Ozzie Newsome opening statement: "I guess as you all know we just selected Breshad Perriman with the 26th pick. We put him through the process, had a chance to spend some time with him here in Baltimore. He came in with both the position coach [Bobby Engram] and our national scouting director [Joe Douglas] at his pro day. The thing that I like about Perriman is that he has grown up around the game of football with his dad, Brett. [He has] been around Michael Irvin, Bennie Blades, Brian Blades and all of those guys, so the game is not going to be too big for him. And he brings an element to our offense that plays into Joe's [Flacco] strengths and that he can be a vertical threat, but he also has the ability to run the full route tree. We're just happy to have him."
Eric DeCosta opening statement: "We're excited about him. He's a guy that we watched. In fact, I think Ozzie was one of the first guys to watch him [closely]. We were in draft meetings, and we took a break, and he watched him, came back and he said, 'You need to watch this guy.' And I did, and I saw a big, fast, physical stallion. [He's] a younger player; he's going to get better. We're very excited about him. He complements our group of guys extremely well. I think he's a great kid, as Ozzie alluded to, and I think he makes us a better football team."
Eric, when you said that Ozzie said, "Take a look at him," how long ago was that? (Jamison Hensley)
(DeCOSTA) "I think it was in February meetings. We had one grade on him. Because he's a junior, we don't get to do as much work on them. I think Ozzie was intrigued by what he had heard, and he went back, and he watched him, and he came back in – I think that night that we had finished up – and said, 'You need to watch this guy.' And I was looking forward to seeing him at the Combine. I didn't get a chance to see as much of him in terms of working out at the Combine, but I did see him on tape, and then we got the report about his pro day, which was very, very exciting. It was a good DNA match for us."
Was there a lot of phone traffic coming in or going out about moving out of your spot tonight? (Joe Platania)
(NEWSOME) "Yes, we had some trade talks about moving up and had a couple possibilities of moving back. But once Carolina made their pick, I got on the phone and called Breshad."
Clearly you're convinced that the hands are there. What do you think some of the drops are from? (Stan Charles)
(NEWSOME) "When he came in –and you get a chance to talk to him tomorrow – we always ask a player, 'What do you think you need to work on the most?' And he said the concentration drops. Those are just a matter of focusing in on the ball and making sure that's the No. 1 thing, and there will be a lot of opportunities for Bobby [Engram] to work with him just on that one thing. But he has all the other elements."
Ozzie, what type of impact can he make right away? We talked at the draft presser about impact wide receivers, and where does he fit in? (Jerry Coleman)
(NEWSOME) "Again, you have a guy that with that type of speed, bringing that vertical presence … What it does is it makes Steve [Smith, Sr.], Kamar [Aiken], Marlon [Brown], the tight ends – and hopefully we'll get some tight ends tomorrow or the next day – it just makes all of those guys better. And it makes our running guy – Justin [Forsett] – I said, 'It will be hard to put the eighth guy or the extra guy in the box when you have a guy like that, that can take the top off the defense.'"
Joe, you were at the pro day? (Aaron Wilson)
(HORTIZ) "Joe Douglas was." (Reporter: "What kind of emotions did Joe have? Was he very excited?) "Yes. His report back was No. 1 explosive speed – obviously, running 4.22. But he caught the ball very well down there. And [Joe Douglas] and Bobby [Engram] were down there together, and they came away impressed from his performance down there not only in his hands, but in his route ability as well."
Four receivers taken in the Top 20. Were you a little concerned that Perriman might not last to 26? (Jamison Hensley)
(DeCOSTA) "Yes, I get concerned about everything. We were sweating it quite a bit, and it's just one of those things. Our board got wiped. The last couple years – not last year, but a couple years – we've had that happen to us where we've just gotten wiped out. Some drafts we've had to trade out [of the first round]. This year, we finally got something to fall our way, because we were getting wiped out. But fortunately he was there."
Ozzie, if Perriman wasn't there, was the thinking of trading out? (Jamison Hensley)
(NEWSOME) "We probably would have traded back, yes, if he didn't make it to us."
Eric, I remember early on in the scouting process you said this year you felt like you'd get one of those "elite wide receivers," because of the depth of the talent pool and the depth in the first round. Do you feel like you got that with Perriman? (Ryan Mink)
(DeCOSTA) "Well, we got a guy with a tremendous amount of talent who's only going to get better. I'm not going to say he's 'elite' or this or that, but he's a very talented guy. He's motivated, he's smart, it's important to him, comes from a football family, and he's on the come [up], and we're going to get the most out of him as we can."
Ozzie, you mentioned that Perriman can run the full route tree – he's one that's known for being a vertical threat on the nine route, the post. Losing WR Torrey Smith, did you feel like getting a vertical threat was something that you had to do in this draft? (Turron Davenport)
(NEWSOME) "Yes, we felt like … No. 1 we wanted to get a good receiver in the draft, but [we also wanted] to have the vertical element to be added to what we already have. We have a good corps of receivers. Now you add that element to it; I think it has gotten that much better."
In today's game with the rules, is it almost essential to have a wide receiver of his type, of his caliber? (Jamison Hensley)
(HARBAUGH) "It probably is. It's definitely something that forces a defense to consider him, and that's very important, plus it opens up things for everybody else. But this is a guy that's exciting, and the thing I like about him … We as coaches, we spent a lot of time studying him in the past week, going back and really looking at all these receivers and all the guys that could be there for us with that pick. And we were watching him as early as this morning at 7 o'clock for an hour. And we went through all his catches, all his not catches, all of his workout tape that we had, and we came away feeling very good about his hands. I know the question [was] regarding his hands, and he has a certain number of drops, but most of those drops are last year and early this year. This is a developmental receiver who has gotten a lot better in the last two years. He really played well in the last five or six games of this past season. So, we think he's on the rise. He rose for a reason in the draft as far as in the past couple months in the draft process, and we are really excited about him as a coaching staff. Bobby Engram really had a feel for this guy, and he really pushed hard for him as well."
Eric, how much do you think the character questions pushed a lot of guys down? Heard a lot about La'el Collins today, also Randy Gregory. (Aaron Wilson)
(DeCOSTA) "I don't know how other teams see these guys. There's so much misinformation out there. Speaking for the Ravens, we just look at everything and talk to people. I think our scouts do an awesome job – and our coaches – of getting information and building background on all these guys, and we just listen and make good decisions. There are some guys you're concerned about. Obviously, some of the things that have happened in the last couple weeks … Some of these players are concerning, but every team makes their own decision."
Ozzie, were there surprises to you? How did the first round play out? I know you guys project and know what some teams are going to do. Did it kind of play out how you expected, or was there a big surprise for you? (Jeff Zrebiec)
(NEWSOME) "No, I think it played out the way that we had processed it. Eric does a very good job of gathering information, and he has a good sense of what teams are looking for. As players start to get picked by a certain team, we would just sit there and go, 'Yeah, we felt like that team would take that player.'"
Eric, you had said eight of the last 10 years you nailed the pick in the first round. At some point, did you think this was the guy? (Bo Smolka)
(DeCOSTA) "I didn't get it right this year. I hate to say it, unfortunately. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part – just one of those years. But in saying that, I was close, and I'm ecstatic to get the guy we got."
Ozzie, how was Steve Bisciotti in the room? I know on the conference call he talked about pushing for a pass rusher. Was that brought up at all? (Jerry Coleman)
(NEWSOME) "Well, yes. As we were getting close to our pick, there were some guys that were still available to us, and they got picked. We still have, what, nine picks? We still have a lot of picks to try to find someone else to add to 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs], [Elvis] Dumervil and [Courtney] Upshaw and Steven Means, who I think has the ability to play good football for us this year."
WR BRESHAD PERRIMAN CONFERENCE CALL
On how much his family's football background will aid in his transition to the NFL:"It played a major role, just growing up around football, period. Football has always been in my blood, and now it's my turn to play on the highest level of competition."
On what his impressions of the Ravens were after visiting Baltimore before the draft:"It was good. I felt like, honestly, I feel I had my best visit that I had, by far, [with the Ravens]. That was actually the team that I was wishing to go to. I know it's a great opportunity, and I can't wait to get there."
On his initial reaction when Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome called him:"Complete shock, honestly. I really don't know. My emotions were all over the place, at an all-time high. It feels like a dream come true."
On his thoughts about QB Joe Flacco:"I'm really excited about that. Flacco – great quarterback, vet, so I'm definitely looking forward to that."
On what he has done to improve his hands recently and why he thinks he had some drops at Central Florida:"Just doing ball drills and timing myself mentally, reminding myself to stay with the ball, things like that – squeeze the ball and not always try to make the big play. That was my biggest problem at UCF, was always trying to make the big play no matter what. Sometimes just a first down is good, sometimes just a completion is good, and so, I've been working on that tremendously."
On how much he's looking forward to learning from WR Steve Smith Sr.:"Crazy. Crazy, crazy. I'm really looking forward to it. I know he's done a lot of great things in the NFL and he's a great athlete, and I just can't wait to get up there and pick his brain."
On how much he felt like his speed was something cornerbacks couldn't handle in college:"I didn't necessarily feel like that. I didn't try to rely on my speed all the time, but I know it's an advantage of mine, but I didn't try to rely on that speed. I know fundamentals can beat any attribute any time, so I try to focus on the little things more than my speed."
On if he takes a lot of pride in his ability to run routes:"Yes sir, I do."
On if he ever considered running track with his speed:"I ran track, all my life, really, since I was a kid. I didn't run in high school, though, but since I was maybe around six years old, I'd been around track all my life. But when I got to high school, I felt like I had a great passion for football, so I decided to go that route."
On what games of his can be looked at to see him run a full route tree, outside of the post and nine-route:"Honestly, I can't pinpoint them. The system that we ran, that was just a lot of routes that we all ran. But I know there are some games – I can't pinpoint them right now – but there are some games out there when I was running different routes other than those."
On if he took it as a challenge to prove himself after his former QB Blake Bortles left for the NFL:"I [did]. I feel like I was just really trying to find anything to motivate me, put that chip on my shoulder just to go harder. So, I kind of look at little things, and I feel like everything will work out great."
On how high he expected to be drafted after running a 4.22 40-yard dash:"I didn't really have any expectations. My whole goal and dream was to go in the first round, no matter if I went with the last pick of the first round. I was blessed enough with the 26th pick, so that's a dream come true for me."
On if 4.20 was the fastest hand time he heard from a scout and if he ever heard of running it faster in his training:"Honestly, I don't know what times were floating out there with the scouts. But yes, I think that was the fastest I ever heard of, or ever ran. So, that was a great accomplishment."