BOSTON (CBS) — From the outside, it appeared as though the Patriots might have had a need at cornerback heading into the draft. Despite that, they did not select a cornerback until late in the seventh round.
When they did, they selected Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts. Here’s what Roberts said to New England media shortly after being drafted.READ MORE: 'It's Peace Of Mind': Teachers Receive COVID Vaccine Booster Shots In Boston
Question: What was the reaction when the Patriots drafted you?
Roberts: It’s just a true blessing. I was excited – excitement. My whole family and my whole support staff, everybody is just happy for me and excited for me. It’s just an honor to have an opportunity to play for the Patriots.
Question: Did you have an inclination that they might be a team to take you?
Roberts: Yeah, I did. I had a workout with the Patriots. I’m just honored. It’s just an honor to be able to play for the Patriots.
Question: What do you feel your strengths are as a cornerback?
Roberts: I’m a little versatile. I can play a little press, a little zone. First things first, I just want to make a name for myself on special teams.
Question: How much special teams did you play in college?
Roberts: All throughout my college career, I played special teams: punt, punt block and things like that. I played a good amount – four years’ worth.
Question: Did you start to get a little bit more notice after you put up big numbers at your pro day?
Roberts: Yeah, I did. After they saw how fast I could run and how athletic I am a lot of teams started gaining interest, so I got a lot [of attention].
Question: Was it disappointing to not get invited to the combine?
Roberts: No, it wasn’t really disappointing. I always tell myself to control what I can control. The pro day for me was my combine, so I felt like went out there and did the best I could do to show what I can do.
Question: Are you and Aaron Dobson friends?
Roberts: Yeah, actually me and ‘A.D.’ are pretty cool. He was a good receiver and a good friend of mine when he played at Marshall.
Question: Has he given you any advice or told you anything about the Patriots?
Roberts: He told me it’s a very good program and very smart program and you all have good coaches as anyone could see. He was just letting me know how the season would go and things like that.
Question: Is it encouraging seeing what a guy like Malcolm Butler was able to do here regardless of draft slot or not being drafted at all?
Roberts: It’s a blessing. All you can ask for is a chance and a shot to just go do what you love to do. I’m just honored that they even took a chance on me to come to New England and play.
Question: Did they ask you about playing special teams when they called you?
Roberts: No, they didn’t ask me anything of that nature. [They] just told me that they were going to pick me, so I just got ready for it.
Question: Have you ever been to the New England area?READ MORE: Kim Janey Endorses Michelle Wu In Boston Mayoral Race
Roberts: No sir, I haven’t. It will be my first time when I arrive.
Question: When you had your workout with the Patriots, did you have a chance to talk one-on-one with Bill Belichick?
Roberts: When I did my workout with the Patriots, I actually didn’t talk to Bill.
Question: Who did you speak to then?
Roberts: The defensive back coach, the safeties coach, [Brian Flores].
Question: Brian Flores?
Roberts: Yeah, I guess the safeties coach.
Question: Did you have any idea they liked you?
Roberts: I had a pretty good workout. They just told me I looked pretty good out there, so I knew [there] was some interest but I didn’t know how much.
Question: Is there any cornerback that you pattern your game after?
Roberts: No, I’ve got my own game. I just try to carry myself in a certain way and just go out there and take everything head on. I try to play as myself.
Question: Why do you think you flew under the radar a little bit?
Roberts: That’s a good question. I’m not sure.
Question: Does that motivate you at all?
Roberts: I always play with an edge. I’ve got a strong mind and I know what I want, so I don’t really let things get to me. Like I said earlier, I just control what I can control.
Question: Did you have a lot of teams that were interested?
Roberts: I had a good amount, but I’m just happy to be chosen by the New England Patriots. I’m happy to be a part of the organization now.
Question: Do you remember how many kicks you blocked in college?
Roberts: I think I blocked like two or three.
Question: The 39-inch vertical must have helped there, right?
Roberts: Yeah, it [did].MORE NEWS: Gov. Baker Calls For Action Towards Ending Nurses' Strike At St. Vincent Hospital
Read all of the comments from the Patriots’ 2015 draft picks by clicking here.