Del Rio Discusses Day One of the Draft


(on taking more players than expected with 10 picks tomorrow) "You are not going to manufacture a grade for a guy. We feel like we acquired three good football players today. It was a real solid first day for us. We have a lot of ammunition for tomorrow and we want to take a good look at the board. You can find some good football players in the second day. As the end of the day came about, we just felt like trading out and getting to the next level of players where we were on the board rather than grabbing one and making them a third-round pick. We decided to trade back and get some value. We will restack our board and get after it in the morning."

(how many picks do you have tomorrow?) "We have two in the fourth, two in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh and two compensatory sevenths. We have a bunch of picks."

(was it a good day?) "We are happy with the results. It was a productive day. We wanted to add speed and we were hoping to add some defensive players. We were able to do that. We got a really exciting linebacker in the second round – a good run and hit guy. We feel like we solidified a spot that had an opening at safety and we were able to get a real fine player there with speed. Then our last pick, we got a wide receiver with good hands, he's a good route runner and he's got speed. We feel like his best football is ahead of him. In all three cases, we brought in guys with passion for football. When you watch the tape, you can watch the passion jump off the tape."

(on characterizing Mike Walker) "I think the best thing to do is take a look and watch him in spring. We think he is a good football player and a good route runner. He is a competitive player who played some defense in college. He's played some safety. He is a physical player. He's a really good player."

(did you find him at the Combine?) "No, we've been tracking him. We were wondering what he would run. George O'Leary is a guy that several guys on our staff know well and Central Florida is right down the road in our backyard. Our scouts cover them well. He's a good football player, but it was just a matter of if he got his speed back off of the injury. That was the last hurdle for him. He was a guy, if he got his speed back, who would make a big impact."

(on your wide receivers on the roster) "We are going to make it competitive. I wouldn't be surprised if there were another guy or two added tomorrow. We are going to have a competitive group. We like the picks we have made over the last couple of years and we have a young, promising group. The addition of Dennis Northcutt was a very solid addition. He's a great young man that has brought a work ethic and an approach to the game that is more veteran and more polished, and he has been a really good addition to our group. The room is better with him here. We have added Mike now and we are going to continue to make that group competitive. I think Todd Monken is a very detailed-oriented, high-energy coach, so we are very excited to see where that group can go."

(on the team) "We are going to grab players where we can and coach them up. We are bringing back a good team. The team is getting healthy and we have added a few people today and a few more tomorrow. Then as coaches, we can't wait to get them on the field and start coaching them up."

(on finding small school gems, what do you see in Justin Durant?) "I saw all the things that I covet in a linebacker on tape. He plays with great instinct and awareness. He plays with tremendous passion and determination. He's a sideline to sideline athlete and is a guy that can run and hit. Some of the things that we will work to refine him on are shedding the blocks and things like that. He didn't have to do that because he could run by guys at the level that he played at. We think that he's got the strength. I think he did 25 or 26 reps on the bench which is stronger than some of the defensive linemen. He's got speed and athleticism. He's got the size in his body even though he's not a tall guy. He's thick and he's got strength. I just believe that he's got the qualities that we are looking for. I think the biggest thing if you watch tape is that he is really passionate. He really loves to play and you like linebackers that hunt the football. This guy is a hunter."

(on Durant patterning his play after Derrick Brooks) "That's a pretty special player in the league. I think certainly we see some potential for him being a very good football player, but we will give him an opportunity to let him get to that kind of stature."

Jags Illustrated Top Stories