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Transcript: Ja'Lynn Polk Draft Press Conference

Read the full transcript from Ja'Lynn Polk's press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024.

PATRIOTS 2024 SECOND ROUND DRAFT PICK JA'LYNN POLK

PRESS CONFERENCE

APRIL 26, 2024

Q: What are the Patriots getting in Ja'Lynn Polk?

JP: Man, they're getting a beast. A dude that loves football, loves his teammates. I'm ready to build, be able to bring a great player and a very electric person, and go on and win games.

Q: So, obviously, you're the second-round pick for the Patriots, drafted after quarterback Drake Maye. What do you know about Drake? Do you guys have any connection and what are you looking forward to in kind of building this next rookie class with him?

JP: The guy's electric. He goes out there and he's able to make plays for his team. He's a great guy, an awesome player, man. I haven't had an opportunity throughout this process to see a lot of his plays that he's been able to put up for his team. And, I'm excited to be able to get to work with him.

Q: Hey Ja'Lynn, do you just have the Patriots cap just hanging around your house there? How'd that work out?

JP: Hey, I had all of them ready, and God was able to bless me and give me the opportunity to be a part of a great organization. So, I'm blessed to have this hat on my head and represent the Patriots.

Q: That wasn't really my first question, but it just struck me that you had it on your head. That's great. Coach [Tyler] Hughes is here in New England. He was on Washington's staff last year. I'm wondering how much do you think that connection is a part of you being here, and what do you remember about being with him?

JP: I just remember always being in the facility, always trying to build our team up and finding ways for us to go out there and win games. When you have an opportunity to be around great coaches like that, who are determined to get their players better, and their team as well, it creates a championship experience. So, it's a blessed opportunity just to be able to be called by a guy that loves to work and loves to win games.

Q: I'm wondering if you have any relationship with any of the receivers currently on the Patriots?

JP: When I first got to Washington, Junior Adams was our receivers coach. We had the opportunity to pop in on a Zoom meeting with Kendrick Bourne. He came in there and gave us some advice on how to work hard, continuously build on your craft and get better each and every day. So, I can't wait to go out there with him, JuJu [Smith-Schuster] and those other guys to pick at their game. I see the success that they've been able to have, so we can go out there and have success all together. So, I'm super excited and ready to go out there and make plays with those guys.

Q: I was just kind of curious about who's with you tonight and what that moment was like when you got the call from the Patriots, if you can kind of take us through everything that happened?

JP: I'm out here in Houston, Texas with my family. We had a little draft party and invited friends and family over. It's awesome, just having a great energy going around. This is one of these moments you dream about, and just for me to have the opportunity to dream and live this dream is truly a blessing. Seeing all the smiles and my mom, seeing the tears and knowing all her hard work – and my pops as well – that they put in. So, it's an honor for me to be able to represent the name that's on my back, and I'm excited to go put even more smiles on her face for the things that I'm about to go do for this team.

Q: Can you take us through your experience playing the different receiving roles in offense, the X, the Z, the slot O, all those different kinds?

JP: Yeah, I think being a new player, you've got to be able to know how to move around, do different things and be able to go out there and contribute to your offense. So, being versatile, being able to move inside and outside, know what everybody's doing on the field is very important. So, I think it's my job to know as much as I can, to go out there and make plays for those guys that are putting in work each and every play. I want to put my quarterback in the best situation possible. I know I'm going to be able to go out there and make plays for him. So, just being able to help other guys around me and make their job easier as well, so when that guy's lining up next to me, he can trust me. He can put the trust in me that I'm going to be able to know what I'm going to do. We can feed off each other, be able to communicate and help each other as well.

Q: How much contact did you have with the Patriots before the draft?

JP: I had an opportunity to have a couple of interviews and stuff. So, it was awesome, and I'm super excited to be part of this organization.

Q: Watching that Washington offense, man, you guys were bombs away. A lot of success downfield. For your game specifically, I'm wondering, how would you describe your strengths and your ability to have success in that downfield role, especially with a quarterback like Drake Maye, who loves to throw those kinds of passes?

JP: You know, my mindset is just be different. A lot of guys have put in a lot of work, so in order to separate yourself, you've got to find a way that you can be different within yourself. So, challenging myself, finding my weaknesses, the things that I need to work on to be able to excel in my game and separate myself from the best. So, just continuously have that high standard mindset of wanting to be better each and every day, pushing the guys around me and being a leader. So, I think what I bring to the table and feeding off the other guys as well is what's going to make us true to our game and capable of the things that we're going to be able to do outside on the field.

Q: And to that point, is there a specific area of your game that you would say you're actively trying to work on?

JP: I'm always trying to find a way to get better, just having more energy in my routes, being more efficient coming out of my breaks. So, that's something that I've had the opportunity to work on with my trainer, Delfonte (Diamond), these past couple of weeks leading up to this process. Being more explosive, being able to break off those tackles, make that extra guy miss, utilizing my bodyand my strengths. Knowing that I'm a physical receiver, stiff-arming a guy and making that guy miss. So, I'm excited to be able to show the world what I can do again and go help this team win games.

Q: Who would you compare your game to from modern day players in the league? Who would you look up to, who would you model your game after? Then, for those who don't know your playing style, just how would you describe it?

JP: I watch guys like Andre Johnson, Keenan Allen. Keenan Allen is one of those guys who played a major factor in who I watch on film. His ability just to make guys miss, go up and keep his balance, go get those extra yards, and having that certain dog mentality of going to lead his team. His releases are pretty good, so watching his releases, the things that he does in order for him to be able to create separation is elite. So, I always try to find an opportunity to watch guys that are elite at what they do because there's a reason why they're doing what they're doing.

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