Ozzie Newsome opening statement: "We just finished our second day. We feel really good about what we were able to accomplish today. First, with [Timmy] Jernigan, anytime you can add a defensive lineman to your football team, you get yourself better. And you get a guy that can both be involved in the run and the pass and [who is] coming off a National Championship team. And then also, you guys knew that we were going into this draft looking for a safety, and being able to get [Terrence] Brooks to come in, another guy who was part of the Seminoles as a National Champion. And then finishing up with a tight end in Crockett [Gillmore] … Gary [Kubiak] is going to be in a lot of two-tight end offense this year, and to be able to bring in a guy like Crockett … My first exposure with him was at the East-West [Shrine Game], and then he played well at the East-West and got invited to the Senior Bowl. So we feel really good, and we're sitting on four picks tomorrow, and we feel like we're going to continue to be able to help our football team."* *
John Harbaugh opening statement: "I'm just very excited about all these guys. They were all guys that we really wanted. And we did something that's really interesting; we do it every year with the coaches and the scouts: We have them list players who they really want to see on our team throughout the course of the draft, and every one of our picks so far are guys that had a lot of scouts and coaches that had their names on their lists. So, everybody is excited about these picks."
Eric DeCosta opening statement: "It's exciting. We really just watch the tape and draft the best players, and it just fell that way this year. We've got some National Champions at the top with [C.J.] Mosley, [Timmy] Jernigan and [Terrence] Brooks. Those guys have a bunch of rings. And with Crockett [Gillmore], we just saw a guy that we had a chance to see at the All-Star games. We know good tight ends, we think. Coach Kubiak loves tight ends in his offense. Ozzie is a big fan of tight ends as well, obviously. So, he made a lot of sense to us at that point, too, and we're excited."* *
Joe Hortiz opening statement: "I have nothing really to add. We stacked another good day behind our first day, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
How comfortable are you with the idea of having a rookie and a second-year guy at safety if the competition shakes out that way in training camp? (Gerry Sandusky)
*(NEWSOME) *"I'm very comfortable, but I'm going to leave that question up to John, because he determines who plays."
*(HARBAUGH) *"I'm really comfortable with those guys. These are two good, young players, and it's a young man's game. I'm really comfortable with those two players – that's the point, really."
Was there an extra emphasis on drafting winners this year? (Joe Platania)
*(NEWSOME) *"No, not really. We stack the board based on the way the guys played on tape and all the information that we had. We were just fortunate enough to get three players that have come out of National Championship teams in the last two or three years. We're just fortunate that it happened that way."
Joe, you talked about Terrence Brooks last week. What made him a good fit for you guys? (Matt Zenitz)
*(HORTIZ) *"I think he is a versatile guy. He definitely has experience on the back end. He's got excellent range. He's tough. You see instincts on film playing safety. He's a guy that came in as a corner and played corner for two years at Florida State before moving over to safety. And while he was there at safety this year, they actually toyed with the idea of moving him back to corner due to need. [They] put him over there for a week on the fly and then they were able to get a young guy ready, so they were able to keep him at safety. But he is a versatile guy who has coverage skills, and obviously, range and ball skills. And, he also tackles well. So, we like the blend of the player."
What are your thoughts on what you were able to do to strengthen the middle of your defense? (Aaron Wilson)
*(HARBAUGH) *"That's a good observation. It's important to be strong up the middle. You'd like to say it's important to be strong on the edges, too, but we took a middle linebacker, a defensive tackle and a safety with the first three picks of this draft – all just really quality players, all highly-rated guys. When you watch the tape, you like these guys. You like the way they play. They fly around. They're very physical guys. These guys should begin to establish their personality on our defense for a long time to come. You are going to like the way these guys play."
How do you see Timmy Jernigan fitting in? Is he more of a nose tackle or a three-technique defensive tackle? (Matt Zenitz)
*(HARBAUGH) *"It's a good question. Those guys are interchangeable in there, but he is probably more of a three-technique body type. He's really active, he moves around, but he is stout. He does not get moved out at all. He is in the low 300s probably, a really quick-footed guy, really athletic guy in there. [He is] probably a three-technique who plays nose guard. [That] is how we'd probably describe him."
The tight end looks like a freakish athlete in the highlight clips I saw; is he?* (Stan Charles)*
*(NEWSOME) *"He's got the size, and he does have some speed. But the thing that we like about him is his ability to be able to play at the point of attack, but also be viable in the passing game."
Timmy Jernigan was getting a lot of buzz early on about being a possible first-round prospect. Did you have him graded higher than a mid-second round pick? (Garrett Downing)
*(NEWSOME) *"He was the highest-rated player, and he was up there pretty high. When we stacked our list this afternoon, he had to be the second guy that we put on the list as we re-stacked it. As we started to watch the draft unfold, we started to feel good that we might have a chance to get him."
Ozzie, when the information surfaced about Timmy's diluted sample at the Combine, he explained that it was because of dehydration. How much homework did you have to do on that and how comfortable were you, and how long did it take to get comfortable as you looked into it? (Aaron Wilson)
*(NEWSOME) *"We did not talk to him about it up until today, but we already had talked … Our scouts do a very good job with their sources at the school about, 'Was there any history there?' And I have spoken with the league based on what happens when someone does have a dilution at the Combine. So, we were very comfortable in taking him, and his story and the information that we got from our sources there and information I got from the league."
Ozzie, was Terrance West a guy on your radar and were you surprised the Cleveland Browns moved up to snatch him there in the third round? (Jerry Coleman)
*(NEWSOME) *"We like Terrance. He was a guy that we had as a draftable player, and we'll just be playing against him twice a year now."
Ozzie, was defense a specific focus in this draft and an area that you wanted to bolster with depth and potential starters? Or did it just work out that way? (Ryan Mink)
*(NEWSOME) *"We're all laughing because the whole board was stacked toward the offense. But Eric has made the comment several times that we're being contrary – everybody else in this league is drafting offensive players and we've been drafting defensive players. But it was stacked more toward the offensive side, but the way it fell for us, it's been the defensive players."
Ozzie, were you surprised to see four safeties come off yesterday, and did that make you more concerned about getting Terrence Brooks or not? (Clifton Brown)
*(NEWSOME) *"Yes, we liked all the safeties that came off the board yesterday in the first round. And yes, when those four came off the board, it affected the number of guys that we had left. So, that did put a little bit more of a priority. And I think with so much spread [offense] being played now, that safeties … The ability to have somebody that can cover, but also is a very good tackler, are a premium the way we play defense [and] the way the league has to play defense now."
Were you surprised that a safety the quality of Brooks was available, especially after so many safeties were taken before? Were you surprised that he last until the third round? (Jamison Hensley)
*(DeCOSTA) *"I think we were [surprised]. He's an aggressive guy. There weren't a lot of safeties … The board this year at safety, there were some really good players, but there were a very small number of good players. So yes, we were concerned. Quite honestly, he was a guy that we hoped would be there in the third round. We had him targeted; we were excited to get him. Not only is he a great safety, he's probably one of the Top 5 special teamers, we think, in this whole draft. He's an explosive guy; he ran 4.3 [40-yard dash], has played some corner when he was younger. [He is a] very, very physical guy, and we were ecstatic to get him. We really were."
Eric, you guys haven't picked an offensive lineman yet. Is there still enough depth there where you feel like on the third day there are still some guys out there that can help you? (Jeff Zrebiec)
*(DeCOSTA) *"We think we got some good ones last year in Ryan Jensen and Rick Wagner, and we hope that's the case again this year. We've looked at the board – we're going to draft the best players. If they're offensive players, great. If they end up being defensive players, that works, too. We'd like to get some offensive players, get some more depth. I think coach Kubiak would like that, too. But we're going to draft the best players we can to make our team better, and if that's offense, that's great. If it's defense, we'll go that way, too."
John, was it important for you guys to replace the blocking of Ed Dickson from last year? (Ryan Chell)
*(HARBAUGH) *"You want to have a blocker in that tight end mix, no question. We think Dennis [Pitta] and Owen [Daniels] – those guys are better blockers than they get credit for. We talked about that at the press conference with Owen originally, but Crockett [Gillmore] is a good blocker. But I'll tell you what, the guy is a good receiver downfield, too. When you see him running the crossing routes and the stuff downfield, he's a big target and he's got very good hands. So, he's got the potential to be a very complete tight end, if that speaks to what you're talking about."