Here is what defensive end Christo Bilukidi had to say about being selected by the Raiders at No. 189 in the sixth round of the NFL draft Saturday:
Q: Pick surprised so-called draft experts did it surprise you?
A: Kind of … It really didn’t because up from the All-Star game I really did what I needed to do to show a lot of these scouts that I can play at a higher level. From my pro day, all my measurables that I tested were really good. All these teams already were calling me and I had a really good feeling about it. It wasn’t a big surprise to me.
Q: Lots of contact from Raiders?
A: I went on a visit, they brought me on a visit. They were calling me, D-line coach was talking to me. I had a lot of contacts with them.
Q: Any idea whether they plan to keep you inside or more you outside?
A: I’ll play anywhere. They haven’t really specified where I would be playing as a tackle or end. I told them, like in college I’ve been playing everywhere from zero technique all the way wide nine technique. I’ll play anywhere.
Q: What got you started playing football?
A: It was actually one of my best friends back here in Ottawa. He played actually in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts. I was always a basketball player and he asked me if I wanted to play football my senior year in high school. I started playing and started liking it.
Q: What do you like about it?
A: Contact. It’s not like basketball. Basketball is physical but football is just another game and it’s more physical. The whole contact about it, just hitting people, that’s what I like to do.
Q: Who is your friend?
A: Djems Kouame.
Which parts of your game do you need to work on right now?
“Staying low. Obviously, a tall guy like me, about 6-4½, playing on the D-line, just being as low as I can, because it’s always like every coach says, ‘lowest man wins.’ So that’s really the only aspect I think I need to work on, and obviously with coaches like on the Raiders, with so much experience, they’ll teach me how to play low and get leverage on people and just dominate.”
Is your father still a diplomat for Angola?
“I don’t have contact with him, so I can’t even tell you.”
How did living in so many foreign countries benefit you?
“It made me cultured because I lived in so many different cities and countries and stuff. So definitely just opens my mind more, because I learn more about different people, and just makes me more humble, and makes me appreciate people far more than if someone just lived in like a little small city and didn’t know what was going on around the world, so yeah.”
What’s the challenge going to be like playing in the NFL?
“It’s gonna be a challenge just like for everybody else that’s come into the NFL. It’s not college, and it’s not high school anymore. Like one coach told me, you’ve got to throw away everything you learned in college and then come and grasp everything you learn in the NFL. So it’s gonna be difficult these couple, few weeks, because I’ve just got to adjust to it. But after that, I’m a smart person, I’m very bright, I learn very fast, so I’m not too worried about the whole transition to the NFL.”
Do you feel as if you are starting from behind, given you are from a smaller college?
“See, I would say that would be the case, because I went to a small school, Georgia State, and it’s a brand-new program. So our coaching staff was very young, as compared with an SEC program where they have coaches that have long experience. But to me, because of my athleticism and my height and my size, I’ll be able to do whatever anybody else on the D-line is doing, because like I said, I’m a fast learner and I’m athletic at the same time.”
Are you the first player from Georgia State ever drafted into the NFL?
“First Georgia State ever to be drafted, yessir.”
What has the reaction been like since you were selected?
“Feels great. Like I’ve been on-line with you guys, my coach has been calling me. Waiting for an answer, but I bet they’re real proud of me. Definitely feels really good.”