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Transcript: Adam Trautman video conference call - Friday, April 24

Saints second third-round selection speaks to media

New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman
Friday, April 24, 2020

"I'm excited. I'm actually in Dayton, Ohio right now just like I had planned to be throughout this process, obviously even before the coronavirus hit, but I'm super excited to be a part of the New Orleans Saints organization and super excited to get my foot in the building eventually and get to work."

How much contact did you have with the Saints leading up to tonight?
"Honestly not as much. I didn't have too much. I knew they were interested in me and liked me as a player and person and everything like that, but I didn't have too much coming into it."

Did you have any idea how high that interest was?
"No, not really honestly. I talked to my agent about it, obviously going through every single team in the league and yeah, he did mention that the interest from the Saints was nothing like super high or out of this world or anything like that, that I knew of."

I imagine it's flattering to know that a team gave up four draft picks to move up to get you?
"Yeah, I actually didn't even know that until now. I mean I just got the call, I didn't see the trade information, anything like that, but yeah, it's definitely a good thing."

Am I right in saying that you didn't ever catch a pass until getting to college?
"Yes. 100 percent correct, never played another position either other than quarterback until about 10 days into my freshman year at Dayton."

Do you feel like you're kind of just scratching the surface on your potential and that the sky's the limit kind of from where you are right now?
"Yeah, absolutely. I mean I feel like I'm polished in several areas as it is, but I definitely have a very, very high ceiling and I have a lot of room to grow and a lot of potential."

Did you play basketball in high school and how has that translated to football?
"I did yes, all four years. I mean obviously rebounding. I was one of the bigger kids on my team, especially being from a smaller high school and just you learn how to use your body and high point the ball and then couple that with the short area agility and everything which ties into your routes and getting separation at the top and all that. So it definitely helped out."

What do you know about the guys that the Saints have playing tight end now and how they use the position and the offense?
"Yeah, just from what I know, obviously I've seen they obviously use a move guy a lot (with) Jared Cook and then they do have true Y's on the roster. I mean they do it all from what I've seen on film. They use tight ends in every single way you can imagine on the field."

Who are some of the guys that you've modeled your game after, especially since you haven't played the position for a super long time?
"Yeah, definitely recently, over the past two years, George Kittle just starting from how hard he plays and I emulate that in my game I believe and just how hard he goes after people. It's amazing to watch and I love it. The same with T.J. Hockenson. I mean they're obviously not the same level of player yet, but TJ Hockenson has a lot of that in his game and I just try to emulate that style of play."

Were you studying the Saints prior to the draft?
"Yeah, I mean to be honest, I'm pretty big football junkie, so I watch a lot of film on a lot of teams pre-draft process just to kind of like match it up with my college offense and see and just read coverages and count it out and all that kind of stuff. I have probably watched like 25 of the teams, so the Saints was definitely one of them that I did watch so yes."

When you were watching them how did you see yourself fitting with what they already do?
"I think I can do anything you ask of a tight end. I do think I'm more of a traditional Y, I put my hand the dirt, but that's not for me to decide or anything like that obviously. But I mean I think I can do it all on the field as tight end."

Sean Payton said he liked your ability to block. Is that something you had to put a lot of effort into just considering what positions you played coming up?
"Yeah, absolutely. Especially playing quarterback, you never really get physical or touch anyone. It was kind of like a mind-set switch I had to have when I switched the position my true freshman year and I've just continued to develop that and then couple that mentality and that mindset with my technique that I'm continuously learning and I have a lot of room to grow in that as well. Yeah. I mean I definitely pride myself on, I took huge leaps and bounds over the last three years."

What was the process like for you having to wait late into tonight to get drafted?
"Yeah, I mean it was kind of stressful, obviously going through it all. Obviously just with conversations with my agent and like maybe this team will take you and then it's like, no they don't. And then it just keeps going on and on and on. But I was super excited when I obviously saw a number pop up on my phone from Louisiana and I was super excited and glad I got that call obviously from Saints."

The Saints have a history of either drafting or picking up small school guys from the FCS, D-2, D-3 for a long time. Are you familiar with that or that kind of news to you?
"That's actually news to me. No, I didn't know the history of the selections and free agency and all of that."

Who was the last player to come out of Dayton to get drafted?
"Ooh, 1977 in the 11th round I know that. I forget the name because there's like two names that get jumbled cause the one that actually played the game and one that didn't. I think the last, the guy's last name was something West (Bill Westbeld) maybe something like that."

How cool is that you're talking about more than 40 years here since your school has had a player drafted and you're going in the third round to a pretty good football team?
"It means the world to me and I would not change a thing about where I went to school. I tell people that all the time, they ask me why did not I grad transfer or do this or that. I mean, I don't really care. I love where I went to school and I take a lot of pride in it and it's awesome. I get all the texts from my teammates and just the bond I built with them. It's super special to me."

Adam where did your mother play college basketball and who played college football at Indiana?
"She played at Albion College in Michigan a small Division III school. Yeah, my, my uncle actually. My mom's brother. He played linebacker at Indiana, he was a preferred walk on."

In high school could you imagine being a NFL draft pick at tight end?
"No, I'm being honest. Like, no, I didn't think, honestly going to college I didn't really think I would play another position and then once I switched positions, I didn't think that it could get to this point, where you get drafted on day two and all that. But I knew the work I put in helped to make that a realistic thing in my life and I couldn't have imagined it, but obviously I'm glad it's here now."

Were you offered by Harvard coming out?
"Yeah, just Cornell, Harvard and Dayton."

So are you like a 4.0 GPA guy?
"No, I guess, yeah, I'm pretty smart. I did well in high school and obviously I did very well here at Dayton and I graduated with my electrical engineering degree from here as well, but I'm not a 4.0 student."