Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick Cody Whitehair met the media via teleconference on Friday night and here is the full transcript (in blockquotes).
I'll admit I wasn't very excited when it was announced the Bears were taking a guard with their 2nd rounder that they traded back for a couple of times. It's not that I didn't like Whitehair as a prospect -- EJ Snyders' scouting report on him sold me on his prospects -- it was just that I thought offensive guard wasn't much of a need. There were a couple of safeties that I thought the Bears would target.
I figured with Matt Slauson, Kyle Long and the two new veteran free agents, Ted Larsen and Manny Ramirez, that the Bears were OK on their interior.
After the disappointment of not snagging a safety started to fade, I realized that the Bears probably got the best guard in the draft. He was the #1 OG atop most scout's boards. Whitehair will eventually win a starting job and when he does, I expect a long career,
Here's the transcript from Whitehair's presser.
He was asked where he expects to play for the Bears.
"We didn't go over [where he would play], [offensive line coach Dave] Magazu said to make sure I'm ready to play. I'm going to play wherever the coaches tell me play and I'm just excited to get on the field."
On if he had any disappointment on getting drafted in second round.
"I was pretty open-minded. I'm just so thankful the Bears took me and I'm excited and I can't wait to get on the field and make these great relationships with these new teammates. I'm just so excited. I'm not disappointed at all. I'm just really excited to be a Bear now."
Whitehair only managed 16 bench press reps at the Combine, so he was asked about that.
"I just think that wasn't me and I had a bad day of performance. But also, I'm a field-strong kind of guy. You know, I'll continue to work on that and get better at it."
On if Whitehair has any experience playing center.
"I've snapped the ball a little bit, not a whole lot. Like I said, I'm just excited to be a Bear and wherever they need me to play, you know I'll do my best and work hard at it."
And here's some proof!
Yes folks, Whitehair has snapped before...Cody Whitehair snapping to Dak Prescott #seniorbowl https://t.co/EeuaGQzLse— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) February 25, 2016
On which NFL offensive lineman Whitehair has modeled his game after.
"I would say Zach Martin from the Dallas Cowboys. He's kind of the guy I've watched over the past couple of years and tried to model my game after him. He's just a great player, a great technician and he gets the job done. So, that's what I want to model my play after."
NFL.com actually compares Whitehair to Martin.
On where Whitehair is the most comfortable playing on the offensive line.
"I'm comfortable at any of those positions. I feel like I'm the type of guy that is a team player and whatever the team needs me to play, I feel like I can make the transition and play up to the level I need to play at."
Whitehair had reps at left tackle, left guard and right tackle in college.
On what the value of playing various positions and starting all four years.
"It was huge. To me it was huge and it really showed me that versatility is key. You know, by doing things you have to for the team even though they might be tough, it taught me to work through all of the adversity on all of that. It taught me a lot and a lot about being a great guy too."
On which specific position was Whitehair's favorite.
"I'm probably better fit for guard. But like I said, I'm up to play anywhere and wherever the coach needs me to play."
On pre-draft contact with the Bears.
"I talked to [the Bears] at the Senior Bowl and they were one of the first teams I talked to. Also, I flew up there two, three weeks ago and met with them and all the coaches up there and really felt like I fit in there. I'm super excited to be there."
On why Whitehair thinks he's a better fit at guard.
"Probably more my length. You know I'm not the tallest guy, but I feel like I can make it up with some quickness. You know, I just feel like guard is a better fit for me."
On his new teammate Kyle Long.
"I know he's a great player. I know he's a Pro Bowl kind of guy. He's going to be a great player and a great teacher for me and I'm looking forward to playing with him."
Speaking of Long;
Hello Cody Whitehair :) You're gonna love the room you're coming into. Can't wait to meet you— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) April 30, 2016
"Hey Cody Whitehair I'm Kyle NoHair." Opposites attract like Mag-A-Nets— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) April 30, 2016
What are your thoughts on Whitehair's presser?