Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 10, 2014
The Raiders made their final pick of the 2014 NFL Draft at #247 overall, selecting Western Kentucky’s safety Jonathan Dowling.
Dowling took the time out of his day to talk to the media following his selection. The transcript can be read below.
Q: Were the Raiders a team that you knew were interested in you throughout the whole process, or did this come as any surprise at all?
Dowling: “I knew they had some interest in me towards the end. Just to be in here, that’s a blessing. It was all a surprise just how I got called. When I got called, it just all felt good.”
Q: Did you play a traditional free safety position, or how did they use you?
Dowling: “Western Kentucky pretty much used me at whatever because we played a lot of man [coverage], so I was in man coverage a lot, down in the box, but I was mostly in the middle of the field. I’m mostly a free safety.”
Q: What do you think it will be like to come to a team and actually play alongside Charles Woodson?
Dowling: “I’m ready to learn everything from ‘C-Wood.’ I always looked up to him. He’s done things the right way. He’s played as long as anybody should want to play. I’m just ready to get next to him and read him like an open book.”
Q: Who did you model your game after?
Dowling: “I like to play like Ed Reed. That’s one person I always admired and would like to say I am like.”
Q: What do you know about this organization as far as the history and how you would fit in here in terms of scheme?
Dowling: “They went through a lot but they have always had a bunch of good players. They just have a good coaching style behind him. As far as what I can do, whatever they ask me to do, I am going to do. Whatever they want, I plan on doing it. I am just ready to play, whether it’s at corner, safety, whatever it is, I am going to do it full speed.”
Q: Who have you talked to out here? Have you talked to the defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver?
Dowling: “I spoke with him once they told me they were going to draft me, but mostly I have been talking to [assistant defensive backs] coach [Marcus] Robertson, the DBs coach.”
Q: How did that phone call go?
Dowling: “It was just a big weight off of my shoulders. All I could do was stand up. I got out of the chair and took a deep breath. I probably haven’t breathed in two days. It just feels good. It’s a blessing, just to know that God was working for me.”
Q: What happened at Florida?
Dowling: “Florida was in my past. I don’t really like to speak on it too much anymore. I had a great career at Western and I’m ready to split my page and get this clean slate started with the Raiders giving me a chance to really become a brand new person. I want to show people the type of role model I can be and the type of person that I am. I want to learn how to be a pro. I’ve never been a pro before, so I’m ready to just learn how to be a pro and act like a pro. I’m ready to do things the right way.”
Q: Did you have an idea of where you wanted to go in the draft? How are you feeling about being drafted where you were?
Dowling: “I’m happy. There are only 254 players that got drafted. There are a lot of people that didn’t even get that chance. I can’t be the person that says I’m mad I went here or I’m mad I went there. I’m just really happy to be here. I’m happy that the Raiders wanted me. It feels great to be somewhere that somebody wanted you. I’m very happy with the situation. I feel like this situation went how it should have. I learned from it. I gained something from this situation. I can teach somebody else to do the right things next time. God gives everybody their own testimony, so now that I’ve learned everything from this situation, I can teach it to the next person. Maybe even my little brother, I’ve got a little brother growing up. Maybe I could teach him how to do things the way he’s going to have to.”
Q: Did you play a lot of special teams in college?
Dowling: “Yeah, I played special teams. Like I said, I’ll play whatever they need me to play. Whatever they ask me to play, I’ll play it full speed.”