2014 NFL Draft: Travis Swanson talks about being picked by Lions

Wesley Hitt

Here's a look at what center Travis Swanson had to say about being picked by the Detroit Lions on Friday night.

Below is a recap of what center Travis Swanson had to say about being picked in the third round by the Detroit Lions on Friday night. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On the contact he had with the Lions prior to the Draft: "I talked with them at the Senior Bowl and had a meeting with them at the combine. I think the relationship we built off of that really helped this whole process go through. I cannot stress enough how excited I am to be a Lion."

On the value of starting 50-straight games against SEC competition and how that translates to the NFL: "I think it is crucial. You always hear a lot of people say that the SEC is getting its own sense as the minor league of the NFL, so I think the durability of 50 games in what many believe the toughest conference in all of college football will help me tremendously as I go through this transition period from college to the NFL."

On why he played guard at the Senior Bowl: "Throughout the week I took reps at both guards as well as center."

On the challenges at guard compared to playing center: "I think that it is not that much different. If you are at left guard then your left hand's down as opposed to snapping with my right, but it is very comfortable to me. I have been working this past month in my guard stance, both left and right, and just want to contribute as much as I can."

On if he has any relationship with Lions G Larry Warford: "I do not know him. I know of him. Obviously, he was a household name in the SEC years ago. I do know of him and I do know that he came in this last year and did a great job."

On if he knows any Lions players or knows much about Detroit: "I don't know any of them personally. I know they have Dominic (Raiola) who's been in the NFL for years, years upon years. I can't wait to pick his brain of things that he knows."

On acknowledging the fact that Raiola has been entrenched in Detroit for a long time: "The biggest thing I will focus on is to learn as much as I can. I want to contribute, whether that's at center or guard. I am just going to come into work every single day and I know if I do that each day then it will take care of itself."

On his intelligence on the football field: "I think it's one of my strongest assets, to be honest. This past year it really started to kick in for me, but I've also had coaches in the past. Coach Bobby Petrino, his system, and then Coach B (Bret Bielema) came in with Sam Pittman and Jim Chaney and just helped me just get this game down to a tee from the college aspect. As far as the NFL goes, I can't wait just to get started and learn more."

On how comfortable he would be starting at center in the NFL: "I'm not going to say that I wouldn't be confident because you need confidence to play this game. I know that there is still a ton that I do need to learn. That's what I'm just most excited about right now."

On how he would describe his strengths: "I would say my strengths are I'm a tough, smart leader, you know, a guy that's going to grind every single play and is not going to let up on you. I think the film shows that."

On the biggest challenge of playing center: "I'm not really sure. I think it varies from each team because each team is very different from each other. So, you might have a team that's very good chemistry-wise with the offensive linemen, but you rotate quarterbacks here and there. Obviously, (Matthew) Stafford is cemented as the quarterback now, so that'll be something that you just work out when you get there."

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