Soundbites: Draftees weigh in on their new teams

Tech’s four players selected in the NFL Draft share their excitement

Football
5/2/2022 12:13:00 PM

BLACKSBURG – Following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft, Virginia Tech football’s four players that were drafted held press conferences with their local teams’ media and addressed their excitement on what’s to come at the next level. Read what they had to say below.

TIGHT END JAMES MITCHELL (DETROIT LIONS)

On the contact he had with the Lions in the pre-draft process and if he made a visit:

“I talked with them a little bit at the combine, but they have more so been in contact with my agent. They talked with my agent about getting something done after the draft if I wasn’t selected. So, when they called me at the end of round five and said they were going to take me, I was pretty shocked but very grateful and excited to go there and get started. “

On how coming off an injury impacted his draft stock:
“I think the injury definitely impacted the draft. People want to see how I’m going to be once I get back this season, but I can’t control that. All I can control is how I handle this process now and how I go in and work. I played one and a half games this year and I got drafted, so I’m blessed and I’m happy and I’m just ready. ”

EDGE AMARÉ BARNO (CAROLINA PANTHERS)

On how it feels to be drafted by the hometown team and if he was a Panthers fan:

“I didn’t really like pick teams growing up, I just had players that I liked, different players like that. My brother was actually a Panthers fan. I got to hear about the Panthers all the time, either way. Being able to stay home, it’s great. “

On where the Panthers are talking about playing him:
“Yeah, it’s definitely the edge. Using me at other places too, but I’m thinking it’s the edge.”

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN LUKE TENUTA (BUFFALO BILLS)

On what he’s looking forward to getting better at with the Bills:
“It’s a completely honest process. They tell you what you need to work on, things you are going to have to do to compete at the next level. Being a taller tackler, I need to work on pad level. That’s my big thing. Getting more flexible is a big goal of mine because that translates to the field when you are working on pad level. The more flexible you are, the better. I’m excited for the opportunity and I know what I need to work on. When I get up there, that’ll be what I’m focused on. I want to do whatever I can to help the Bills out. “

On his fellow Hokies being taken in this year’s draft:
“It’s been exciting. James went off first in the fifth to Detroit and it kept rolling from there with Barno. Right after me, Lecitus went off so we were just rolling. It was awesome to see. I am excited for those guys. I came in with James. We were in the same class and we enrolled the same day of summer, so it is awesome to see him, Barno and Lecitus. All four of us trained down in Pensacola, Florida together, so we have been with each other during the whole process.It’s really excited to see all of them achieve their dreams.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN LECITUS SMITH (ARIZONA CARDINALS)

On his pass blocking ability:
“I feel that gives me a fighting chance (to make the team). But I’m not coming in like, ‘I hope the guard spot is open.’ I am fully willing to work. But at the same time, I want to feel like I have a chance. “

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