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Q&A with Jagaurs First-Round Pick Eugene Monroe

Ex-Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe told Sporting News’ Bill Eichenberger and other reporters that he was pleasantly surprised to be drafted with the No. 8-overall pick in the NFL draft. In Jacksonville, he will be expected to anchor the Jaguars’ offensive line.

Q: What was your reaction when your name was called?
A: Incredible. It was an incredible feeling.

Q: Did you have any idea Jacksonville was going to pick you?
A: I had no idea. Prior to this, I had positive conversations with a lot of teams but I just took that and weighed it until today.

Q: So you really had no idea?
A: The last I had talked to the Jaguars was my pro day, and I didn’t take a visit. So I had no idea. This was a surprise to me. … I met (coach Jack Del Rio) at the Combine. You are slotted 15 minutes to meet with each team. You don’t get a great sense of people. But pretty soon I’m sure I’ll spend some special time with him.

Q: What’s your reaction to being a top-10 pick?

A: All I can say is that I’m blessed and excited for myself, for my family, my friends who all came out, everybody back home (in Plainfield, N.J.), back at school. … You can’t ask for anything better.

Q: How many family members did you have at Radio City Music Hall for the draft?
A: Twenty.

Q: As the youngest of 16 children, including 11 boys, did you ever have to fight for food at the dinner table?

A: I never had a problem eating, man.

Q: At 6-5 3/8 and 311 pounds, are you bigger than everybody else?
A: I have a brother an inch or so taller than me, but overall I am the biggest.

Q: What’s your first goal as a Jaguar?
A: To work my way and earn a starting position.

Q: Did you talk to Chris Long(notes), a teammate at Virginia and the No. 2 overall pick by the Rams in ’08, about all the craziness that goes on draft weekend?
A: Yeah, I spoke to Chris about this process. I was actually here with him last year and I experienced a bit of it with him. So I knew what would be going on. It was great week, though.

Q: What about D’Brickashaw Ferguson(notes), another Virginia alum now starting at left tackle for the Jets? What is your relationship with him?

A: From my first day of college, he was a mentor to me. I learned a lot from him. Then after he left, I studied much of his film to help improve my game.

Q: Are you glad the draft is over?
A: Yeah. All the uncertainty. You do everything in your power, then all you can is wait. You have no control.

Q: What’s your first goal as a Jaguar?
A: To work my way and earn a starting position.

Q: What message do you have for your new teammates?
A: I’m coming to work.

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