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TRANSCRIPT: Rams Draft Picks Conference Calls

The Los Angeles Rams' draft picks addressed the media via conference call following their selections during the 2018 NFL Draft.

OT Joe Noteboom (3rd Round, 25th Choice, 89th overall)

(On if he prefers to go by Joe or Joseph)

"Either one really, it doesn't matter."

(On how it feels to be selected by the Rams)

"It's fantastic, just knowing all of the pieces they've added. What a great young team it is and Coach McVay –I think it's the perfect spot, so (it feels) amazing."

(On what he thinks he brings to the Rams)

"I think they have an explosive offense, which we kind of had at TCU. Just athleticism, coachability, just do whatever they want me to do – help the offense out and try to score many points, which they did last year, so the same thing."

(On if he is familiar with T Andrew Whitworth's work and if he's excited to be mentored by him)

"Yes, for sure. I know a lot about (T Andrew) Whitworth, watched a lot of him. I'm excited. I'm going to take in everything he's telling me. That's a perfect guy to learn from, a Pro Bowler like you said, a veteran."

(On the type of contact he had with the Rams during the process)

"I had a top-30 visit and I had a formal visit at the (NFL Scouting) Combine. Those were pretty much the big moments right there."

(On if they had a feeling the Rams were interested)

"Yeah, I had a good feeling they were interested. (Run Game Coordinator) Coach Kromer offensive line, I felt good in the visit - everyone was pretty interested and felt comfortable there, so it was the perfect place."

OL Brian Allen (4th Round, 11th Choice, 111th Overall)

(On if he had any sense that the Rams would be interested in him)

"Yeah, absolutely. This was one of my top-30 visits and I came away from there with a pretty good feeling and I felt the feelings were mutual between me and the coaching staff. I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to get out there." 

(On what he thinks he can bring to the Rams)

"Just a tough, hard-nose working guy, who's going to do his job and do what's expected of him. Just looking forward to getting out there again. Kind of overjoyed right now with all the emotions."

(On the Rams having veteran C John Sullivan and if he thinks he will be mentored or if expects to play right away)

"I'm open to whatever they expect in me. But, at the same time, being a guy from the Midwest, seeing John Sullivan play for the (Minnesota) Vikings all these years, he's someone who I've always looked up to. So, to be able to be in a room with him and be able to learn from a guy who's shown that he can play at the level he has, for as long as he has is something pretty incredible for me. Just to have that opportunity to be in there and be able to learn from him. I definitely will be picking his brain, as long as I don't annoy him too much. So, I'm excited to be under study of him."

(On if his brother, Jack Allen assisted him with the entire process prior to the draft)

"Yeah, I was there in 2015 when it was his day and the call never came, so I kind of had that situation and scenario going in my mind if that was going to happen or not. But, honestly, I was telling my agent that I think the Rams are going to take me. I think this is where it's going to be. He's actually giving me a hug right now. This was kind of my gut feeling, but I didn't want to have my expectations too high. Once I was getting a call from Thousand Oaks, I didn't know if they were just calling me to mess around or what, but I was pretty excited."

(On where he's spending his time at for the draft)

"I'm from Hinsdale, Illinois, it's a suburb right out of Chicago. So, I'm here with my family right now. Just us and my agent."

(On what his family's reaction was when he got the call from the Rams)

"I was on the phone and I was giving my older brother a fist bump. We were outside and he immediately went into my parents and they didn't really know what was going on, so he started pointing at the T.V. I don't think they still understand what's going on. Everyone is excited. I'm not lying when I was saying that we thought this was going to be the spot since the beginning, so I'm glad it came to fruition."

(On if he had spent much time in California, or Los Angeles besides his visit to meet the team)

"My first time in California was actually the bowl game, we played in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego this year, so that was my first trip out there. My second was when I visited the Rams. Haven't been out in the sunshine out there too much, but the weather is definitely a little better than Chicago this time of year."

(On how he would describe his comfort level with guard compared to center)

"Yeah, in college that's really all I played until this last season, so I feel just as good at left guard, as I do right guard and just as good at those positions as I do center. I've taken a lot of reps there and feel that I can play that position too if need be."

* *

DE John Franklin (4th Round, 35th Choice, 135th Overall)

(On getting the phone call to be drafted)

"It feels good. It was a dream come true. I've been waiting on this my whole life. I'm very excited. I'm excited to get to work."

(On if he had much contact with the Rams or if it was a big surprise)

"I went on a (top-)30 visit with them and talked to (Defensive Line) Coach (Bill) Johnson and liked him a lot. (inaudible) I had an idea, but you never know with the draft. So, I'm just excited about this."

(On if his scheme required him rushing the quarterback from a three-point stance or standing up)

"My first three years, I was a stand-up D-end. My senior year turned into more of a three-technique. We played a different scheme my senior year."

(On how comfortable he feels as a stand-up edge rusher)

"I'm willing to do whatever. Like I told Coach Johnson, I've played a little outside backer, dropped into coverage, I've played D-end and I've played D-tackle. Obviously, they don't need D-tackles right now. I'm willing to go in there and do whatever it takes to win."

(On if he was told how the coaching staff sees him fitting in)

"Yeah, they see me as a D-end, primarily a five-technique, due to the fact they have (DT) Aaron Donald, (DE) Michael Brockers and (DT Ndamukong) Suh.

(On if he had a chance to speak with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips after the Rams picked him)

"I didn't get a chance to talk to him, I talked to Coach Johnson. We have a good relationship from the visit and from the (NFL Scouting) Combine. I talked to him and he was excited. He said they would give me a call sometime here soon."

(On if he has spent any time in Los Angeles besides the NFLPA game)

"I was actually born in Los Angeles. My sister is down there and my brother is down there also. So I'm looking forward to heading back to L.A."

(On how long he lived in Los Angeles)

"I lived in L.A. for about eight or nine years and then moved to Texas with my grandfather."

LB Micah Kiser (5th Round, 10th Choice, 147th Overall)

(On his reaction to being selected by the Rams)

"I'm pumped. This is a blessing. I knew all along the Rams organization liked me as a player. I felt like it was a great fit and I'm so happy to be a Ram and glad that they chose me."

(On what he thinks he'll bring to the Rams and their scheme)

"A really smart linebacker, leader on the field, great player, very productive. I think I've been one of the more productive linebackers in college football the last three years. So, I'm just going to come in and do whatever they want me to do - special teams, linebacker. I'm all about the team and I'm just a football player."

(On if he interviewed with the Rams and who he spoke with if so)

"I did. I was on a visit with the Rams I guess two weeks ago. I had met with Coach (Chris) Shula, the assistant linebackers coach at the combine and so I got to meet him a little bit. Then from the combine, I went out there on a visit and met with (Assistant Head Coach /Linebackers) Coach (Joe) Barry and (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Wade) Phillips and talked film, talked football. It went pretty well, so I'm glad they thought enough of me to take me and I'm just ready to get to work."

(On what he knows about Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and what he thinks about being able to play under his scheme)

"Yeah, he's always had great defenses. What he was able to do, not only here with the Rams, but also, I remember watching him with the Broncos as well. Great defense, great players and I'm just ready to be a part of it."

(On if he paid attention to how the Rams' roster looked with respect to the linebacker position and if he thinks he can come in and make an impact)

"Obviously, you know the roster or whatever. But everyone at this level is a pro so you've got to come in and work. Anyone can play – anyone who gets picked in the draft, a veteran that is a great football player. So, I'm just ready to come in, put my best foot forward and be as productive as I can."

(On if he solely played inside linebacker or if he played outside as well)

"I was technically a middle linebacker, but I played all over the field. I've lined up on the line of scrimmage, I've lined up at 'Will' linebacker, I've lined up at 'Sam' linebacker. I've done a lot. I've blitzed the passer a lot, I've played pass coverage a lot. I feel like I've done a lot at the college level and only going to get better."

(On if they played in a of 4-3 defenses a lot at Virginia)

"We actually played a 3-4."

(On if he played on special teams)

"Yeah, I've been on the punt team in college the last two years. So, I've played special teams, I've played defense. I'm just ready to contribute." 


OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (5th Round, 23rd Choice, 160th Overall)

(On if he has any nicknames)

"Yes, my cousins call me 'Obeezy' and some of my friends call me 'Obo'. My mom calls me 'Obo.'" 

(On what it was like to get the call from the Rams)

"Honestly, I was at a loss of words. It felt like a dream. I had sort of dosed off a little bit just sitting on the couch and I was just awoken to a bunch of people shaking me with a phone in my face. So, when I got that call, I was a little disoriented. When I got the call, tears just started dropping when I heard (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Wade) Phillips tell me that they're going to draft me."

(On being listed at Oklahoma as a defensive end/linebacker and if the Rams have told him what position he'll be playing with them)

"Yeah, they see me as an edge guy who can do linebacker things and also an instant contributor on special teams. So, I'll be doing what (former Rams OLB) Robert Quinn was doing."

(On what kind of opportunity he sees with the Rams since former Rams OLB Robert Quinn is no longer with the team)

"I see an amazing opportunity. With the addition of (DT) Ndamukong Suh and also (DT) Aaron Donald opening up the inside like that. It's an edge rusher's dream."

(On if he visited the Rams at all)


(On what other contact he had with the Rams throughout the whole process)

"(Area Scout/Western) Steve Kazor, I talked to him throughout the whole process. I saw him a number of times. I knew the Rams were going to pick me, I just didn't know when. The contact between us has been so fluid, so I knew it was going to be the Rams."

(On how he knew the Rams were going to pick him)

"I just got a feeling. Just every time I would talk to Steve, he just kept telling me I'm his guy and I just believed him. So every time the Rams' pick came, I made sure I was at the T.V. watching closely."

(On if he ever matched up against Rams third-round pick T Joseph Noteboom and if he knows him at all)

"Oh, yes. I know him very well."

(On if his prior meetings with Noteboom were friendly)

"Oh, yeah. I mean at this point, yeah (laughs)."

(On what it was like going head-to-head against Noteboom)

"I think he had a great jump from junior year to senior year. I think in the year we battled it out. I think junior year I really got the best of him. Senior year, he was like a whole different player. I saw him grow a lot in a year."

RB John Kelly (6th Round, 2nd Choice, 176th Overall)

(On how he feels about being drafted)

"This feels unreal. I can't even explain it. I'm so blessed." 

(On how he took a bigger role as pass-catching running back at Tennessee)

"I just wanted to show my versatility in the game. I got a chance to learn from guys like (New Orleans Saints RB) Alvin (Kamara) and just do work with the receivers and everything. I definitely just wanted to be able to incorporate the route running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league. So, I was just blessed to have a guy like Alvin that was able to show me how to perfect my craft on that."

(On how feels he developed in as a pass-catching running back and his readiness to do so in the NFL)

"I definitely feel like I'm ready for it, because me coming from Tennessee and Coach G (Tennessee RB Coach Robert Gillespie), I felt like they were able to help me develop that skill, so I can be able to put that into the league as it translates. So, I definitely feel like they prepared me well."

(On what it was like watching his ex-teammate Alvin Kamara make an impact in the NFL and if he thinks he can make an impact himself)

"Yeah, definitely. Me just being able to watch him work at practice and caught everything, translated to the league. I expected him to do the great things that he did and just having a guy like that is motivation for all the younger guys that are under him. So, that definitely motivated me a lot, too, as I continued."

(On if he has watched RB Todd Gurley much throughout the years and what he thinks he can contribute in the running backs room)

"Oh yeah, I definitely got a chance to watch Todd play over the years. I think he's a great back in the league, obviously. I really just can't wait to be able to learn some of the things that he was able to do and just be able to compete with him at practice. So I'm definitely looking forward to it."

(On if he has ever met Gurley before)

"No, I've never met him before."

(On what contact he had with the Rams throughout the draft process)

"I had a chance to speak with some of the coaching staff and speak with the running back coach as well, but I've never met any other players. I'm still in shock right now."

(On when he had a chance to speak with the coaching staff and if it was at the Combine)

"A little bit at the combine and then we stayed in contact during the process. We were on the phone a lot, I would say."

(On how he feels he is as a pass blocker in pass protection)

"I feel like I'm pretty solid in pass protection, but there's always room to improve. I want to make sure I can solidify myself as one of the top pass-protecting backs in the league. So that's something I'm definitely going to focus on improving once I get on the field."

(On if it was a tough decision to declare for the NFL Draft instead of playing his senior year or if he felt confident in all along)

"I mean, I definitely felt confident in the decision. That's why I made it. I weighed out the pros and the cons of it and I felt comfortable with forgoing my senior season and taking my next step in my football process. I mean it just landed me a job with the Rams, so I feel like I made a good decision. I'm blessed."

(On how much was he able to watch the Rams play last year)

"I got a chance to watch them a little bit. I try to watch the NFL season, but at the same time was focused on what we got going on. I know that the Rams had an explosive offense, but I was more so focused on our season at hand at the moment."

OL Jamil Demby (6th Round, 18th Choice, 192nd Overall)

(On the contact he had with the Rams and if he thought they were a likely candidate to take him)

"Yes, they took me in for an official (top-) 30 visit. It was just a great vibe, great atmosphere there. My ex-offensive coordinator (Rams Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Liam Coen) from this past season was there. So, me and him were in contact and just on the visit, the O-Line coach showed a high interest. It was definitely all for me. It was a great vibe. A lot of positivity within the franchise."

(On who his offensive coordinator was at Maine)

"My offensive coordinator from my senior year of college, Coach Coen, is now an assistant wide receivers coach with them."

(On his strengths and what he thinks he can improve on as he enters the NFL)

"I feel like my versatility, my knowledge for the game and my ability to compete and be dominate against no matter what the competition is. Having that mindset and I think just really what I need to fix are the little things to bring my game up. My fluid full body motion, going from the left to the right side on the offensive line and just the little technical things and I feel like I'll be all set."

(On if he split time on the left and right side of the offensive line in college)

"I played, pretty much, all left tackle throughout my four years of college. So, I was just used to being on the left side. But throughout this process, I've been working on my versatility and from a concept standpoint, I understand the game and had some great coaching."

DL Sebastian Joseph (6th Round, 21st Choice, 195th Overall)

(On what he thinks he brings to the Rams)

"I'm a hardworking guy that loves football. I'm excited to get out there and learn from two of the best D-linemen in the game. I just think I'm a hardworking guy, hardworking, lunch-pail, driven guy that strives to get better each and every day."

(On what his reaction was when the Rams called)

"Oh man, it was a dream come true. I had such a great time when I visited L.A. with the coaches, I felt like I meshed with the coaches so well together. It really did feel like home, it was crazy, I told all my family that when I got home. Obviously, I couldn't express that information to anyone else. When I saw that phone call, it was just a dream come true."

(On if he played three-technique in college)

"In college I played both, when I first came in I played three-tech. My third year, I moved to nose. I played basically three different sides, I played three-tech, I played shade nose and then I played short nose. I think I'm pretty versatile in that aspect."

(On what college event did he play in, what was it like and did he think it helped him get drafted)

"A lot of my credit goes out to (Rutgers Former Head) Coach (Kyle) Flood and (Rutgers Head) Coach (Chris) Ash. I had two college coaches in my career. The way the prepared me mentally, physically and even in a spiritual aspect. (inaudible)"

OLB Trevon Young (6th Round, 31st Choice, 205th Overall)

(On how it feels like to be drafted by the Rams)

"It's such a big relief. I'm so honored and feel so blessed to be part of that organization. I know this organization has some big things ahead of them."

(On if he felt confident that he would be drafted by a team since it was getting later into the draft)

"To be honest,with my situation, I really didn't know it was going to happen. I've honestly been sick all day just not knowing what was going to happen. But, to finally get that call, I can't even explain the feeling. It's so great."

(On if he operated mostly at a three-point stance and how confident he is as an outside linebacker in this scheme)

"Yeah, in college I had my hand down most of the time. But, I feel like I'm a versatile player. With practice, I'll be able to be just as effective or more effective coming out of a two-point stance or whatever they ask me to do."

(On if he played in a 4-3 defensive scheme)

"Yeah, I was in a 4-3."

(On how he thinks he'll fit in Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' scheme)

"I feel like I'm going to be a pass rusher. What I bring to the team is putting pressure on the quarterback or whatever they ask me to do, I'm willing to do. So, I'm ready to go."

(On getting the call after going from high school to community college to Louisville)

"I know most people don't know a lot about me and my road here and where I come from. I've been through so much to get to this point. To finally get this call and be a part of an organization like the Rams is more than a dream and more than what I asked for."

LB Travin Howard (7th Round, 13th Choice, 231st Overall)

(On his reaction to getting the phone call)

"This was a long time coming. It was a long wait, big relief, a little emotional with my family. It was great."

(On if he thinks he'll play as an inside linebacker or outside linebacker)

"I think they'll have me at inside linebacker."

(On if he spoke to the Rams prior to the draft)

"Yeah, I talked to them two weeks before the draft. Ever since then, we've pretty much been talking every day."

(On his position history)

"When I came into TCU, I was a safety and then I converted to linebacker my sophomore year. But ever since then, I pretty much played both of them at TCU throughout my four years."

(On what he thinks his strengths are as a player)

"Just speed – sideline-to-sideline, running to get the ball anywhere, just pretty much a ball magnet."

(On if he spent much time in Los Angeles or ever visited California)

"No, I have never been to California before. But, I'll be there soon. I'm pretty sure I'll adjust quick."

(On the Rams drafting his TCU teammate, T Joseph Noteboom, and what he knows about him)

"He's a great player, big guy, athletic – he doesn't really say too much, but he's a good guy."

(On what Noteboom would say about him)

"I'm pretty sure he'd say the same thing."

DL Justin Lawler (7th Round, 26th Choice, 244th Overall)

* *

(On how it feels to join the Rams)

"It's incredible. I knew they had interest in me. I loved L.A. when I was down there, I had a visit down there and I'm just ready. I'm excited to get to work and excited to get going."

(On what he thinks he brings to the defense)

"Immediately, I'm just going to do my job, I'm going to play my role. Come out, if I've got to be a backup, I'll be a backup. But, I'm just going to help this team win, that's what I've always done and that's what I'm going to continue to do no matter where I go."

(On if he knew they had interest in him)

"They were one of the teams I had a visit with. I had a (top-) 30 visit, so I knew they liked me. We had a little contact here and there. We had some phone calls and I knew they were interested."

(On what type of role he had at SMU, what type of front they played and what his role was in it)

"It was really similar to what the Rams do, I think that's why we're such a good fit for each other. I was a hand in the ground, four-down guy, rushing the quarterback and just making plays. They let me run free, run loose, similar to what the Rams do with their ends and we look forward to having the same success in L.A."

(On how much special teams work he did for former SMU Head Coach Sam Morris)

"I didn't do any for Coach Morris, the year before that, I did a bunch. I also did some at my all-star game, the East-West (Shrine) Game. I'm more than capable of doing all of that, so I'm ready to roll."

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