The Browns selected OT Mitchell Schwartz from Cal with their first pick (37th overall) in the NFL Draft Friday night. While Schwartz played both right and left tackle in college, heíll slide over to the right side of the line as a pro with All-Pro Joe Thomas firmly entrenched at left tackle for the Browns.
Hereís some of the Q & A exchange during Schwartzís teleconference:
Q) You played both right and left tackle in college, which do you prefer?
A) ďObviously in Cleveland you have Joe Thomas a left tackle, so probably right now a little more right tackle. Honestly, Iím pretty comfortable with both. But Cleveland has probably the best left tackle in the game, so I understand my role in regards to that.Ē
Q) Do you know Browns center and former Cal lineman Alex Mack and if so, what has he told you about Cleveland?
A) ďI played with (Mack) my first two years at Cal were his last two there. So I played with him and stayed in contact with him throughout the draft process. So, Iíve talked to him a little bit but Iím sure Iíll get the full scouting report on Cleveland coming up. But itís definitely going to be good to have a former teammate there. Itís always good when you know someone in this situation.Ē
Q) Can you tell us about your brother (Geoff Schwartz, a guard with the Minnesota Vikings) and what kind of influence heís had on you?
A) ďI got really lucky having an older brother whoís gone through the entire (draft) process already. Coming out of high school, I kind of knew what to expect with recruiting and the NFL. Heís kind of been there and done that and I can learn a little bit from his mistakes. Itís a good (resource) to have and talk pretty much every day about all sorts of things. Itís definitely given me a leg up and Iím really fortunate to have him.
Q) Can you talk about being new teammates with (RB Trent) Richardson and (QB Brandon) Weeden and the potential for all three of you to possibly be in the starting lineup together?
A) ďObviously, the franchise is looking to get better any way it can. But Iím not in the war room to hear what theyíre talking about. Cleveland is doing what they can to get better and obviously the draft is a part of the process these last couple years.Ē
Q) Did you have a feeling the Browns were going to pick you and where are you watching the draft from?
A) ďIím watching from my house in Los Angeles. Through the whole draft process, I talked to (the Browns) a decent bit, so I had a good understanding they liked me but I never try to put too much stock into that. Iíve heard stories about teams that show guys a lot of interest and nothing really comes of that. But I have a good relationship with (the Browns), as weíve talked throughout the whole process. So, Iím definitely excited with it. Itís not completely new because Iíve met all the coaches and that and Iím looking forward to it.Ē
Q) How different is playing right or left tackle?
A) ďItís not too much, all the techniques are the same. Itís just a different side of the body. But in terms of technique and style of play, itís basically the same.Ē
Q) Do you think your big performance at the Senior Bowl improved your draft stock?
A) ďI think so. But I donít know how much teams and coaches put into that performance.Ē
Q) You started all 51 games, but several of the draft guides say youíve had back problems. Is that something youíve had to play and fight through?
A) ďNot really. Itís something I did and had surgery after my junior year on that to clean it up. But I put a pretty high premium on being on the field.Ē