BOSTON (CBS) — Offensive tackle was a position that the Patriots were going to need to address for the long-term at some point. So it should come as no surprise that the Patriots traded up to draft former Troy tackle Antonio Garcia with the 85th overall pick.
Bill Belichick mentioned that Garcia visited Foxboro before the draft when he spoke about the Patriots’ selections after the conclusion of Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft. So the team certainly had to like what they saw in Garcia, considering they moved up in the draft to take him.
SEE ALSO: Patriots 2017 NFL Draft Day 3 Live Blog
Here’s what Antonio Garcia had to say when he met with reporters after being drafted by the Patriots:
Question: What is your reaction to being selected by the Patriots?
Antonio Garcia: I’m just super excited. It was a great feeling to hear my name get called and see my name go across that screen. I’m just super thankful and I’m ready to contribute to the team to the best of my ability.
Q: Coach [Bill] Belichick mentioned you were up here in Foxboro for a visit. What were your takeaways from that visit?
AG: [A] great environment, great people. I had a great time there, had a great time meeting all of the coaches, and again, I just look forward to being there.
Q: What do you know about the Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia?
AG: Not much.
Q: How excited are you to work with someone who has been coaching pro linemen with such a great track record?
AG: Right. Well, I know the Patriots are definitely a winning organization. I’m just excited to work with all of the coaches there, especially the offensive line coach there [Dante Scarnecchia]. I met him. Met with him, sat down with him and I look forward to just getting better under his tutelage.
Q: How much time did you spend in a three-point stance in college and will that be an issue at all in the pro level?
AG: No sir, it won’t be an issue. I had a great deal of three-point stance in the Senior Bowl and also we did our fair share at Troy [University].
Q: How would you describe your style of play?
AG: I would say physical, athletic, just nasty.
Q: Is there a player in the NFL you have watched and modeled your style of play after?
AG: I watch a lot of different tackles. There’s no one specific that I try to kind of impersonate. Yeah, there’s a multitude of them, but I watch a lot. But no, there’s no one who I pave my game after specifically.
Q: In the pre-draft process did any teams work you out on the interior of the offensive line or was it mostly all at tackle?
AG: I’ve done work everywhere, but majority probably was left tackle; yes.
Q: Do you have any experience on the right side of the offensive line at all?
AG: Yes sir, I do.
Q: Is that a spot where you are comfortable or are you more comfortable on the left side?
AG: I feel like I’m comfortable wherever. I trust the coaches will put me in the best position for us to win. Wherever that is that they have me, I’ll be comfortable there.
Q: How important was your experience at the Senior Bowl?
AG: It was very important to me. It was a platform for me to show I can compete with everybody in the country and I felt like I did that. It was very important to me.
Q: Did you get a chance to work against Derek Rivers at the Senior Bowl at all?
AG: Yes sir, I think I do remember going against him in the game a few times. He was on the North team. I’m looking forward to competing with him here in the next few weeks.
Q: Where are you now? When you got the call you were drafted where were you and who were you with?
AG: I’m spending this time with my family. We’re just here at the house watching it, enjoying it, having a good time.
Q: How big of a gathering did you have at home tonight?
AG: Maybe 10 to 15 [people].
Q: What weight are you most comfortable playing at?
AG: I’ve been all the way up to 310 [pounds]. I’m comfortable anywhere between 300 and 315.
Q: Was it ever a dream of yours as a left tackle to protect a guy like Tom Brady?
AG: Absolutely. That’s what you dream about. He’s one of the best in the business. I’m definitely going to give my all to protecting him. It’s just an honor to have that opportunity.
Q: Did you watch Super Bowl LI?
AG: I did.
Q: Is this a sudden turn for you to maybe be rooting for the Atlanta Falcons based on where you grew up to all of a sudden playing for the Patriots?
AG: Well, I really wasn’t rooting for either team going in. It was definitely a good game, competitive.
Q: Have you ever been to the New England region before?
AG: Outside of the visit I had there, I haven’t.
Q: Are you in the process of trying to put weight on and will that be a continuing process for you?
AG: Well, I’ve been here consistently at about 305 [pounds] for a few months now. I’m just more focused on being in shape and being able to play to the best of my ability.
Q: How much did playing other sports growing up help you develop as a tackle?
AG: I think it helped me a lot. I played basketball in high school so I think I still have some of that athleticism, being able to jump, slide my feet and just mirror guys. I think that kind of rolls over and I also ran track, so I think that they all play a part in it.
Q: Was football always your favorite sport or was there a time where you thought about pursuing basketball?
AG: No, football was definitely my favorite sport always.
Q: Is it true you didn’t give up a sack last season?
AG: That is absolutely true.
Q: Do you remember the last time you gave up a sack?
AG: I don’t remember, no. It’s been a long time; I know that.
Q: How did you do at the Senior Bowl when you matched up against Derek Rivers?
AG: I remember faring well during the game. I can’t really remember specifically what happened but I don’t remember giving up a sack or anything like that.
Q: How do you go from being barely recruited out of high school to being drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft?
AG: I guess just developing in college. It’s not really where you start or how you start, it’s where you finish. It doesn’t matter where you go to school if you just perform well while you’re there. I think I’m a testament to that and I’m just happy to have the opportunity.
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