April 27, 2012
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NEW YORK CITY - Three former Cal football players were selected Friday on the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft. Mitchell Schwartz was the first former Golden Bear taken in the second round when the offensive lineman was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 37th pick overall and was followed later in the same round by linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia Eagles, 46th overall). Punter Bryan Anger was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round (70th overall). The trio of selections gives Cal three players taken in the first three rounds of the draft for the second consecutive year.
All three addressed the media via teleconference calls on Friday to talk about their draft selections.
Following are selected comments of what the trio had to say.
On if he thought he'd be a Jacksonville Jaguar
"I honestly had no clue what was going to happen. There were a handful of teams that were possible for me. I hit it off well with the Jacksonville coach when he came out for a workout. I really had no clue what was going to happen. Punters and kickers can get taken at any time. I really had no idea."
On his thoughts about playing in Jacksonville
"I'm excited to be a Jaguar. I look forward to going in and working for the spot. I have [former Cal teammate] Tyson Alualu out there. I've heard nothing but good things about the organization. So I definitely am proud to be part of it now."
On if he knew current Jaguars' punter and former Cal punter Nick Harris
"Yeah, I used to punt with Nick during my freshman and sophomore years. When he was playing with Detroit, he would come back during the offseason and work with me. So, I'm close with Nick."
On his reaction when he got the call
"I went kind of numb for a second. I got a call a couple picks before it and they asked me a couple questions and then said `congrats, we're going to take you with the next pick.' So my heart started racing a little bit. It finally came true. It's been a long process, and the process has been fun, but I was definitely ready to figure out where I was going. So it was nice."
On his draft party
"There was no draft party. It got blown up, took my words and manipulated them to something I didn't say. It's just a get together with close friends and family, nothing different than anybody else would do. We're still having people over to celebrate graduation, getting picked up here and everything I've gone through. Unfortunately, that story got tweaked into something I didn't say."
On his role with the team
"They haven't said anything yet; I've just briefly spoken with the coaches. I think in any situation I'll have to compete. I'm working out hard now and looking forward to going in and taking over the spot."
Mychal Kendricks (courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles)
On whether he had any sense that the Eagles were interested in him
"No, I knew they were interested a little bit, but I didn't know they were going to pick me up."
On how he knew they were interested in him a little bit
"I just know that they were talking about it and they brought me in for a formal meeting and that was it pretty much. That's it, I knew that they wanted to have a meeting with me at the [NFL] Combine and from there, that was pretty much it."
On whether the team explained to him on where he might project at the linebacker position
"No, not at all."
On whether he feels like he has the tools to play either weakside or strongside
"Yeah, I can play anywhere I need to play. I feel like I'm versatile and I'm going to do what I need to do. It doesn't matter where I play, I'm up for the job."
On what position he played as a senior at California
"I played inside linebacker. In my last year I played inside linebacker."
On what his game is like and what he brings to the Eagles
"I have a lot of energy and I don't take plays off. I'm strong on the attack and I'm a great tackler, too."
On whether he has followed the Eagles
"I know that your cheesesteaks are pretty good."
On whether he is familiar with the team's defensive schemes
On how he knows that the cheesesteaks are good
"I have a friend from Philly."
On how his shoulder is and whether he had surgery on it
"Yeah, I had labrum surgery."
On whether he would be able to attend offseason camps
"Yeah, for sure, I'm fine. Everything's fine. I'm one hundred percent and ready to go."
On dealing with the criticism of him not being tall enough
"I just play big, that's all I do. I just play big and shut them up that way. It's never been an issue for me, so I don't know why it would be an issue for anyone else."
On whether he patterns his game after anyone in the NFL
"I did before, but now I'm an Eagle. I'm ready to play."
On whether he knows anyone on the team
"I know [linebacker Casey] Matthews."
On whether he knows fellow Cal alums CB Nnamdi Asomugha or WR DeSean Jackson
"I know Nnamdi and I know DeSean, but I don't know them [personally]. It's going to be good playing next to them. I'm so juiced. I'm juiced, man, I'm excited. It's going to be fun, oh my gosh."
On his thoughts when he first found out he was a Cleveland Brown
"It was really exciting. I've had a pretty good feeling about Cleveland throughout the process. I met with them, they came out to work me out, I went to their facility and all that stuff. It was definitely a cool thing. I was watching on ESPN and at the bottom, it said their pick was in and then I got the call. I had a hopeful feeling when I picked up the call and it came into fruition. I'm just excited for it."
On moving over to the right side
"I've played about 15 or so games at right tackle at Cal, and I actually played pretty much all of the Senior Bowl at right tackle, as well. It's something I've been preparing for, working on both sides, since the season has been over. When you have one of the best tackles in the NFL playing on the left side, they're obviously going to be looking more for the right. I think I'm ready for it. I feel pretty comfortable with it. It's something I've done before and done recently. It's something I've been working at."
On what comes next
"Either rookie camp or OTAs, but I'm not sure exactly what. I know I'll be getting a schedule and an itinerary soon, but I can't really comment exactly on that because I'm not completely sure yet."
On if he's spoken with Alex Mack yet
"Yeah. He sent me a text saying congrats and that he'll show me the best places to eat in Cleveland. We've kind of been in contact through the whole deal. I was able to see him recently, he was up at Cal and I was too for the spring game. I was able to talk to him directly. It's going to be very cool to be able to play with him again. I've spoken with him on and off throughout his pro career, so it will be a lot of fun."
On if he's spoken with his brother, Minnesota Viking Geoff Schwartz
"Yeah, he's actually in town. He came in town yesterday for the weekend. He's really excited, as well. It's kind of a whole family atmosphere down here in L.A., so that was really nice to see. Everyone's excited, not just me."
On the Cleveland offense, and his role
"At Cal, we run a little bit of everything. There are bits and pieces of our offense that will fit in their offense. They do a lot of the same basic structure, the run game and passing it, as well. Obviously, there's only so many ways to block a guy. There's going to be different terminology in terms of the play calling, but it will be the same old football at the end of the day. I'm not too worried about fitting in or style changes or anything like that."
On playing with Trent Richardson
"It's gonna be great. He was an animal at Alabama. We normally don't have too many backs like that at Cal, that big and that thick. It will be pretty awesome. I'm sure he'll make me look pretty good and I'll make him look pretty good, and we'll just go around helping the whole team."