Auburn CB Jonathan Wilhite addresses the New England media after being selected by the Patriots with the 129th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Q: Tell us your thoughts on being drafted, in particular by the Patriots?
JW: It's a blessing. To be a fan of the Patriots, to actually get in and see Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Rodney Harrison and all the guys I look up to and just to get in and play and practice with these guys is just wonderful. It's a blessing I thank God for.
Q: Did you have any prior contact with the Patriots? If so, was it a workout? Did you come here?
JW: I worked out at Auburn with the Patriots.
Q: Did you get any indications they liked what they saw?
JW: I'm not sure. I just got out there and tried to do the best I could to impress the coaches and try to make my mark and show them that I can play football. I'm just thankful for the opportunity at the moment.
Q: What do you think are your best attributes? What do you hope to bring to the Patriots?
JW: I just want to be a part of their franchise and, like I said, it's a blessing. I hope to bring hard work by practicing hard. It's an honor playing with the guys so I think it's worth going out practicing hard and working hard to show them that I am worthy of it.
Q: Some people have questioned your hands and your ball skills. How would you respond to that? Do you think you're better than some people think?
JW: People have their opinions, but I'm a ball player and I love the game of football. I am passionate about the game and it is an honor to be in the situation I am in with the Patriots and I am blessed for it.
Q: You started only 6 games this year. Was there an injury? Was it part of a rotation? What was the reason behind that?
JW: I dealt with some hamstring injuries earlier in the year and when it came around combine time I was 100 percent healthy and I am still 100 percent healthy, ready to go.
Q: You mentioned earlier you were a fan of the Patriots. Did you follow them growing up? Did you just watch them on TV and enjoy what you see from afar?
JW: I feel like any college athlete that has played for any school would love to play for the Patriots. During the football season, you have no choice but to watch the Patriots. They are always winning games and they are always a contender. For the past five or six years I have been a Patriots fan and I have loved the team and coaches. I think they have outstanding coaches and I consider it a well-disciplined place, where any player would love to be around.
Q: You mentioned discipline and the Patriots are known for running a tight ship. Is that something you are ready for? Something you feel you need or benefit from?
JW: I going to do everything they need to be ready for it and I think it is a good situation. I think every team needs discipline and I like the way the Patriots handle things.
Q: Who do you think is the best college receiver you matched up with?
JW: Dwayne Bowe.
Q: What was so tough about covering him?
JW: He is an all around good receiver. He is a big, physical guy that I played against in 2005 straight out of junior college. He was one of the best receivers then and I think throughout my college career he has been one of the best receivers, who has brought a lot to the table.
Q: How did you do against him?
JW: I played pretty well against him. I actually shocked myself.
Q: You were picked almost in the exact same spot where Asante Samuel was five years ago. Is he as inspiration at all?
JW: Absolutely. I like him from watching the football games. I think he is a great guy and a great corner as I've watched on TV. I don't believe getting picked in the same place [means anything], I just want to bring what I can bring to the table to help the Patriots win.
Q: Have you ever been to New England? Do you have any family up here?
JW: No sir. I haven't been and I don't have any family there.