The following is a transcript of Marcedes Lewis' conference call following his first round selection.
(his reaction to be drafted by the Jaguars) "I am just so excited. After nailing it down to a few teams in the latter part of the round Jacksonville was definitely at the top. I felt like (Jaguars) tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts and I bonded. I am just so happy that it worked out alright."
(on if he had any indication he would be drafted by the Jaguars) "A little bit. Jacksonville was one of the teams I really narrowed it down to. I have a good feeling about it. I'm just anxious to get out there and learn and definitely help this offense."
(on his impression of the Jaguars offense) "Byron Leftwich is doing good things, a good up and coming quarterback. Jimmy Smith is a nice veteran out there at receiver and they brought in Matt Jones who did great things. I'm just looking to add to it."
(on how much he thinks his basketball background will help him) "Just as far as far positioning my body to make difficult catches, blocking defenders out, keeping the ball away from defenders when I catch the ball. Just instincts working in space then basketball comes in to play especially during zone coverages when you are able to use your body more."
(on the concern with his speed) "First of all, I ran faster times leading up to the combine. I went into the combine a little under the weather, but I don't have excuses. It is what it is. (Kansas City TE) Tony Gonzales ran a 4.80. (San Diego TE) Antonio Gates ran a 4.85 coming out. They are doing their thing. The most important part is that I can play football. I'm faster on the field and I've proven it. I'm just anxious to get out there and get ready."
(on if it's a relief that Kyle Brady is with the Jaguars and he doesn't have to be a starter immediately) "I'm not even worried about it. I will come in and get in where I fit in. Just learning the system and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from him (Brady) and the other tight ends that are there. I want to really take this opportunity to learn the offense. When it's my time, they will know and I will know. When I am on the field I will give it one hundred percent."
(on his expectations) "Wherever they put me I will be ready. I'm looking to go in there and add to the offense."
(on if he wanted to be a basketball or football player when he was young) "I always wanted to be a football player. I have been playing football since I was eight. I started playing basketball my freshman year of high school and that's because someone said 'You are tall, why don't you play?' I just happened to get good at it, but basketball is something I just really did in my past time. First and foremost, I am a football player. I stopped playing basketball to become a better football player. It paid off for me today."
(on where he grew up) "I grew up on the east side of Long Beach."
(on if there is any difficulty moving from the west coast) "This is my job. I'm looking forward to it. I'm just ready for this whole opportunity to go out there and make sure Jacksonville knows that I am there and I'm ready to play."
(on his siblings) "I have two brothers and a little sister."
(on if his brothers' play football) "My youngest brother, Cody, is 11 and plays football. My other brother is 19 in another month. He played in high school and a couple years of Pop Warner, but it was never really his thing."
(on if Jaguars running backs coach Kennedy Pola recruited him to USC) "I committed to UCLA my junior year. I am just really big on integrity. They tried to sway me. UCLA is who I committed to and I just wanted to play football at UCLA."
(on how happy he is to get the draft process over with and concentrate on football) "I'm relieved. My stomach was in my throat for about two hours. I'm just relieved that it's finally here. I'm proud that I did everything I can to put myself in a position to be picked in the first round."
(on the unique spelling of his name) "My mom liked the name Mercedes. I was going to be a boy so she tried to put a masculine twist to it and add the (a) in there instead of the (e). That's where the name came from."
(on how good he thinks he can be) "I'm getting better every day. I feel that by what I have been doing that I can possibly be one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. I'm willing to listen. I'm coachable. I'm a sponge. I soak stuff up and just try to apply it to the field. With those tools I can go a long way."