BOSTON (CBS) — On Friday night, the Patriots used the 97th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft to select Geneo Grissom out of Oklahoma.
The 6-foot-3, 262-pound Grissom is the definition of versatile, as he can play all positions on defensive line, he has experience at linebacker, and he even worked out at the Combine as a tight end.READ MORE: Dartmouth College Requires Remote Employees Be Vaccinated
Here’s what Grissom had to say when he spoke with New England reporters via conference call.
Question: Congratulations. How did it feel to be drafted by the Patriots?
Grissom: Thank you so much. It’s a blessing. I’m very excited for the opportunity. I just want to thank Robert Kraft and Coach Belichick for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.
Question: Coach Belichick talked about your versatility last night. Can you speak to that?
Grissom: Yeah, I mean I’ve kind of been through the ringer at OU, played multiple positions, D-end, tight end, and linebacker. It’s just one of those things that I’ve been blessed with a very athletic body and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help my team win.
Question: Belichick actually said last night that he has no plans for you to play tight end although you had one of the most impressive tight end workouts that he saw all spring. Were there any teams that considered that option with you?
Grissom: I actually don’t even know. It’s just one of those things. I just wanted to show my versatility and show that I can do more than just defense. There wasn’t really any team that approached me to do it or anything like that.
Question: With all the positions you’ve played, do you feel more comfortable in one than the other?
Grissom: I just love to play the game. It’s the game that I fell in love with when I was a little kid. I’ll play any position on the field – I’ll play punter if I have to. Like I said, there’s no preference for me. I just want to play this game.
Question: If you had to describe what you bring to the table as an athlete what would that be?
Grissom: I would say I’m a very good athlete. Passionate – I think that’s probably the word that pops up in my head.
Question: Do you model your game after anybody?
Grissom: I’m just ready to come in and help this team win some ball games. I don’t really model my game after anybody specifically.
Question: How rewarding was it to get the call last night and not have to wait another night?
Grissom: It was crazy. I had family members that were calling it a night and everybody was about to go to bed and I get a phone call and I saw that it was from Foxborough. I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to cry, I wasn’t going to cry and I ended up crying like a baby.
Question: What kind of pre-draft contact did you have with the Patriots?
Grissom: I had a private workout with them and also went to Foxborough and saw the facilities and met Coach Belichick and the rest of the staff.
Question: What was that experience like for you?
Grissom: It was awesome. I had a great time. We talked some ball and I got to meet the coaches. I feel like, well obviously, I made an impression and I feel like we had a good vibe when I left.
Question: The NFL had projected you going in the fifth or sixth rounds. Were you surprised when you went in the third?READ MORE: Veteran Sportscaster Bob Neumeier Dies
Grissom: Like I said, I’m just glad for this opportunity. This is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to get to Foxborough.
Question: Belichick said how rare it was to have a player that played three-technique defensive tackle and drop back linebacker. How difficult was it to switch positions every year and play so many different roles?
Grissom: Like I said, I love playing this game and I never saw it as, ‘Now I have to learn a new position.’ I saw it as, ‘I get to grow my game and expand my knowledge of this game.’
Question: Given your versatility and your contact with the team before the draft, have they given you a sense of how you might fit in to this defense?
Grissom: Absolutely. I just want to be somebody that the team can count on, somebody that obviously the coaches see something in me and I want to make sure I make sure that they are happy with their decision.
Question: In terms of a position, did they specify anything in their conversations with you?
Grissom: Come on guys, you know I can’t answer that.
Question: Do you have any connections to any of the players on the Patriots?
Grissom: No I don’t. Actually when I get there I’m going to be a newbie. I’m excited.
Question: Can you explain the spelling of your first name and how that came about?
Grissom: Yeah, of course. My dad’s name is Eugene Grissom. As a kid everyone used to call him Geneo and it stuck so I guess hypothetically I’m a junior.
Question: Any connections to Boston at all or New England?
Grissom: No. The first time I ever went to Boston was when they flew me up, or anything really. I’ve never really traveled much.
Question: Anything you are looking forward to about living in the area?
Grissom: Well I mean, I love hockey. The Bruins are awesome. [Zdeno] Chara is a beast.
Question: Do you feel like that Sugar Bowl game really kind of put you on the map?
Grissom: I would say so. I wasn’t obviously a big name guy before that game. I think that game kind of opened some eyes. I knew that and I knew that I was going to have to have a pretty good season this past season if I was going to open some more eyes and turn some more heads.
Question: You mention being put through the ringer of playing so many positions. Do you look back on that now as a plus with the versatility you were able to show?
Grissom: Absolutely. I think I’ve always looked at it as a plus. Like I said before, I saw it as an opportunity to learn the game and expand my knowledge of how the game is played and everything like that.
Question: Did you have any trips to visit any other teams?
Grissom: I just had a few others, not too many.MORE NEWS: Beverly Man Dies While Hiking On New Hampshire Trail
Read all of the comments from the Patriots’ 2015 draft picks by clicking here.