How would you describe your style of play? (Garrett Downing) "My style of play is tough, aggressive and just mean, just nasty, just good-old-down-south, Mississippi-style football."
The Ravens said last night that they are very confident that you could shift inside and play guard if that's what is needed. Are you confident in that as well? And would you enjoy that if that's what you're asked to do? (Childs Walker) "Yes, sir. Most definitely, I want to fill in at the right guard spot. I know [the Ravens] had a wonderful player [G Marshal Yanda] right there, and he's leaving the game. It's going to be hard to fill in that spot with whoever I'm competing with, but I would love to compete for that spot when it opens up when I get down there."
What difference did you see between playing guard and tackle at the college level? And how do you think that will help you in the NFL? (Ximena Lugo Latorre) "As far as playing guard and tackle, it's really ... I feel tackle is just more spacing and guard is just everything is there right now. As far as the transition, I don't feel like it would be a tremendous transition. It's just getting in, getting the work and learning the system and just play what you know how to do."
We've never gotten that draft call. What's it like when that call comes in? You're sitting there waiting to hear if you're going to get drafted. Did you cry? (Kirk McEwen) "I cried. I shed a tear. I wouldn't say it was stressful. It was more anxious than anything, because I was the last pick in the third round. I was like, 'Lord Jesus, nobody wants me.' (laughter) But it was amazing once Baltimore got the last pick, and I saw that Baltimore [phone] number. It was just an amazing feeling. My heart dropped. I was relieved. I shed a tear, and I had other guys, other NFL guys that I know from Mississippi State came back and supported me. And it was just a dream come true."
How was playing in the SEC, such a competitive conference, going to help you prepare for life in the NFL? (Todd Karpovich) "It's going to prepare me very well. You all saw yesterday how many guys from LSU left. That was pretty amazing, and Alabama [too]. Going against that caliber of guys every game, every week, it just ... Basically, the SEC is nothing but a little watered-down NFL organization besides you [only] get a stipend. That's the difference, the money part, but just playing in the SEC, I'm going against the Derrick Browns. I'm going against those guys, so it prepared me a lot to get ready for the NFL."
Do you feel like if you had stayed at guard for your entire college career and just focused on that, you would have been an even higher draft pick? (Ryan Mink) "Well, to be honest, I've never played guard. My first time playing guard was at the Senior Bowl, so it wasn't anything I had ever done. I only took guard reps at practice at Mississippi State, so it's going to be new. But it's still work and football. You still have to block the man in front of you."
How excited are you to be drafted to a team that so heavily incorporates running the football? (Kyle Barber) "That is like the best case I could have ever been in as far as coming from Mississippi State where we're just known for running the ball in the SEC. And just to be able to block for a great talent like Lamar Jackson, which he is a demon when he's running on his feet, it's going to be great. I'm ready and I'm loving it, and I'm glad I'm a part of this organization."
What's the story behind your 'Big Country' necklace? Is that a nickname? (Garrett Downing) "'Big Country' is my nickname. I've had this nickname since high school. I'm a country boy. I'm from Mississippi – Grenada, Mississippi. This is my saying – a lot of people ask me what I hunt, and I say, 'If it can crawl, I'm going to skin it, gut it, cook it.' So, that's something [where] no matter what it is – possum, it doesn't matter. It's kind of my little thing, and I finally put a little ice on it. That's all, but it's a lifestyle. I'm a country boy. I'm not a city boy at all."
You mentioned G Marshal Yanda retiring. You enter at the same time that he's leaving. He was a third-round pick. You're a third-round pick. Can you speak a little bit to what it means to come into a team like this and potentially be his heir? (Matthew Stevens) "It means a lot just as far as I have to get my ranks up. I mean he [Marshal Yanda] has time in the game. He's a legend, future Hall of Famer, but humbly, I still want to go in and fill in that spot like nobody ever left. Just pick up where I can, pick up where he left off. So, it's going to mean a lot just knowing that, 'Hey, I have a lot to look up to following in that position and the caliber player he was.'"
What are you most excited about with coming to Baltimore? (Garrett Downing) "I'm more excited about just getting to know the city and the fans and the atmosphere and just getting to work. I'm the true definition of a Mississippian. We don't usually leave Mississippi, and when we leave Mississippi, we go to Memphis. So, just going and seeing other places and just competing and doing something that I love – it's going to be amazing just getting to adventure the world with great guys and players, elite players, and just doing as much as I can for the fans. I love the fans."
Did you believe the Ravens were the team that would draft you? I know you were the last player drafted yesterday. Did you have conversations with them before the draft? (Kevin Richardson) "I talked to the coach kind of before, during the draft process. I kind of figured that ... They were having some retirements on the offensive line, and I kind of figured knowing they had four picks in the third round, I kind of knew it was coming, going to happen. But I didn't. I didn't know at all. Just being the last pick, I remember telling my girlfriend, I was just like, 'Well, we've got the family out today. We'll just try it again tomorrow.' I'm keeping everybody's spirits high. I think my parents were more stressed out than I was, and I was just trying to keep the spirits high. But when they called that phone, it was just a dream come true. I'm still happy to this moment right now."
You mentioned that transition from tackle to guard. What characteristics do you think you have as a lineman that translate particularly well to playing that right guard spot in Baltimore? (Andrew Gillis) "I feel the transition is going to be really good. I was the starting left tackle at Mississippi State, so I have the tackle footwork and I have a guard body. So, I'm going to bring in a big ol' athletic guy into this organization that is smart, can learn the playbook and learn schemes. I'm just going to try to do my part and just let everything play out."