Denver Broncos D-End Robert Ayers
DE/LB ROBERT AYERS
FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK (18th OVERALL)
On what Broncos said about the position he'll be playing
"The Broncos, they always talked to me about playing outside linebacker. But I also feel like I have the versatility to play any position. So, whichever (position) they (the Broncos) ask me to play, I'm going to play. Mostly, (Linebackers) Coach (Don) Martindale was the one who was scouting me, and he's known me the longest, so I'm sure that's the position I'm going to play. But when I get there, I can probably play any position. But that's what I'll be in, is outside linebacker."
On excitement of playing in Denver
"Oh, real excited. I was telling my family, I think Denver is the team waiting just for me. When I met with (Linebackers) Coach (Don) Martindale, he pretty much told me I was his guy. But you try to not get your hopes too high. You try to just go along with it, try not to get too high. When the coach called me, I saw 303 (area code) come up on my phone and I knew who it was and I was excited because I think I fit very well in this team."
On what changed in between his junior and senior years
"Not much really changed. I was right there with a lot of other guys in the country, I just didn't start. I had a good junior year and my senior year is when I really started getting a lot of publicity and I wasn't really trying (to generate publicity). So, I think it's really a lot of hard work and I'm just truly blessed."
On where he is right now
"I'm in New Jersey with my family, up in north New Jersey. I'm just at a barbecue with my family."
On when his family arrived in New Jersey
"I'm really from New Jersey. I've lived here since I was about 16 and this is my home. Sacramento is my home too, but (New Jersey) is where I grew up and where I get most of my roots from. But both places are my home."
On how playing in Southeastern Conference will help in playing in the NFL
"I think it's a real good conference. There's a lot of good players, some even got drafted today. (RB) Knowshon's (Moreno) going to be in Denver with me; he's a (University of) Georgia guy, SEC guy. There's a lot of guys that come out of the SEC in the draft. I'm pretty sure a lot more guys (from the SEC) are going to get picked."
On dropping back into coverage on some occasions
"My coach will tell you I was versatile enough to where I could do most of those things. In my game at (University of) Tennessee, I've done some of those things. I've dropped out (into coverage) from every position. So, I feel like I'm ready to play whatever they ask me to play."
On (RB) Knowshon Moreno
"We played against Knowshon for the past year. He was the best back in the country, by far. He's the first back selected. He's a hard runner; he ‘s one of the hardest runners I've ever played against. He reminds me of a Cadillac (Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Carnell Williams) who came out of Auburn three or four years ago. He's just that type of guy, he's a competitor. When I talked to Coach (Josh) McDaniels, that's what he told me, he wants guys that are going to compete, hard workers and smart players. So that's what he's going to get with Knowshon and that's what he's going to get with me."