FIRST-ROUND PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening statement: "As you all saw, and probably a lot of you anticipated, we made a trade with our first pick. What we did, we had a couple of teams call us, and we had several players that we liked that are still available for us tomorrow. And to be able to pick up that 98th [overall] pick from Minnesota, we think it's just going to be another good player, or we could take that pick and use it to move back up in the second [round] or in the third [round] to go get another player. I'll take questions."
Ozzie, you had told [senior vice president of public and community relations] Kevin [Byrne] earlier today that there were nine potential targets. Obviously, all of them were not gone by the time No. 29 came up. How many of them had left the board by that time? (Joe Platania)"I won't divulge that, but we still had players that we liked, and that's the reason why we felt it was very good, moving back, still thinking that we could get one of those players."
Ozzie, was moving up at any time a serious consideration for someone like [Alabama LB] Dont'a Hightower? (Aaron Wilson)"Well, we talked about … There were a couple of players that we felt like we could trade up [to get], but it can get expensive. There were a lot of trades in today's draft, and we felt better about going back. After a certain number of players went off the board, then we felt like going back would be a better benefit for us."
**In terms of the guys that are still left, how attractive is that group? It seems like a lot of these guys that were projected as first-rounders are still going to be there. *(Aaron Wilson) *"Yeah. Like I said, we have some guys that if we were stuck at [No.] 29, we could have picked. And one of those guys is still available for us and could be available at that 35th pick."
Despite not getting a player, do you still think it was a productive night for the Ravens? (David Ginsburg)"Yeah, it was. You can't control what's going to happen, and as long as I'm here, hopefully I'm picking 29, 30, 31 or 32. And then when you watch the board come off the way it did today, to have the ability to go back [and] acquire another player and still get a player that you probably would have taken at your pick is good business for us."
Are you surprised the Patriots moved up to take Hightower? (Jerry Coleman)"No. We started to hear that the two players they really liked were Chandler Jones and Hightower. And hey, one thing about Bill [Belichick]: All year long people talked about how bad their defense [was]. Bill is a defensive coordinator by heart, OK? So, he got really good in his front seven with Chandler Jones and Hightower today."