Skip to main content

Transcripts: Day 2 Press Conference (4/26)

Eric DeCosta opening statement: "We're excited to have a pretty successful day today with our two picks. Roger Rosengarten [is] a tackle that we've really have been following since the Senior Bowl. We were fortunate – as an underclassman – with the rule changes, [that] he was able to be down there this year, and we watched him at length and followed him and saw him at the [NFL] Combine, [and] we interviewed him at the Combine. He was a player that we had kind of had our sights on today. He was one of our top players in the entire [second] round today, and I think [we are] fortunate that we got him when we did. There was a trend, as you guys saw; all those offensive linemen [got] picked after him. I think there were like 10 or 11 guys in a span of, like, maybe 20 picks, so we were fortunate. Almost like with the corners yesterday, we got out in front of that trend. So, it's better to be at the front of those moves than at the end. And then with Adisa [Isaac], my first school visit this year was the Penn State-West Virginia game. I have a daughter there, at Penn State, [and] I scouted Adisa. They had a lot of players on defense this year. I love his body, I love his frame, his upside. He's a very explosive player, very physical. [He] can be used in a lot of different ways. He's got a great story. [Northeast area scout] Patrick McDonough, one of our scouts, did a phenomenal job scouting him. He was his "Red Star" player this year, which is kind of cool, and we just feel like he's a Raven-type of guy, [who] fits us in many different ways – his mentality and with his physical style of play. So, we're excited to get him."

When we talked to T Roger Rosengarten, he said that your NFL Combine visit didn't go the full length and that you told him, "You check all the boxes." What led you to say that? (Bo Smolka)

Harbaugh: "Well, it might have been about the seventh or eighth interview in a row, back to back. They stacked it up, so we needed a break. But [Roger Rosengarten] came in there, and he just ... We try to focus on football. Our scouts do a great job of uncovering all the other stuff, and if something needs to be asked, [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta] will do a great of asking questions. But we try to get in there with football [questions], and he was just so on point. He was on point, he knew his technique, he knew his assignments, he was very self-aware with the things he needed to get better at, and he just seemed like a motivated guy. He seemed like a Raven. Like, both these two guys [Rosengarten and Adisa Isaac] are just our kind of guys. So, we needed a break, and he checked all the boxes."

T Roger Rosengarten played on the right side in college. Do you think there's a chance that he can come in there and start immediately? (Jamison Hensley)

Harbaugh: "Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, we drafted [Roger Rosengarten] with that idea – that he'll compete for that. That's the idea; [that] all these guys will be competing for playing time and opportunities to start. And in his case, right and ... We're going to look at him everywhere. He can play guard, if we needed him to, and he can play left tackle, if we need him to. We're just going to roll the offensive line out there and let them compete."

How do you see OLB Adisa Isaac's pass-rushing skills translating to the NFL? Does he need more development, or can he come in and make an immediate impact? (Todd Karpovich)

DeCosta: "Most of these guys need some development when they get to this level, as pass rushers. But what I like about [Adisa Isaac] is [that] he's got great length, which is a critical factor. He's got heavy hands, he's got some different moves, he's got speed and quickness, and I think he's tenacious. And so, I think [that] all of those things ... When you think about our best pass rushers, I think [that] those are a lot of the traits that those guys have, so we're very excited. I've watched a lot of offensive linemen this year in the Big Ten. Obviously, we have a need at that position, and so I watched a lot of these guys, and Adisa is a guy that kind of wreaked havoc in the Big Ten this year.

Going into Day Three, you probably checked off each of your three biggest needs. Is that just how the board fell? Has this Draft been conducive to you being able to get that stuff done over two days? (Jeff Zrebiec)

DeCosta: "Well, I think, so far, we've gotten pretty lucky. I talked about trading up yesterday, and I was tempted at one point. I got scared today, a little bit, but we just stayed patient, and we were fortunate. I think [that] when your need and best player kind of match up, then you really have something special, and I think that's happened a couple times for us. And so, it's good. I think tomorrow, we're in a position where we're just basically [on an] open highway, and we can just sit back and just draft the best guys that we see on the board, without any real thought to position or how they're going to fit roster-wise; we're just going to draft the best football players."

After the T Roger Rosengarten pick, the TV cameras on the ESPN broadcast showed you having conversations with owner Steve Bisciotti. Was that over the possible trade-up opportunity that you chose not to do? (Jeff Zrebiec)

DeCosta: "No, I think I asked [owner Steve Bisciotti] if I could have a glass of red wine in the Draft Room at that point." (laughter) "Yes, I don't know. We were happy. I don't know what we were talking about. I think we had a ... There was a team that called us about trading up to our spot, and we had considered it. I don't really want to give away too much, but a team that was just behind us called us about trading up, and then they decided to not do it, and so we drafted Roger [Rosengarten], and then they did trade up right behind us and took a different tackle. There's a theory that they were [planning on] drafting Roger, so that's what we were talking about, I think – just [that] we got lucky that we didn't go back a few spots, because we might have missed out on the guy that we wanted. You know, you'd think that [if] you go back two spots, [there's] a pretty good chance to get your guy, but there's a chance we might have been disappointed."

When you read the reports on T Roger Rosengarten, there's a lot of discussion about how great his mobility is. What is the area in which he needs to grow the most? Is it with his power? Where can he make the biggest strides? (Childs Walker)

DeCosta: "Well, [Roger Rosengarten] is young. He's a young player. You guys will see him; I mean, he's young. He's going to get stronger, [and] we'll get him in the weight room. He's a very gifted athlete. He's played some left tackle. He played left tackle at the Senior Bowl. [He has] very good feet, body mechanics, change of direction, agility. He's just got to get physically stronger, as a lot of guys do, and so, he will. He'll fill out and get stronger. We have a great strength program, and he'll see quick results, I think."

Along those lines, how significant was T Roger Rosengarten's mobility in the decision to select him, given the direction of the offense? (Brian Wacker)

DeCosta: "Pass protection-wise, the guys that really kind of flourish at our level are the guys that have enough strength and the guys that can really move their feet, and that's great. In our offense, we do a lot of things out in space. Guys have to be able to pull, and our screen game was good this year. And we get these guys out there, and we have fast players, and our quarterback, obviously, is a tremendous athlete, so you want guys that are mobile. We want big, strong guys, but we want these guys to be mobile, too."

Was there any consideration to select a wide receiver in the third round, or was it just a situation where you got your guy, and it's a deep class of receivers? (Brian Wacker)

DeCosta: "Yes, I mean, what you have to try and do in any situation is look at your needs and who's the best player available, and then what are your chances [of] getting a player at these other positions in the coming rounds. And so, [if] we've got a pick in 14, 15 picks away [or] whatever that is, we have to kind of assess who we think is going to be there at that pick, and then we have another pick after that in that fourth round. Everything we do is based on percentages, and so ... Again, I'll give [manager of data and decision science] Derrick Yam credit; he said today at the start of the day [that] there was an 80% that we would get Roger Rosengarten – 80%. And I said, 'That seems kind of high to me,' and he got kind of nervous and goes, 'Yeah, that seems kind of high to me, too.'" (laughter) "But we got him, so he's a free man."

How much does it factor into evaluating T Roger Rosengarten covering the blindside for a left-handed quarterback like QB Michael Penix Jr.? And is there added value in doing that? (Kyle Phoenix)

Harbaugh: "Yes, that's a good point. He's just an athletic guy when you watch the tape like Eric [DeCosta] had mentioned. He's young, but he can move his feet – [the reporter] was kind of talking about that, the athleticism part of it. He can move, so it's not going to be a challenge for him to go either way. He's young; we'll bring him in. All of these guys we look at, especially early on. He'll be in [rookie] minicamp in here next weekend – he'll be playing both sides, and [we'll] just see what they look like and kind of see how it shakes out over the course of minicamp, training camp and all of that. The fact that he was with a left-handed quarterback on the right side is kind of part of that."

How does he project in your defense? (Bo Smolka)

Harbaugh: "I saw a guy on tape that makes a lot of plays, and he does it in a real athletic way. He's a very athletic guy; very explosive starter, can cover ground, he can get to the edge of a tackle and beat them on the edge with quickness or beat them underneath with quickness, and then, long-arm power, he's got that, too. He's got some real pass rush ability – he's heavy-handed against the run. So for us, he's going to be in the rotation. Just like last year, from a numbers standpoint, in Jadeveon [Clowney]'s spot with those guys. You have all of those guys back; we're going to add David [Ojabo] because he's going to be healthy, we have [Kyle] Van Noy back, and then we have our other guys. We have a pretty good group out there coming off the edge, setting the edge, outside backers, defensive ends, and he's going to be a part of that. I like having fresh guys out there playing really hard, especially at that position."

Does your evaluation of athletic pass rushers change at all because you guys do have pass rush coach Chuck Smith who is one of the best at crafting skill for maybe some rougher edges? (Jonas Shaffer)

DeCosta: "I really pay attention to [pass rush coach] Chuck [Smith]; when he talks, I listen because he is a great pass-rush specialist, and he's looking for specific traits, and he gets excited by certain guys, and I like that. I love his enthusiasm. He's a joy to work with in the draft meetings because you know if he loves a guy, and that's exciting. That's what you want as an evaluator and as a guy that organizes the draft. You really want your scouts and your coaches to take ownership of certain guys and get on the table for guys, and Chuck does that, and he's a great coach. So, if he sees these traits in somebody, I get excited. I think we all saw how our guys developed last year and emerge and what we did, and I think Chuck is a big part of that."

Has anything about the big picture of the draft surprised you at all so far? Have any of the positional runs happened at different times than you were expecting? (Childs Walker)

DeCosta: "Again, we feel fortunate. We took Nate [Wiggins], and then we saw those corners go at the beginning today – all of the guys we liked get picked. Then, we took Roger [Rosengarten], and I've never seen anything like what we saw today, where every single guard and tackle on the front board got picked in a span of 20 picks. [I've] never seen that before. So, that was kind of surprising. It seems like if you're going to define this Draft, it's the Draft of the run. You saw the quarterbacks in the first round, and then you saw the corners at the end of the first into the second, and at the end of the second into the third, you saw the offensive linemen. So, it's been unusual."

Is that a big part of manager of data and decision science Derrick Yam's job – and your job – analyzing, "Where is that run going to start, or how can we get ahead of that run, or early in that run at least?" (Ryan Mink)

DeCosta: "I try to do that. I study that list, the damn list. I have it, and I study it, and if you look at it long enough, you start to see patterns. I can't say that I thought the offensive line would work out like it did today, because I actually thought that we would have an opportunity tomorrow to get some pretty good offensive linemen. But, at the corner position, I did kind of see [that] there was a trap, that if you didn't get a corner in the first round and you weren't picking high in the second, you were going to be in trouble. I did see that, and I think that was the case."

I think T Roger Rosengarten was coming off of that kind of disappointing end to that Washington-Michigan National Championship game. Was he as central on your radar going into the Senior Bowl as when he left? Did you already really like him going into Mobile, or did he kind of open your eyes to what kind of a prospect he was there? (Jonas Shaffer)

DeCosta: "We went to the national championship, John [Harbaugh] and I. We were blessed to be able to go to that game, and it was a great result – as John would say – and a fun night. I'll be honest, I did scout a little bit, but I was really kind of just taking in the atmosphere of the game at that point. I didn't know a lot about Roger [Rosengarten] at that point. My first real exposure was at the Senior Bowl, and I was very impressed by him. [I] came back, and before the draft meetings, watched his tape [and] was more impressed. Then he went to the NFL Combine, [we] interviewed him, super impressive guy, great background, great makeup. So, that's kind of what happened with that."

The day before the Draft you got the deal done with WR Rashod Bateman. What's the significance of getting that done and what, if any, impact did that have on your approach to the first two days of the Draft? (Garrett Downing)

DeCosta: "Rashod's [Bateman] a player that – I've said it a million times, and I think Coach [John Harbaugh] would say the same thing ... I am extremely excited to watch Rashod this year. I think his best football is ahead of him. So, to get him back was kind of a no-brainer. It's something he wanted. It's something we wanted. When both sides kind of see the same goal, it's easy to kind of accomplish. I just feel like he's a really, really talented player who has had some bad luck with injuries. I think he's got a very bright future, and I'm excited to watch him play."