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Markell Carter: ‘I am very happy that [the Patriots] chose me’

04.30.11 at 11:10 pm ET
By

FOXBORO — Patriots’ sixth-round draft pick Markell Carter held a conference call with the New England media Saturday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights of that Q&A:

What was your reaction to getting drafted by the Patriots? Was it a surprise that it was them? Kind of take us through it a little bit.
They were one of the teams that came and worked me out, so it wasn’t really a thing where I was too surprised. But I wouldn’t say I expected them to pick me. I would say I am very happy that they chose me. I don’t think there’s a better organization that I could have gotten picked by.

You said they did work you out before?
Yes, sir.

Did you get an idea of what they liked from your game?
We actually sat down and we watched a couple of games of mine and went over some big board stuff on the chalkboard and formations and things like that. I had a brief overview of the positive things I did and the negative things I did, but there was no indication of ‘Yeah, we’re going to pick you’ or anything like that.

A lot of guys your size are defensive ends in college and become 3-4 outside linebackers in the Patriots system. Do you feel comfortable making that transition if you had to?
Well, I mean, it was something I started working on the week after the season ended – all of the stuff that I was kind of uncomfortable with at the beginning. That’s pretty much worked out. I worked on it for the past two and a half or three months really hard – two to three times a day, so just the repetition of working on my drops and getting into the film room and watching film of some of the good guys actually doing it and things like that and just trying to adapt my game to the way that they kind of do things. I think I’ll be able to pick it up really easy just because I plan on going in there and working really, really hard. I feel like hard work and determination will pretty much get you anywhere you need to be in life. I’m just going to go in there with that attitude and an open-minded attitude, ready to take coaching and ready to learn and get better.

You said you watched some players. Can you give us some examples?
[Clay] Matthews is a guy that I really watched. And [Osi] Umenyiora, he isn’t really a 3-4 linebacker but some of that toughness and some of the motors that defensive ends and outside linebackers played with. I mean that was one of my big things of my senior season watching film and then after the season watching film.

You mention there were some challenges to learning the new position that you started working on after the season, what were those and how do you feel you progressed on those things?
Well, I kind of think that I’m a pretty smart kid. I’m a pretty bright kid to where picking up schemes and things like that wouldn’t be that hard on me especially with the time I’ll be able to devote to football and the time I’ll be able to devote to learning this position. I mean I came into UCA as a receiver so I had to learn how to play defensive end so learning a new football position and just learning the little things that come with those positions, I don’t think that’s going to be too big of a challenge. Of course, hard work and all that is what’s going to help me overcome all those hurdles that guys usually face transitioning from the college level to the pro level.

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