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Andrew Billings surprised by falling in Draft, will play with chip on his shoulder

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Andrew Billings says he plans to make other NFL teams pay for passing over him in the NFL Draft.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

When Andrew Billings decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft, he wasn't expecting to fall all the way to the fourth round. Most draft services ranked him as a second round prospect, and someone who could even be selected in Round 1.

So when the Bengals called him on Saturday afternoon to let him know they were drafting him with Pick No. 122 in Round 4, Billings was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

"It was a huge moment," the Baylor defensive tackle said following the announcement. "I hadn't seen it on TV yet, so I didn't know who was calling. It was a huge relief."

Billings admitted he was surprised it took so long to hear his name called. "It's huge. I can't even explain how huge it is," he said of the chip he now has on his shoulder. "I like the feeling though."

Billings is excited to join the defensive line that he considers to have the best coach in the league, Jacob Burney. "I know it's very physical," Billings said of playing in the AFC North. "They have the best defensive line coach in the league, and I'm happy for that to help me develop myself."

Billings believe the defensive scheme at Baylor will help him transition to the NFL.

"It transfers well," he said. "I learned more about offense than I thought I'd learn from anyone. It's all about how you see the players. We don't have many plans, a huddle or even a playbook, so you have to really rely on your knowledge."

Billings had 5.5 sacks during his senior season, though some of that has to do with him being double-teamed in all but one game last season. The one game in which he wasn't double teamed was against TCU. In that game, he had 1 sack. Teams looking for more of a pass rusher is one reason Billings thinks he may have dropped in the Draft.

"They really wanted a pass-rusher, and edge-rusher to get sacks and crank the pressure for the corners. I think that definitely played as a factor," he said.

But, while Billings was waiting to get drafted, he spoke to his agent about Bengals' star defensive tackle, Geno Atkins, who was also drafted in the fourth round.

"I had a bunch of people over. My agent was there. It was a little anxious at first. Then my agent starting going crazy once the third round passed," he said. "Then we sat down and talked about it, thought about Geno Atkins who went in the fourth round. For me, I'm just happy to be drafted."

Billings admitted he hadn't watched any tape from Atkins but planned to go watch later on.

"This is something I'm going to carry with me my whole life," Billings said regarding falling in the Draft. "It's actually a good thing for me, I believe."

And when asked if he plans to make other teams pay for passing on him, he responded, "Oh, yeah."