WALTHAM, Mass. — After taking eight players in the NBA draft Thursday, Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, saw physical readiness in his largest-ever draft class.

There was Frenchman Guerschon Yabusele, a 265-pound athlete who can fly around the rim and shoot 3-pointers, and Ante Zizic, a 6-foot-10, 19-year-old Croatian accustomed to dishing out more than he absorbs in the Adriatic League. There was Jaylen Brown, the 6-foot-7 forward from the University of California and third overall pick who said he wants to rip someone’s head off.

“If you look down this row right here, (Zizic) is playing in a man’s league, (Yabusele) is a man, look at every one of these guys, (they) are grown men that can play physically in the NBA,” said Ainge. “I think instead of having to get their bodies ready, (we have to) get them emotionally and mentally prepared and learning to live life, and show up on time and get a driver’s license and buy groceries. These things sound simple and silly, but all these guys right here are capable.”

Coach Brad Stevens added that readiness played an important part in the selection of each player, including second-round picks Ben Bentil, Abdel Nader and Demetrius Jackson, who was unable to attend the press conference.

“That’s going to play a role in deciding on anybody, and it’s a hard league to play in from a physical standpoint,” said Stevens. “There’s different attributes we throw out to people and different buzz words that we give people, but there’s a minimum level of athletic ability you have to have to be able to function at this level. That’s a big deal. Strength is never a negative. You have a ton of guys sitting in front of you who are strong guys. There’s a good group in front of you, and they’ll continue to work hard on their bodies.

“That’s something Jaylen clearly does. He works hard on his body. When he came through here, even noticing his nutrition choices, what he would eat post-workout, you know he puts a lot of time and thought into taking care of himself.”

Zizic led the Adriatic League in rebounding with 12 per game, a high number for a 19-year-old in a physical league.

“One thing that stood out, and I didn’t have a chance to see Ante work out, I saw him on tape, is that he has a huge motor and he’s very physical,” said Stevens. “He’s a great rebounder. His rebounding numbers are fantastic. He scores the ball mostly in the paint, but will just continue to improve and improve. Another person who comes exceptionally highly regarded from the standpoint of work ethic, desire and teamness.”

Talks are ongoing with Zizic’s and Yabusele’s European teams. It’s unclear whether they’ll remain overseas for another season as a stash pick.

Two selling points for Yabusele are his shooting range and defense.

“He shot the ball well in our workout and he shot the ball well all year,” said Stevens. “That will continue to get better and better, but what put me over the top on him was his ability to move laterally. For a guy that size, the ability to move laterally is pretty unique. With all of the agility stuff we do and measure, it was pretty impressive what he was able to do. That stood out. And what we saw on film is that he’ll be able to guard a few different spots. That’s pretty unique.”