Ireland's Post-Draft Comments

General Manager Jeff Ireland discussed the team's second-day picks and the overall philosophy, as well as the Jason Taylor situation, when he addressed the media after the draft Sunday night. Here is a team-released transcript of Ireland's press conference.

Opening remarks: "We got better today. In the third round we took Kendall Langford from Hampton. He'll play defensive end for us. We feel real good about him. He has some pass-rush ability. He's from a smaller school, Hampton University, but we feel like he has the ability to play in the rotation. He has great size. He has great character. He has a real good makeup as a kid.

"We took Shawn Murphy in the fourth round from Utah State. He's another makeup guy we feel real good about. We'll put him over at right guard at this time. We feel like he has a chance to be a part of the rotation as well.

"Jalen Parmele out of Toledo – nice little running back. He had a nice career at Toledo. We feel like right now he's going to be the third running back. We'll have a good rotation there. He has good special teams value. He has good kickoff return ability. We'll put him there as well and let him challenge for that position.

"Donald Thomas from Connecticut – he's kind of a raw player – more of a developmental offensive linemen. He has great athletic ability. He's tough. He's only been playing football for a couple of years. We saw a great upside in the kid and a chance to be something hopefully in the near future.

"Lex Hilliard, a running back out of Montana – we saw some position flexibility with the kid as a running back/fullback guy. He's been a real productive running back the last couple of years. He's had some injury issues, but we think he's over those things now. We see him as a guy that can play running back and fullback. We have flexibility with the kid.

"The last player that we took was Lionel Dotson. We'll probably line him up at (defensive) end. Again, position flexibility and maybe going to nose (tackle). He really came on this year at Arizona and we really feel good about his upside as well."

On if the Dolphins will sign any receivers as college free agents: "We'll work hard getting a couple of receivers. It just didn't turn out that the receivers were there for us when it came time to pick. We feel real good about the receivers on our roster now. We made some moves there in the free agency with Tab Perry, David Kircus and Ernest (Wilford). We feel good about those kids. We feel like we can go play right now, but we'd like to have some young developmental receivers to push those older gentlemen."

On if no receivers were selected because the Dolphins had better value at their pick or the player they wanted was gone: "A little bit of both. We felt like the kids we took were the best players at that position at that time. It's a little bit of both."

On if Head Coach Tony Sparano had input on selecting OG Donald Thomas out of Connecticut: "We had some sources there that we called on for sure. My hats are off to the scouts who are on the road every single day, from the time they leave training camp until the first of December. They're the ones that deserve the credit for finding these guys. Tony did make a call to Connecticut. It makes a difference when you know some inside sources."

On six out of the nine drafted players being linemen: "I know you know (Bill) Parcells and his history. I'm kind of the same way. We feel like one of the first things you have to do is build the offensive line and defensive line. We weren't targeting those players, but they did fall to us. They also met a need. We like big guys who can play that are good character guys. They have great motors. All these kids we picked today fit that type."

On how early the Dolphins had DE Kendall Langford on their radar: "He was on our radar probably last May. He had a real good season his junior season. He had a solid season this year. Our scouts do a great job of identifying who we need to go look at and our national and college directors were through there. He was on our radar pretty early. Anyone that is 6-5 and 290 and runs a 4.9 is going to be on our radar pretty quickly."

On if he credits the selection of players from non-BCS schools to the evaluation talents of the scouts: "Most of the draft is taken out of the BCS conferences, but we feel very comfortable in our ability to evaluate talent and try to judge that up against what you're looking at in the NFL level. We feel very comfortable and very comfortable with the scouts' ability to evaluate it and identify it and be comfortable with the selection."

On if he is comfortable with the Dolphins current secondary: "We did address some of those things in free agency. I feel comfortable where we are right now. That's something we have to look at in the future, I'm sure, but right now we feel pretty good about it."

On if he or anyone on his staff initiated or entertained calls in regards to Jason Taylor: "No. We took some calls earlier in the week, but really nothing has changed on that. You can put an end to it. Nothing's changed. Our stance is nothing's changed."

On speaking with Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio: "We did have some discussions with Jacksonville. I'm not going to discuss what we discussed, but like I said, nothing's changed."

On how many players are on the Dolphins draft board: "That's all part of our strategy. We feel like it's unique to what we do and we don't discuss how many players are going to go on the board. It's less than 200 and more than 50."

On if all the players selected are on the board: "Absolutely. We would never take a player who's not on our board."

On what a defensive end in a 3-4 has to be able to do: "In a 3-4 defense you have to be able to two-gap because he's lining up head up on the tackle, so he has to be able to two-gap the guard and the tackle or the tackle and the tight end. He has to be able to knock that tackle up the field if it's a run. He has to be able to transition versus run and pass. More importantly, he just has to be able to hold his ground. You can't get knocked off the ball. You can't get lost inside. You hope that if you go in a nickel situation that he can slide out or slide in and be a pressure player from the inside or the outside."

On his position on Jason Taylor: "Nothing's changed."

On what the Dolphins' relationship is with Taylor: "Hopefully it's pretty good. We want the guy back."

On if there are any Atlanta Braves fans in the organization: "I am a football fan and I like the way [Shawn] Murphy plays. He's tough, he's hard-nosed, just like his dad."

On if Murphy will compete for the left guard position: "I think he is either going to be a right guard or a left guard. I think right now, on paper, he's a right guard. Whether that puts Justin (Smiley) at left guard, so be it. We don't really know exactly and that is a question for the head coach, to be honest with you, where he puts those players. He is going to be vying for a position, whether he is stating or a backup. We would not have drafted him if he didn't have a chance at some point to compete for either a starting role or a solid backup role. He has a long way to go just like all these kids do."

On how long it takes to judge a draft: "You guys judge it on how quickly these guys get on the field. That's how you guys judge it, or at least it seems like it, or how you have them in your top 100 or whatever. I judge it probably in three years. You have to judge them in three years and how they contributed to your roster and how well they are playing. I think there are a lot of different variables of how you can judge. I judge them based on three years."

On how the needs of the team he was working for changed when he came to the Dolphins from the Cowboys: "I think the needs changed drastically. Dallas is in a very good position. I think we left Dallas with them having a very good core of offensive and defensive linemen, for sure. I think the core of this team is not as strong as it was in Dallas. I haven't studied Dallas' draft, but I think they went with more skill position players, where we went with more offensive and defensive linemen."

On if he recalls the last draft he was part of with so few skill players: "I think one of my first drafts with Bill was where we took (DeMarcus) Ware, (Kevin) Burnett, (Chris) Canty, Jay Ratliff, (Marcus) Spears – I think the only specialist that year was a running back, a guy by the name of (Marion) Barber. It's fairly routine to be honest with you. We took two backs here."

On if the blueprint is to build the lines: "I don't know if it a blueprint, but I think it's important. I think it is very important that you have an offensive line and a defensive line developing together."

On the shorter time limits in the first two rounds of this draft: "I actually liked it. I didn't think any team was at a disadvantage. I felt like we were prepared with the less time in the first round and the second round. The third through seventh were business as usual. I think it was equally advantageous as it was previous years."

On if the Dolphins used any of their picks to choose need over value: "I can't recall if we did. It was pretty close. We don't work vertically. We work horizontally. Without getting into specifics, there was nobody really high and we took the guy really low. I know that."

On if either of the running backs chosen today remind him of Marion Barber: "I know both the kids have great character, which Marion has fantastic character – work ethic. Both kids have good work ethic. From an intangible standpoint I think there are some similarities. What Marion was able to do immediately was find his niche and what he was going to be in the National Football League. He knew he was not going to dodge them all, he knew he was not going to outrun them all so he thought he would just run through a couple of people. These kids are going to be the same way. They are going to have to find their niche of what they are going to be in the National Football League. That is good advice for these kids to find out what they are going to be and run with it. The other thing Marion did was he learned how to be a professional from day one. He was professional from day one when he walked in the door and he never acted anything to the contrary."

On if he looks back at anything and wishes he had done something different: "I feel real good. I feel real good to be honest with you. There were a couple players – I won't go in to who they were – that got taken maybe a couple picks before us that we wished we would have had, but we're extremely happy with the group we got. We feel really good."

On if there was a concern that Shawn Murphy would be picked by another team prompting the Dolphins to trade up to take him: "We were sitting there at pick No. 115. We saw a center, a guard and a guard go right there and I said, ‘you know what, I don't want to wait on this guy.' He was the guy we targeted so we decided to give the seventh up to go ensure we got him."

On if this draft was different being his first as a general manager: "Only when you have to come up here and talk to you guys. That's the only thing different. The process is pretty much the same. It is all about communication. I think the group that we have communicates very well. It is not without its struggles sometimes. We don't always see eye-to-eye on every single thing, but we come to a conclusion and we feel good about it. That's the best thing about knowing who you are dealing with and the familiarity of what we have here with Bill (Parcells) and Tony (Sparano) and some of the scouts that we have here. My scouts did a great job. My scouts, my hat's off to you."

On if they had any fun in the draft room: "We are about to."

On what he is looking for in the rookie mini-camp: "I think it is important that these guys compete and have a good first impression. I go back to the way Marion (Barber) was – act like professionals. This is a job now. They are under the microscope. We are looking at them every single way. We go back, we study their videotape over and over and over. You can't loaf, you can't make mental errors so you have to come in working hard, giving everything you got because the microscope is on them and we are looking for tough, smart, disciplined football players."

On how many college free agents the team will sign: "I think it is about 8-10, somewhere around there, we'll probably sign."

On if the team has made any decisions on Reagan Mauia: "No we have not made any decisions on Reagan. We're still in a holding pattern with Reagan."

On if there is any reason to think Jason Taylor won't be back as a Dolphin: "There is no reason to think on our part. We want the guy back. Nothing has changed since we started this whole process. It is not our doing. We want the guy back and nothing has changed in that regard."

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