Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz
Opening statement:"It was a long wait sitting through that whole fourth round waiting for these guys to get to us. First, starting out with Brent Urban, he was a guy that we really liked throughout the whole process, starting in the fall. The scouts went in there during two-a-days recognizing just the size of him. He is 6-6, 300 pounds, basically, put together – he's chiseled. You see him out there, [east-regional scout] Andy Weidl went in there [to Virginia] and was talking about him early about how he looks. We had a group of us that went in there and watched him play. He suffered an ankle injury that caused him to miss some games, but he came back late in the year and really gutted through it. On film, you see a prototypical five-technique body type who is playing in a 4-3 scheme. But you loved his motor, his competitiveness and really how he played on the early film. We felt like we were getting a potential starter down the road as a five-technique. Going on to Lorenzo [Taliaferro], a guy who was very productive this year at Coastal [Carolina], he helped lead his team to the playoffs. He's a very physical runner. He's 6-foot-plus, 229 pounds at the Senior Bowl or the Combine. He had a great college year in terms of production, and he is a versatile player who can run the ball. They use him in a variety of ways. They'll even flex him out, too, on occasion – motion him out. He's got very good hands out of the backfield. He is a really outstanding pass protector. They run a lot off play-action fakes and set him right up to pick up a linebacker or defensive end. He is not afraid to step up. He's square. He plays strong in that area. And then as a runner, he's a good, hard, aggressive, downhill runner. So, he's a guy who went to the Senior Bowl as a small school guy. He got there with a lot of Division I players, and he held his own and was productive throughout the entire week, and of course the game as well. So, [they are] two guys who we're really excited to get."
What made Lorenzo Taliaferro stand out from all the other big school guys, the traits you just mentioned, or was there more to it than that? (Joe Platania)
"I think you just like his versatility. The other thing I forgot to mention about Lorenzo is that [associate head coach/special teams coordinator] Jerry Rosburg had looked at all the guys that we consider, especially the running backs, which ones can help us on special teams. Jerry looks at all these guys on special teams, and he felt strongly about Lorenzo's performance in the Senior Bowl and his willingness to play on all aspects of [special] teams and his size-speed combination. So when you factor that into his running and receiving ability and pass protection as well as special teams value, that's what you really want to get out of a third-day back – a guy that can help you out on offense and [special] teams."
How is he different or similar to Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce? (Garrett Downing)
"Obviously, Ray is pretty exceptional in all aspects of his game. Bernard is a big, physical, explosive runner. Bernard is faster than Lorenzo. In terms of style, he is probably more of a downhill guy like Bernard – a one-cut runner – where Ray is going to be a little bit more elusive. In terms of his hands, he can go out there and catch with those guys. And his pass protection, if he is on the field based on he plays in college – now, he is going to need some technique work and NFL coaching – but the way he plays in college, if he is on the field in a passing situation and you're asking him to protect, he's 6-feet, 230 pounds, so he can take on a big guy coming at him. He'll be able to hold his own."
With Brent Urban, do you see him as a big special teams guy who can possibly block some kicks? (Ryan Mink)
"Certainly, you could use him as a rusher. I think when you take a D-lineman, their role on special teams – unless they're a defensive end pass rusher – they're going to be pretty limited to kick return and the wedge and punt rush. But I would say with Urban, I think what you're looking at is a guy who is coming off an injury, and I think that's probably why he fell on some teams' boards. But he's got the potential to develop into a starting five-technique."
What did you think of Brent Urban as a pass rusher when he was healthy? (Aaron Wilson)
"He is a guy that when you watch Ball State – I hate to use that [example] because [Virginia] plays in the ACC – but when you see the Ball State game – they've all got to go out there and play football – he really got after it. He showed the body quickness and the suddenness, and that was an early film. Later film, the ankle injury, you didn't see as much up-field explosion. He does have that, and he's a raw pass rusher. He has the physical traits in terms of the burst, the speed and the quickness. He is going to have to develop his hand playing and his pad level. But the potential is there to give you an inside pass rush presence."
Is he healthy now, and will he be able to do stuff with you guys in the spring? (Aaron Wilson)
"We anticipate him coming in probably in a modified role. We'll see when he gets here. But in terms of our trainers' reports and the Indy [Combine] medical and every check, it's a positive thing. Whether he'll be full-go the day he walks in the door, we'll determine that."