Patriots draft pick Ron Gronkowski speaks to the New England Media via conference call on Friday April 23, 2010 .
Q: Were you surprised to be taken by the Patriots?
BS: A little bit. I knew one of their needs was tight end and I just believe it's a great fit, a great team. I believe I fit well in the organization. I'm just really happy. Thank you for this opportunity to get drafted by the New England Patriots. I think I was expecting to go right around there and that's what happened, so I'm very happy.
Q: Can you talk about the decision to come out early?
BS: I just felt like it was always my dream to play in the NFL and I wanted my dream to come true and to fulfill my dream, and this was an opportunity to jump on board and get to the NFL as soon as possible and the outcome is great. I believe I went to a great team, great organization, great coaches, just great overall everything and I believe it worked out unbelievably.
Q: Did you meet with them beforehand and if so, how did that meeting go?
BS: Yes, I met with New England beforehand – a few weeks ago. It went well. I met with all the coaches and it was a great opportunity [to] just go over their offense, go over some game film – basically what you do with every other visit you take.
Q: How big a part of your visit here do you think was the medical aspect because you had to sit out the entire 2009 season?
BS: That's all in the past. My back is 100 percent. I'm ready to play. All of that is in the past and I don't even want to talk about that anymore.
Q: You didn't play last year and you came out early. What kind of information did you get before the draft that made you think that was a good decision?
BS: I just heard [from] the NFL Committee that I could go as high as the second round, so I just thought that was a great opportunity – somewhere where I wanted to be, in the NFL, and go [as a] pretty high pick. The second round would probably be high enough for me and I just wanted to have an opportunity to play in the NFL, so basically that's why.
Q: In the pre-draft process, how much interest did you sense from the Baltimore Ravens?
BS: A pretty decent amount. They brought me in for a visit. I talked to them at the Combine and everything and they basically showed a lot of interest. They told me that they kind of wanted me and everything.
Q: Did you have any sense that you would have gone there at 53, because obviously the Patriots traded in front of Baltimore?
BS: Yes. I saw that New England was right behind Baltimore, so I just thought that I had a pretty good chance of going right in that row – to Baltimore or New England – and I'm happy that New England traded up right in front of Baltimore and took me. I think it was an excellent choice. I think it's going to be great to be part of such a great organization and a great team.
Q: You showed a lot of emotion after getting picked celebrating with your family. Is that the kind of energy and personality you bring to everything?
BS: I bring a lot of energy. I like having a fun time with my family. I just enjoy being around my family and friends and I enjoy being out on the football field with a lot of energy. I believe it brings a lot to the atmosphere and just overall it's a great feeling. It was one of the greatest feelings ever to get drafted and to be a part of things like that.
Q: What kind of role did your brother (Lions TE Dan Gronkowski) play in the process leading up to this?
BS: He played a pretty big role. He taught me a lot about the Combine experience, what to expect like going to camp and everything - work camp. He basically just helped me out throughout the whole process.
Q: Have you kind of circled the Thanksgiving game on your calendar?
BS: Yeah, that's the first game I already heard about, so yes, definitely. [We] already talked about it, so it should be a fun time.
Q: What do you know about [Patriots Tight End] Alge Crumpler? It looks like you and he are going to be paired together here at the tight end spot.
BS: Yes, he's a great tight end. I used to watch him play. He's a veteran, so I know I can learn a lot from him and I'm just looking forward to playing with him, learning a lot from him, being coached up and all of that.
Q: How about catching passes from Tom Brady? Are you looking forward to that as well?
BS: Yes. I'm looking forward to that. Catching passes from Tom Brady is going to be great. He's one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. It's just going to be pretty cool
Q: Do you think you're the type of guy who can learn an NFL system and be ready to contribute from day one as a rookie?
BS: Yes. [I'm] just going to be humble, just going to go in, going to work hard, going to help out the team in all the ways possible, and hopefully everything falls in place.
Q: The Patriots didn't go to the tight end spot a lot last year. Is that a concern for you and do you think that might change with you here?
BS: I'm not really concerned about that at all right now. That's a while away. If I can catch the ball, if I can play…really, you don't know what's going to happen. I'm not concerned about that. I'm just concerned about going in, helping the team, contributing in every way possible and hopefully everything works out great.