NFL DRAFT SECOND-ROUND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ravens executive vice president/general manager Ozzie Newsome's opening statement:
"Early this morning, there was a prediction. I'm going to let the person who made that prediction lead this press conference off."
Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz's opening statement:
"This morning coming in I saw John [Harbaugh] in the stairwell, and I looked at him and I told him, 'Torrey Smith is going to be there at [pick] 58. It's just a gut feeling.' There were a lot of different players on the board that had first-round values, and I just had a feeling he would fall to us. We're really excited to have him. He's probably one of the guys I've been asked about the most, with him being a local kid. He's a great kid. Our scouts, they love him. He's an explosive playmaker. Today, we got bigger and faster to add to yesterday. We're really excited to have him."
Is the emotional level after picking WR Torrey Smith higher than when you drafted CB Jimmy Smith yesterday?
*(HORTIZ) *"I get pretty emotional every time we get a guy. I'm just as happy to get Jimmy Smith. We got two talented players so far, and hopefully we'll add more. We've got seven more picks right now, and hopefully we get more the rest of the day – today and tomorrow. I think with Torrey, we know his story so well. [With Torrey Smith] being a local kid, there is a connection to him with all of us. We followed him. [He's] a special kid and a special player. We expect big things from him."
What does Torrey Smith bring to the offense in terms of being a vertical threat?
*(NEWSOME) *"Look at the receivers that we have right now. And, we got a wild card that we don't know about in James Hardy. But when you add Torrey to the mix, as one of our scouts said: 'He can peel the top off the defense.' What that would allow our tight ends [to do], and we think we've got very athletic tight ends… We know what [Derrick] Mason, Anquan [Boldin], David Reed and those guys can do. [Smith] brings that added dimension to our pass game – and Joe [Flacco] is a deep thrower. Joe has the ability to throw the deep ball. He has the arm strength to do it, so now we're giving Joe an additional weapon. I think that just opens up our passing game, which makes our running game – which [Head Coach] John [Harbaugh] said is going to be very good this year – that much better."
Did you believe Hortiz's prediction that Smith would be available at the 58th pick?
*(HARBAUGH) *"No. I was a skeptic. I think my comment was, 'There is no way.' I might have added a word or two in there, too. *(laughter) *I think everybody – all four of us… You saw the celebration when they had Torrey on TV. I want you to know [that] there was a bigger celebration in our draft room when we got this player. This is a guy that, from the beginning, we saw this guy on tape [and knew that] he fits us. He's our kind of guy. He's our kind of personality, but he's also the type of player that we really want, and we really need. I've got to be honest, when we were going through the draft meetings about two months ago, someone handed me *The Washington Post *article that detailed his mom and he and his family's [struggle] growing up. I've got to tell you, I was choked up reading it. I was so proud of this young man just reading the article. My thought was: We've got to find a way to make Torrey Smith a Raven. This guy is what this organization is all about. And then I watched the tape, and I was even more excited about him. I talked to his mom today, and she told me that she can't wait to get up here and be a part of the Baltimore community. She thinks she's got a lot to offer for some of the tough situations going on in Baltimore. This is a great situation, and this is a great player, and we're excited to have him."
How exciting is it to have a WR that is both big and fast?
*(NEWSOME) *"Easy scores. We get the opportunity when we play against other teams, where [they] slip here, and it's a touchdown – and that's deflating. So now, like I said, with everything we already have, we just added that 'three-point-shooter,' I guess you could say. At any point if the ball gets in [Smith's] hands, Billy [Cundiff] is coming out to kick an extra point."
Was this a missing element from the team last year?
*(NEWSOME) *"I think, yes. The thing that I was proud of last year is, I would go out to practice, and the ball would never hit the ground. It was amazing. All our receivers could catch. It was fun to see. It was fun to go out there and leave practice and say, 'I don't believe there was a ball that was dropped at any point.' But now, you add this element to it that strikes fear. And I will say – and I don't like to talk much about history – but, Pat Johnson did more for that 2000 team than any of the other players because people were just so afraid of him getting behind them that he opened up a lot of areas. I think Torrey will be able to do this for our offense."
What about Smith stood out over the other WRs in the Draft?
*(DeCOSTA) *"Toughness, ability to handle adversity, game-breaking speed [and] size. We worked him out, [and] he had a great workout. It was a consensus across the board; everybody liked him. Great kid; special kid. I had the chance to spend a lot of time with him. We worked him out. We went to his Pro Day and spent a lot of time with the kid. He's just a great fit for our offense – what he can do and what he brings to the table. But, I think the biggest thing really is toughness. He's a tough kid. He's been through a lot. [He's a] tough player, and we like that."
What other attributes does Smith have other than speed?
*(HORTIZ) *"When you look at him run routes, they do keep him more outside, but he will come over in the middle of the field. I think as a route-runner over the middle, he shows a willingness to attack the middle. He's not afraid. He takes some hits and continues on. He's really explosive out of his cuts. Vertical cuts, he can really separate from defenders running those post cuts. He gains quick separation. It doesn't take him long to get five yards away from a guy. He can keep the separation throughout the finish. Coming back down, he's a bigger guy, and he uses his feet to get out of cuts pretty well. For a guy who is more of a vertical guy, he's got some skills to break it off."
Are you planning on drafting any other Smiths?
(HARBAUGH) *"(laughter) *I don't know. I'm thinking."
Do you think Smith will have an impact on special teams?
*(HORTIZ) *"One, he's definitely got return value. Two, like Eric mentioned, is his toughness. I think that's one of the things that David [Reed] brought to us last year as a wide receiver. He was tough, and Torrey is that same type of guy. I can see Torrey running down on kickoff – and I'm sure Jerry [Rosburg] can see it – as a gunner, maybe. He's a really physical, tough-minded kid, and I think he'll help us potentially in a lot of phases and teams."
Have you asked the League to look into reviewing the situation with the missed pick in the first round?
*(NEWSOME) *"I guess the best way to answer that question is that there has been some dialogue between the Ravens, the other organization and the League. I'll just have to leave it at that because where it's going to go, we don't know. There has been some dialogue."
How did former Raven Peter Boulware get selected to announce the second-round draft pick?
*(NEWSOME) *"That came through [senior vice president of public and community relations] Kevin [Byrne]."
How strange is the situation with the CBA during the draft process?
*(NEWSOME) *"We will operate as the League allows us to operate. That's the way we have to go about doing our business. When the League allows things to happen, we will let them happen. When the League [doesn't] allow things to happen, we won't allow things to happen. We will follow the procedures of the League to the letter of the law."
SECOND-ROUND PICK WR TORREY SMITH: CONFERENCE CALL
On if he thought the Ravens were going to pick him when he came up here for a workout:
"Yeah, I did have a good feeling from the Ravens from the get-go. From what I knew before I even visited them, I knew by the way I am as a person, the way I play kind of fit the way they do things up there, so I was confident it would be a fit. And when I actually visited and talked to them myself, they agreed, so I knew that's when it became a possibility of me going there."
On whether he can provide the Ravens with a deep threat:
"I think so. I can also contribute on special teams and as a receiver in general, not just a deep threat, so I'm looking forward to learning from guys like Anquan [Boldin] and [Derrick] Mason and trying to take my game to the next level."
On whether he's excited to be staying in the area:
"That's like the perfect scenario for me. My mom talked about it; she was like, 'You know you could get drafted by the Ravens, watch.' She was saying it this past week before it's actually happening - kind of a surreal feeling."
On if he was confident he was going to be drafted by the Ravens or if he had other t-shirts besides the Ravens' one he put on right after he was drafted:
"I had a few different ones, but that was the one that my mom was holding in her lap."
On whether the adversity he and his mother have faced made this moment even sweeter and how much it helped develop him as a person:
"I think everything we've been through, both her and myself, helped me out. It might not have been a perfect situation, and things might not always be right, but I feel it helped me mature and grow as a man."
On if he thinks there will be added pressure on him as a local kid playing so close to home and to College Park:
"I feel I have a handle on the situation, and playing close to Maryland is something that I already know. I understand how the Ravens' fans are, and I understand how they feel about the Steelers. I've seen it for myself the way the fans act towards that. It's something that I like – it's familiar to me; it's not strange. I don't have to worry about moving far. I don't have to worry about adjusting to a new climate or a new coach. Baltimore is basically home for me being at College Park."
On whether he was disappointed about slipping out of the first round:
"I wouldn't say disappointed because I knew I would get picked late first or the second round. For me, I knew things would have to fall a certain way for me to go in the first round, and I was pretty confident I'd get picked in the second round, and it happened."
On if he knew he was a popular guy with Ravens fans:
"Definitely. The Ravens' fans I get messages from – I can only imagine what it looks like right now. Ravens fans are always sending me messages, telling me how they want me to come up there and play for them. Hopefully I'll get to interacting with them when I'm actually a Raven, now so I'm excited about that."
On how much of an adjustment he thinks he'll face going from the college game to the NFL:
"I understand there's an adjustment period with receivers, but I feel I'm ahead of the game mentally. At Maryland, we ran pro-style, we ran a West Coast, so I understand the offense. I can pick up an offense quick, so as far as actually learning the playbook, that won't be too hard of an adjustment for me, the biggest thing will be catching up to the speed of the game."
On if he knows Steve Bisciotti from Maryland basketball games:
"I've gotta see his face. Right now, I can't match the name with a face, but I don't forget faces at all, so if I see him I'll definitely know who you're talking about."
NFL DRAFT THIRD-ROUND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ravens executive vice president/general manager Ozzie Newsome's opening statement:
"Just as you all have seen, we traded up with Philadelphia. We gave up one of our sixth-round picks to pick an offensive tackle, Jah Reid, from Central Florida. He was a guy that I first got acquainted with down at the East-West game. He's a guy that, as the spring has unfolded, became someone that started to rise up our board. I don't think you can ever have too many good tackles."
Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta's opening statement:
"He's just a guy that really gained some steam. He's big. Sometimes at these other schools in Florida, these kids are late bloomers. I think Jah is a late bloomer. He's 6'7", about 325 pounds, and honestly, he could probably be about 340-345. [He has] very long arms, which is really good. We think he has a lot of potential to be a really good player. He played really well at the East-West game. Had a great bowl game versus Georgia, playing against Justin Houston, a really good player. He played well against him. We brought him here. He's a smart kid. He's a tough kid. He can bend. For a guy his size, he can bend. He's got natural right tackle size and strength. We're excited about him."
Does he project as more of a right or left tackle?
*(NEWSOME) *"Right tackle. That's where we'll start him out. Right, coach [Harbaugh]? Yeah."
With an abundance of right tackles on the team, are RT Marshal Yanda's days as a Raven over?
(HARBAUGH) *"You never know. We shall see. *(laughter) We'll find out. We'll put the best five guys out there. I think Jah Reid has a chance to… He's young. He's a little bit developmental, but I think he's going to develop fast. This is a guy we all liked. Like Eric said, he's big, he can bend, he's very physical, and he's on the upswing. He'll be competing for the right tackle spot right out of the gates, and we'll see where it goes."
Was there a buzz around other teams about Jah Reid?
*(HORTIZ) *"Yeah, I think so. You talk to some guys throughout the spring that work Pro Days and all that. There was a buzz on him a little bit. Obviously, like Ozzie said, he went down to the East-West [game], and he stands out just standing there. He's a huge man. Then you just watch him and get to know him. He's got great work ethic. Like everyone said, he's big and tough, and he's smart. Those are three good qualities for an offensive lineman."
How much interaction did you have with him leading up to the Draft?
*(NEWSOME) *"He came into Baltimore. We worked him out, too."
Is getting a left tackle still a priority or do you have enough tackles?
*(NEWSOME) *"If there is another tackle that's available to us, and he's the highest-rated player [on our board], we'll take him. If you look at the way the roster is set up right now, then, like you said, we've got a few guys. Tackles are like corners – you don't ever have too many of them."
What made you think that Reid would not last until the 90th pick?
*(NEWSOME) *"That's one of the things where you get in the Draft Room, and you start to look at the board, and I think Eric says it in the right manner: Who is the guy that we would be excited about getting? We could have probably stayed at 90, and [Reid] could have gotten picked. We would have ended up with a player… We would have gotten a good football player, but I don't know if we would have been as excited about getting that player as we [were] about getting Jah Reid. We have a history. We gave up a sixth-round pick, but we have a history of taking some of our other picks and being able to move back and recapture picks. Once we give up a pick, that [doesn't] mean we won't get back in the business to recapture the pick."
What did you see out of Reid on tape?
*(HARBAUGH) *"First of all, he's kind of mean. He's a tough, hard-nosed player. On the right side, with the offense that we're trying to build, he's a guy that could be a run-blocker. He's long and powerful, and he's big, and he can bend. He can drop his hips, he can uncoil, and he can run-block. Also, I thought he had good feet and good body control and balance to be a pass-protection guy, too. He's not one-dimensional. He's really long. I think he's a young, upcoming offensive tackle that has got a great upside."
Did you see a big hand punch from him?
(HARBAUGH) "He's got a good hand punch. He's got long arms. He's got a great punch. And, he can bend. For a guy his size, we've all said it. The way he bends for a guy his size [is unbelievable] – and he's not on the ground. He's a good player."