. Actually, me and J.K. [Dobbins], we were training down at Peak Performance together. Me and him, we've got a great relationship. We actually were talking about, 'Hey, what if we got drafted by the same team?' We were just thinking about the answer and things like that. I'm excited to be with my former Buckeye, and now we're Ravens. We're going to rise."
How much do you think playing at a big-time program at Ohio State will help you in this transition when there might not be OTAs or rookie camp, all that stuff, and you might get a late start? (Ryan Mink) "Playing at Ohio State, you've always got to be ready. You never know when your name is going to be called. We called it 'competitive excellence.. The guy behind you or just things like that, you've just got to be ready. The guy behind you has got to be just as good as a starter. Just being there just molded me a lot to be prepared for moments like this."