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Mark Ellenz Post-Draft Selection Media Availability - Saturday, April 25, 2020

(Opening statement on Ben Bartch) "So we took Ben Bartch, offensive lineman. He played for St. John's University which is a Division III program in Minnesota and ironically, it's my arch-rival; I went to St. Thomas. So this was a little bit of a pride swallow here, but he's a good player and had to make an organizational decision with him here. But he's a good player, he was at the Senior Bowl, he held his own there."

(On what first put him on to Ben Bartch) "So we knew about him going into the previous spring, he was considered a prospect. He played OT last year as well as in 2018. He was a TE going in and then he basically grew into an OT the last couple of years."

(On what it is about his game that made him such a high draft pick.) "Well, it's difficult to find these offensive linemen and this is a kid that we think has a lot of upside. He played very well and held his own at the Senior Bowl. It wasn't too big for him. We think we got a lot of value in this kid and a lot of ability to grow."

(On if he is capable of winning a starting job.) "I think it might be a little bit of time, but in the end I think we have a starting player here."

(On if Bartch is strictly a tackle or if he could be a guard too.) "No, we're going to do both. We're going to have him at tackle and guard."

(On Bartch's transition of gaining 60 pounds in four years.) "Right, so he has kind of progressively put that weight on. Like I said, at the Senior Bowl he showed out. Obviously, it's Division III football, but it's a very good program that they're in. But the athleticism we really liked and the kid's a really smart kid, he's competitive, he's tough. He checked off a lot of the intangible parts, plus the tangibles."

(On if Ellenz has ever tried Bartch's shake or if he ever would try it.) "Maybe when I was his age trying to put on weight. Not now. I don't need that."

(On if he was given a mandate to find high character guys.) "Honestly we've always tried to do that. Sometimes it means making some concessions, depending on it. But we've always tried to find high character guys throughout my career. I wouldn't say it was mandated, but it was stressed, definitely." 

(On what it says about Bartch's determination that he made his own protein shake since he came from a D-III program that didn't have all the necessities that a D-I program has.) "Yeah, to me it says that kid is highly committed, you know he wants to play in the NFL, he's passionate about it, he's going to do whatever it takes. So those are the type of guys we like. And I will say this, St. John's program, they do have some pretty good facilities there."

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