With the draft in the books Mike T, Joey C and Rex R sat down to talk about what happened. Here are some notes, followed by my thoughts:
Antonio Allen was a guy that we were pleasantly surprised we could get him where we did
He's a bigger back (Terrence), we're looking for size. Something different from the rest of the depth chart there
He has a couple of significant knee injuries, but we felt good about his health (White)
I was shocked that Allen was still there in the 5th, let alone in the 7th. He was productive at South Caroline, always around the ball, good skills. He does have a choppy backpeddal but he played most of his game at the line, so that's not surprising. I think he'll bring really nice depth to the position and he will certainly help us out on special teams.
John Connor will be here, he is on the team for now...... (Mike T), Clearly there is a role for a traditional fullback as well (Rex Ryan)
I don't know if this was just a poor choice of words from Mike or not. John is still learning how to play in the NFL, as a tough ground and pound team there is certainly still a space for John here. We'll see how it shakes out in OTA's and camp but Rex loves this guy.
Speaking on seeing Antonio Allen in the 7th, Rex commented:
We were a little shocked, you know I think the big deal is he played down as a box safety, even almost looked at as a linebacker at times. I'll tell you, he was almost unblockable in one of the games I watched. I warched him against Auburn and I have no idea how many tackles he made, it was a whole bunch.......He's just an outstanding football player. Maybe doesn't have the experience of a true deep safety right now, but one thing we know as he is learning to play that we're sure he's going to be a great player on special teams.
Join me after the jump for more
Well you love to get speed on defence. I think with Demario Davis he is a big guy.... he did 32 reps at 225 at the combine, 4.5 sub speed. This guy is very talented, he is a gifted athlete without question. The other thing is he is a very mature young man, was a leader in their locker room, he has a great precense about him, reminded me of a young Bart Scott when he came in. I just think it's going to be great with Bart as a mentor in front of this young man, I think it's an ideal situation as you have David Harris, Nick Bellore a tremendous pick up for us, and then you have Josh Mauga, we are as deep as we have ever been there at the inside linbacker, I think it's outstanding.
I have to say that I was a little concerned about this position with the drop off in Barts play last year. However Rex seems to really believe in that young group of talent in Bellore and Mauga and then to bring in a guy who I think has the potential to be an elite player in this league. It looks like we are feelind pretty confident going forward and we now have youth and speed in the core. That's one thing that I really like going forward.
I don't want to put any undo expectations on our team.....so I would expect we would lead the league (laughter)
This was a comment when asked about where he sees the defence this year after being 5th last year and adding guys like Coples, Davis, Allen and Bush.
Going back to the top with Quinton, it's going to be exciting to watch what these guys do with him week in and week out. I just think he'll be a dynamic player for us. You know Stephen Hill, we feel good about it. He gives us something that we haven't had in terms of size and speed. Demario Davis has speed where maybe Bart doesn't have that. We complimented our team. Guys we sign now are going to be guys with a great story.
I saw last night that a few people not naming names on any beat reporters here took the negative "taking veiled shots" at certain people. Personally I don't think we're on the playground here, this isn't veiled shots this is just an honest expression that we looked at what we have on the team, we looked at what else we needed and we added the right pieces like any good football team should.
Joey Clinkscales finally takes to the mike
The later it gets, the more it becomes a scouts draft. Those guys are really excited about guys who come in and make your ball club. Everybody is in fighting for their guy, but we take the best guy available.
Then straight back to Rex
Yes (On answering a question if he thinks Quinton Copes and Stephen Hill will start this year). Anytime you draft a guy that high.....they proved it in college, that's why you have them there. You have a vision with these players and this is why you took them. There are so many different roles.....they are going to play significantly. We think they are excellent players.
That's really not too surprising, I know there are some concerns about Quinton because of his 2011 tape. However he is an elite prospect and a dynamic pass rusher, maybe not so much in 2011 but look back at his 2010 stuff. Stephen doesn't have much competition on the outside, but he is a great blocker and has top end speed. On a ground and pound, play-action philosophy it makes sense.