Harrell: draft day quotes, notes

What Ted Thompson and Justin Harrell were saying, and how DT fits in

Justin Harrell
Position: Defensive tackle
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 310 pounds
College: Tennessee
Round: First (16th overall)

How he fits in with Packers: Harrell will be expected to start alongside Ryan Pickett on Green Bay's defensive line, but he first will have to beat out Corey Williams, Colin Cole and Johnny Jolly. Williams is the incumbent next to Pickett. Cullen Jenkins also plays inside, giving way to Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, when the Packers are in pass rushing situations. Thompson said that Harrell is strictly a defensive tackle.

Picked before, after Harrell: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State, 15th overall, Pittsburgh Steelers; Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida, 17th overall, Denver Broncos

What General Manager Ted Thompson said:
On why he picked Harrell:
"We felt like he was the best value on the board. We felt like anytime you have a chance to get a quality defensive lineman of his ability, you have to think about taking him. We felt very good about him starting a couple of weeks ago. We tried to work through the different scenarios … who might be available and who might not be available, and we felt very comfortable with him."

On his injury history: "We say him at the combine and our medical staff and they felt very good about where he is. He had a torn bicep (last year) that he tried to play with and had surgery on it. He's fine. I think he bench pressed 24 times (225 pounds), even though he hadn't been able to lift much."

On if he considered selecting Brady Quinn: "We consider everybody that's on our board. We just feel the best pick for us is Justin Harrell."

On if he was tempted to move down and still select Harrell: "We had calls from five different teams and we felt that none of them warranted taking that risk."

On getting booed by Packers fans in Lambeau Field atrium: "It's like I told them, I think it's great. That's what the Green Bay Packers are all about … it's fans that have passion and they care. We are doing everything we can to make this the best team possible. If they disagree with our decisions, that's OK. We believe we're doing the right thing, so we can take a few shots."

On if he would have selected Marshawn Lynch if he had fallen to 16: "The way our board was set up, he would have been a consideration, sure."

What Justin Harrell said:
On if he felt he would be selected by Packers:
"I spoke with Green Bay during the (scouting) combine, but after that there wasn't a whole lot of contact with Green Bay. It was kind of a shock when they called because there wasn't a whole lot of contact throughout the whole draft process. I was waiting for the phone to ring, but I wasn't expecting Green Bay. I was shocked."

On if he feels he would have went higher in the draft if not for a biceps injury his senior year: I heard that if I would have played my whole senior year and everything, I would have been a top 10 pick. The reason I chose to play against Florida (with the injury) was because it was an opportunity for me to put a closure on my Tennessee career the way I wanted to. I made a decision to come back to my senior year, and I didn't want the end to be against Air Force in the second half." On if he feels like he's injury prone: "Not exactly. All the injuries that I had in college, I had from early on. All of them pretty much were freak accidents. You can't predict tearing a biceps while trying to make a tackle. … I don't feel like I'm injury prone."

On playing in smaller town, like Green Bay, instead of a larger city: Coming from a smaller town, you pretty much have to find your own thing to do to keep entertained."

On if he was close to entering draft last year after junior season: I got a second round grade coming out my junior year. The reason I wanted to come back is the season we had my junior year, 5-6, we had a lot of seniors coming back with a lot of leadership, and we had an opportunity to turn the program around. I definitely feel like I made the right choice coming back my senior year."

On his selection being booed by Packers fans, and his reaction: I'm happy to have an opportunity to show them what I can do. Hopefully they will accept me and turn those boos into cheers."


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