New Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell met with the Houston media at a press conference at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans DT Earl Mitchell(on what it feels like to be drafted by his hometown team) "It's crazy. It's a surreal experience, and it's just been a dream of mine just to play professional football. It's a good feeling. I'm excited."
(on playing with DE Mario Williams and the rest of the defensive line) "I get to learn from good guys that are veterans and very good players. I'm very excited to be a part of that. I'm very excited to be a part of this organization."
(on shifting from tight end position to defensive tackle) "Playing with (North Shore High School coach) David Aymond was a great experience. He had me playing tight end and fullback. Playing defensive tackle was the last thing on my mind. It was one of the best things that Coach Stoops (Arizona head coach Mike Stoops) had done for me. It was one the best moves that had got me here."
(on what can he bring to the defensive tackle position) "I bring a lot of versatility and athleticism. I just have a lot of knowledge because I played offense. I just bring a lot of things to the table just because of my knowledge of the game."
(on if his presence at defensive tackle can loosen up the play for the rest of the defensive line) "That is my plan. I come here to produce. This is a pass-first league. I'm going to come in and try to learn from those guys on becoming better as a pass rusher and develop my game on being a professional."
(on growing up as a fan of the Texans and now playing for them) "Being able to play here is a fulfilled dream. I grew up as an Oilers fan. Houston has been a big part of my life. Just being a part of something that has Houston on it is just a great experience for me and my family."
(on his chances of being drafted by his hometown team) "I really didn't have it planned out, but it's the best thing that happened to me. So I'm going to give my all."
(on if he's been to a Texans game) "I've never been to an NFL game. The first game will be in uniform."
(on his expectations coming in to the draft) "I just prayed that my athleticism showed and everything I did from training and all the things I did at Arizona would just help me come here and be a productive person and be a productive player on the field. I feel like I could to be an elite player, and I feel like I can grow."
(on transition from H-Back to defensive end/tackle) "It was interesting. Playing H-Back and tight end has its pros where I was able to know a lot of communication with the offensive linemen. The physical part, just playing in the trenches at tight end was a good experience, and it made the transition that much easier just because the physical aspect of the game stayed the same. It was fairly easy. I just had to learn finesse and pass rushing. That type of deal. I just had to learn the knowledge of the defense."