The Chicago Bears have selected Florida State defensive lineman Eddie Goldman with the 39th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Shortly after the Bears picked him, he fielded some questions from the media.
Goldman was mocked in the first round by a lot a draftniks, so he was asked how he felt about going in the 2nd.
"I think where I got picked is a great fit for me. I wasn't really looking to go in the first round or second round, I just sat back and let things happen, but the Bears picked me and I think that's a great team, that's a perfect team for me. It's the way I like to play. I'm happy with it."
A lot is made about the team visits during the months leading up to the draft. The Bears weren't linked to Goldman so he was asked about his interaction with the team.
"They didn't come visit me, I didn't go visit them. Honestly, I visited with so many teams at the Combine I can't really tell you if I visited with them or not. I didn't have a lot of contact with them, but I definitely talked to some representatives and some scouts from the Bears. I wasn't in heavy contact with anyone."
The Bears will be running a 30 front defense for the 1st time in the franchise's history. Goldman was asked about being part of the new 3-4 and the rebuilding process with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
"It's a great honor. To enter the league that way with the Bears and their great history I am at a loss for words because not only do I get to be a part of a great organization, I get to be a part of a brotherhood which is the NFL. I'm just ecstatic right now."
Goldman is a big fan of Bears defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff and he wore #90 in college to honor him. He was asked what he thinks about being able to play with with him.
"That was great. When I got the call, that was one of the first things I thought about, was actually being in the locker room with him because he was with the Bears now. I don't know if he has No. 90 or not, but it will be great. During the draft process I met with Andre Gurode and he said Jay Ratliff was one of the best guys he ever went up against. I just look forward to learning a lot from him and playing alongside him."
Ratliff does have #90, so the rookie will have to wear a different number.
Goldman was asked what technique he tried to emulate from Ratliff's game and some other players he tried to take stuff from.
"As far as his game, I just like how physical he was and his quickness and his grip, stuff like that. Coming up, guys in my era, I watched - like I said - Jay Ratliff, I watched Ndamukong Suh when he was in college, I watched Marvin Austin when he was in college. I watched a lot of guys, a lot of guys. Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. Back in the day, as far as the older guys I watched guys like "Mean" Joe Greene, guys like Lee Roy Selmon, Tony Brackens, just guys like that. I could go on and on about guys I watched back in the day. It's great."
Someone asked Goldman about his basketball skills.
"No, not quite a basketball player. I played basketball my senior year of high school, that's about it. Before football, I was a boxer actually. I started playing football when I was in eighth grade. I had to transition from boxing to football. I'm not much of a basketball player."
With Goldman having nose tackle size and defensive end experience, he was asked where he feels he's best suited to play on the next level.
"Honestly, I think I can play anywhere on the defensive line in the NFL. Like I said, I played all positions and I feel comfortable at all of them, so it really doesn't matter."
Goldman's ability to play the run is further along than his pass rush, so he was asked if he can get after the QB for the Bears.
"Oh, yes sir. Yes sir. All aspects of my game can use improvement. Pass rush is something scouts knock me for but I think I can pass rush with the best of them. We just have to wait and see because I'm definitely going to prove everyone wrong."
After the boxing comment, you knew someone would follow up on that subject, so he was asked if the boxing skills translated to the football field.
"It definitely helped with hand quickness. I did it for two years - off and on for two years. It helped with hand quickness. Transitioning over to football, it wasn't that hard because you're already conditioned and stuff like that. It was just the wearing the helmet, the shoulder pads and stuff like that to get used to but it wasn't that hard to transition."
The Bears defense has been really bad the last two years and Goldman was asked if he feels its a challenge to come in and play for such a unit.
"I look at it like, I'm just there to do my job and contribute and be a great teammate and be a leader as well and do my job at all times. That's what I'm going to bring to the organization. What they did before, it really doesn't concern me. I respect the legacy, I respect the culture of the Bears but it is all about the next year, the next game, the next practice."
He was asked why he declared for the NFL Draft with eligibility remaining.
"The risk I would be taking if I went back my senior year. I gathered all my family together and we made that decision together. It wasn't just me so it was definitely a group decision and I thought it would be best. I like my chances going this year rather than next year."
Chicago Bears legend Dick Butkus said "And I like this" before announcing the 2nd round pick, so Goldman was asked what he thought about the stamp of approval from the Bears Hall Of Famer.
"Because he was a linebacker, my dad talked about him a lot. That was one of my dad's favorite players because my dad likes the gritty-type of guys. But [for Dick Butkus] to say that ‘and I like this,' it's so subtle and so small but coming from him it kind of made my heart drop a little bit because he's NFL royalty right there. It was great to hear that. And yes, I was watching the coverage to answer your question."
Goldman was asked why film study became important to him in his development.
"I really started watching film at the end of my freshman year because on the practice field you're good and dandy but it takes a little bit more than that if you want to start, if you want to be great or even good. I really had to tell myself that if you want to take yourself to the next level and you want to make as many plays as you want to that's what you have to do. You have to get into the film room and go as hard in the film room as you do on the practice field and that's really why I started because I wanted to take my game to that next level."
Stay tuned to WCG for more draft coverage all weekend long...