After the Texans selected him with the No. 46 pick, Cincinnati defensive end Connor Barwin talked to the Houston media via conference call. Below is a transcript.
DE Connor Barwin
(on playing defense in the NFL after only one defensive season) "I'm excited. Like you said, I played the DE position in my last year here in college and I was pretty productive doing it. I was good because I could rush the passer so that's the same kind of thing I need to bring at the next level and I think that's what they need me to do."
(on if there is any room for improvement with technique as a defensive end) "Oh, I think there's definitely room to improve, but I think everybody coming in the NFL has room to improve. But I think, you know, I got 12 sacks on sometimes just playing hard and playing fast. So I think my technique can only get better. So I'm excited about what's going to happen."
(on if he is looking forward to joining a talented defensive line that includes DE Mario Williams) "Yes, very excited. It's got to excite somebody to play with some of the best other players and learn from them."
(on how his athleticism helps him on the defensive line) "I think it helped a lot. I think playing basketball, it's just your overall athleticism. I think when you play defensive end, you have to play with vision; you have to be able to see through tackles and see the quarterback. I think you start to play instinctually like you do in basketball, and also batting down balls and things like that you get that from basketball. As far as playing tight end, I think that made it easier to switch in one year. I think I know what tight ends and offensive linemen are trying to do to me when they do it so I can feel blocks, I can see how plays are developing and I recognize them from when I was on offense. I think those things definitely made it easier to transition on my senior year."
(on his mindset before being drafted) "I didn't think the Texans were going to call. I don't remember who was coming up later on in the draft but I thought it was going to be another couple picks before I got drafted. So I was surprised when they called. I know I had good meetings with Houston at the combine but hadn't heard much from them since then, so I was kind of surprised."
(on what they said on the phone and what his reaction was) "There were just very excited. They said they were very happy to get me. They saw I was still on the board about 10 picks earlier and they thought I may be gone by the time it got to their pick. So they were so happy I was still on the board and they knew they were going to pick me. And they were just excited and told me I was going to be rushing the passer."
(on his playing intensity and if he'll be relaxed tonight) "Well, I think I am extremely intense as a player. But as far as tonight goes, I'll go out with my family a little bit, but I gotta be up early. I think we've got a nine o'clock flight to Texas tomorrow morning."