DT Christo Bilukidi. Photo courtesy of Georgia State
Q: It seemed like this pick surprised some of the so-called draft experts. Did it surprise you at all? Did you have an expectation for where you might go?
Bilukidi: Kind of, no, it really didn't because up to the All-Star game, I really did what I needed to do to show these scouts that I can play with the higher level. And then from my Pro Day, all my measurables that I tested, it was really good. All these teams were calling me and I had a really good feeling about it. It wasn't a very big surprise to me.
Q: Did you have a lot of contact with the Raiders leading up to this?
Bilukidi: Yeah, I went on a visit, they were calling me, and the D-line coach was talking to me. So definitely, I had a lot of contacts with them.
Q: From those conversations do you have any idea of if you are going to stay inside or how they might use you?
Bilukidi: I will play anywhere. They really haven't specified where I am going to be playing, as a tackle, but I told them in college, I was playing everywhere. From a zero technique all the way to a wide-nine technique, so like I said, I will play anywhere.
Q: What got you started playing football?
Bilukidi: It was actually one of my best friends that is back here in Ottawa, he actually plays in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts and I was always a basketball player and he asked me if I wanted to play football my senior year of high school and I just started playing and I started liking it.
Q: What do you like about it?
Bilukidi: The contact, it's not like basketball. Basketball is physical, but football is just another game and it is more physical, the whole contact about it, just hitting people, that's just what I like to do.
Q: What is your friend's name?
Bilukidi: Djems Kouame
Q: What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most right now?
Bilukidi: 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 is always like every coach says, low is low, and the lowest man wins. That is really the only aspect of my game I need to work on and obviously with the Raiders coaches, they have so much experience that they will teach me how to play low and get leverage on people and just dominate.
Q: Is your father still a diplomat?
Bilukidi: I don't have contact with him, so I can't even tell you.
Q: You moved around a lot as a kid. I assume that was because your father was a diplomat. Was that difficult in some ways and in what ways has it shaped your character do you think?
Bilukidi: It made me more cultured because I lived in so many different cities and countries and stuff. It definitely just opens my mind more because I learned about different people and it just makes me more humble and makes me appreciate people far more than if someone just lived in a little, small city and didn't know what was going on around the world.
Q: How much of a challenge will the step up in competition be for you?
Bilukidi: It's going to be a challenge just like for everybody else that's coming into the NFL. It's not college and it's not high school anymore. You've got to, like one coach told me, you've got to throw everything that you learned in college and then come and grasp everything that you learn in the NFL. So it's going to 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.
Q: So you don't feel like you're starting behind a little bit, since you're not a guy from say an SEC school, or something like that?
Bilukidi: 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 to 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 anyone else on the D-line is doing because, like I said, I'm a fast learner and I'm athletic at the same time.
Q: Are you the first Georgia State player to be drafted?
Bilukidi: First Georgia State ever to be drafted, yes sir.
Q: How does that feel?
Bilukidi: It feels great. I've been on the line with you guys and my coach has been calling me. I couldn't really answer, but I bet they're real proud of me. It definitely feels really good.