Vikings Fourth Round Pick Rhett Ellison
Q: How would you describe your role in the USC offense?
A: I would do whatever they needed me to do. A lot of movement and motion stuff for defensive recognition. I did a lot of pass protection to protect Barkley. A lot of outlet passes. They liked me at the point of attack in run blocking, so they kind of just used me wherever they could.
Q: Are you more of a TE or a FB?
A: It’s a combination of both. Kind of like that movement tight end. The H-back, fullback type of position. It’s whatever works.
Q: What were your expectations going into today?
A: I wasn’t really expected to get drafted or anything like that. I was pretty shocked and I’m still trying to calm everything down right now.
Q: You weren’t expected to be drafted in this round or at all?
A: I was going for not getting drafted at all.
Q: When they called you what did they say?
A: They asked me if I was watching the TV but I was out on the river at that point. I said no I’m not watching it and they said well, you’re about to be a Minnesota Viking. They put me on the phone with everybody but I was crying pretty hard so I don’t know if they understood anything I was saying. But I’ll have to give them a call back later.
Q: Had the Vikings approached you?
A: I had a formal interview with them. The whole time I had Kevin McCabe (Vikings scout) showing us around so I got to know him pretty well. A lot of the Viking guys were out for the pro day to see Matt Kalil. But yeah, they showed a lot of interest at the combine.
Q: What were your plans for today?
A: Just a small get together. I had my family here, my grandparents, my girlfriend and my sister. It was pretty mellow, not anything big.
Q: You really didn’t expect to get drafted at all?
A: That’s just the wisdom I get from my dad going through all this. You prepare for another career. With football you don’t know if it’s going to happen. It’s amazing that it did happen. I can’t believe it.
Q: You think Kalil put a good word in for you?
A: I hope so. I cannot wait to play with him again. He is one of my favorite guys on the team. He is one of my best friends on the team. I really can’t wait to play with him.
Q: What other career were you preparing for?
A: I am finishing up my master’s right now in communications management. I have my undergrad in international relations. So something in the field there. My main goal was to finish this masters and go on from there in the summer.
Q: Your plan was to go out today and not geared towards the draft?
A: We wanted family here. If something happened it happened but in case I didn’t get drafted it would’ve been nice to just be around family.
Q: What were you doing on the river?
A: Just taking a break and relaxing a bit. Just hanging out, I was watching the draft for my teammates but I just got sick of watching the announcers talking about the same guys over and over again.
Q: It meant enough to you that you broke down and started crying?
A: Yeah, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Q: What has your father told you about the life and pressure of the NFL?
A: He says it’s a whole new level and that the mental game of it is the biggest difference besides the speed. We haven’t looked too far ahead, just baby steps. That’s what he’s told me so far.
Q: What would you describe as your strengths?
A: I want to do what’s best for the team. I want to do whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s on special teams or at fullback, it’s the team that matters and that’s always what I put first. I don’t have any specific skills but I would say my will to win.
Q: What did Spielman say they liked about you when you were on the phone?
A: I was crying so I didn’t get too much. But they all said they were excited and that they’d call me back later when I calmed down a little bit. That’s about it.
Q: How familiar are you with Jim Kleinsasser who was a lead blocker here?
A: I watched him a bunch. I love how he plays. That’s how a tight end should play. Yeah, I’ve watched a bunch.