Ravens Surprise Auburn's Grubbs

Auburn's Ben Grubbs discusses being picked in the first round of the NFL draft.

Eclectic, Ala.--Last year, Auburn offensive lineman Marcus McNeill became an immediate impact player after being drafted in the second round of the National Football League Draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Ben Grubbs, who started next to McNeill for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, hopes to do the same thing after being selected in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

"My thoughts going into the NFL are definitely to start and make a fast impact," the three-year Auburn offensive guard starter says. "They drafted me in the first round for a reason. It is not just to sit around. I take full responsibility on myself to get into my playbook and get into the film room and try to be a starter."

Ben Grubbs earned All-SEC honors as a senior.

Grubbs, who watched the draft at home on Saturday with around 40 family members and friends, plans to travel to Baltimore on Sunday for interviews. He will begin practicing pro football on Thursday by participating in a mini-camp.

The All-SEC player notes that he is thrilled about being a Raven although he admits that he didn't expect to be playing in Baltimore next season.

"There was a lot of talk about the Chicago Bears during the process," he says. "(Mel) Kiper had me going there. I talked to one of scouts with Chicago and he told me they were real interested in me."

Grubbs says he got a call from the NFL club with about 10 minutes left before the Ravens had to announce their pick. "I was surprised because there really wasn't a thought in my mind that I would go to Baltimore until last night I saw it on ESPN and Mel Kiper had me going (there)," he points out.

"It was definitely a shock," Grubbs adds. "It was crazy at my house. I had all of my family members here and I was hollering. It was a great moment for me."

Commenting on why he is surprised about being drafted by the Ravens, he says, "Just because I hadn't spoken with them or I didn't take my visits up there. I really thought they weren't interested in me."

Ben Grubbs didn't start playing football until he was a ninth grader. Before that he thought his future in athletics was as a baseball player.

Grubbs, the 29th player selected in the 2007 draft, played linebacker at Elmore County High School. At Auburn he made several position changes, moving from linebacker to defensive end to defensive tackle before moving to offense to play tight end as a redshirt freshman in 2003. He played in nine games as a reserve that season and broke into the starting lineup when he was moved to guard for the 2004 season.

Once he moved into the starting lineup, Grubbs stayed there for the rest of his college career. He notes the chance to play the game at the NFL level is a thrill. "It means a lot to me," he says.

"My road to success was hard. It was hard moving to all of those different positions. I finally got to offensive guard and I found a home and I am in the NFL now, a first round pick. It is crazy. I still haven't grasped the whole concept of it. I am so excited right now...."I am just living the dream right now."

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