On drafting so many players from the southeast region:
Buddy Nix: You know, you guys think we’ve got something to do with it, but we haven’t. We don’t do that on purpose. We try to get the best we can get. A couple of times we were looking at guys on the West Coast but it just didn’t work out.
On DT Michael Jasper out of Bethel (TN):
BN: He’s not as big as you’ve got him listed. He’s lost down to 378 lbs, so he’s drying up to nothing (jokingly).
On if Jasper is a realistic prospect to make the team:
BN: Well, (College Scout) Matt Hand has been stalking this guy for a year or longer and this is an amazing kid. He vertical jumps 32” and he long jumps like 9’5” and he dunks a basketball with both hands. His body fat is not real high. He’s an exceptional athlete. We would’ve signed him as a free agent so we just drafted him and didn’t have to go after him, and we’re going to see if he can play. Coach will tell you what we’re going to do with him.
Chan Gailey: He played offense. He’s played some defense but he played offense in college. He wants to be a nose (tackle) and we’re going to give him a shot to be that and see where it goes from there.
On 7 of the 9 guys being from big program, ACC and SEC schools:
BN: I don’t think so, but I do think that’s where you find the most of them. Guys that have played in big games, they don’t get shook when they have to.
On why the team didn’t focus more on offense during the draft:
CG: We went for where we thought we needed players and the best players on the board that we needed to improve our football team. We’re always just looking to improve our football team, whatever it takes. We sit and talk about every pick. I don’t think we go overboard one way or another. If a guy’s there, and he’s a good player, and we need him, we’ll select him. We needed help on defense a little bit more this year in some spots so we went there.
On DB Justin Rogers out of Richmond:
BN: He’s got good speed and good quickness. The guy is a good cover guy. If there is a negative he’s probably not going to knock him out in the run game, but he’s got excellent ball skills. We think you can’t have too many corners. You ought to take one every year and sometimes you need to take two.
On OL Chris Hairston out of Clemson:
CG: He was a left tackle in college, and he went over to the right sometimes in unbalanced situations. We’re going to take him and put him in at right tackle. He’s a big, long guy, long arms, big, tall, 330 lbs. He’s got pretty good quickness for a guy his size. If you look at the change of direction, the short shuttle, the three-cone kind of things, he measured higher than his 40-time said he should have measured. His short area quickness was really pretty good. Unlike some of these guys these days, he’s had his hand on the ground. He’s been in a three-point stance. He knows how to come off the football and block for the run game. Some of these guys today are only in a two-point stance all the time, so that’s something that we look at as well. He’s got some tenacity to him. He’s very, very intelligent, and we like a lot of things about him. He’s got to go to work and he’s got to fight to earn a spot on the team. Nothing’s given to any of these guys.
On LB Chris White out of Mississippi State.:
CG: We’re going to start him inside. We think he’s an inside guy. He’s got some natural instincts. That’s probably one of things that are to his advantage. He has natural instincts playing inside there. We had great reports on him. Both of us know the guy he played for in junior college, so we had some insider information so to speak there. And we knew what this guy was made of and knew that he did have some of those natural instincts you could see on film. But to hear another coach say it helps you.
On if he still sees playing LB
CG: That’s something that will be determined as time goes on. There’s going to have to be some movement, yes, don’t know which way it’s going to go right now. That’s one of the things that we are considering at this point.
On if they got what they wanted overall in the draft:
CG: Well, we did not get the top nine guys on the board (jokingly), so you didn’t get everything you wanted. That would have been ideal, to get the top nine on the board. It never happens that way. But we think we got guys that can have a chance to upgrade our football team. There are no guarantees, but they have a chance. They’ve got athletic talent. We think they have the intangibles to upgrade our football team and make us a better overall team. Each one of them has positional skills to be very successful at this level.
On why they didn’t take a quarterback after it was reported that they would:
BN: We’ve said all along how we feel about Fitz (
On when they can talk to undrafted rookies:
BN: When they (NFL) say go, we’ll have them on the phone then. That’s all I can tell you. I don’t know when that will be.
On RB Johnny White out of North Carolina:
CG: There’s a guy that’s a very good running back and played a lot of positions. He’s a physical guy, can block, and can catch a ball out of the backfield. A good runner both inside and has run the ball outside some. He’s 5’10, 209 lbs. and thickly built. He’s got good speed, but he’s a versatile back. He can do a little bit of everything. He can protect pretty well, he can run pretty well, he can catch pretty well and he can play special teams for you. We all know who our first two backs are, at least today we know who they are. That could change, but today we know who they are. Here’s a guy who can come in, add some depth, play special teams and is smart enough to learn all spots. It was a good pick for us.
On if there was a specific profile of a quarterback they were looking for and couldn’t find:
BN: We said all along that we wanted to try and get a franchise guy that would be around eight or ten years, and very quickly we didn’t feel that good about that. We can help our team in a lot of other ways, so we didn’t do it.
On why they didn’t draft a quarterback to groom under Ryan Fitzpatrick:
BN: We’re still going to try and do that. We’re going to get one. Obviously we’re not going into the season with two quarterbacks, so we’ll have another one.
On Da’Norris Searcy from North Carolina:
CG: That was pretty impressive, the amount of guys that came out of North Carolina this year. Da’Norris is a little bit of a different guy. A lot of those other safeties on the board were 195-200 lbs. Here’s a 225-lb guy that is a ball-hawking kind of guy. He’s even played corner before at that size, so he gives you the ability to cover some of that short area stuff and be a pretty good run-forcer at that size and strength. He gives you an added element in there to attack the types of offenses we’re facing.
On if the uncertainty with free agents in the secondary led to picking defensive backs:
BN: Within there, that’s for sure. And of course Searcy was in the Senior Bowl, too. We said all along that was an advantage because we got to know him a little better.
On why they didn’t draft a tight end:
CG: We talked several times about a tight end and it didn’t work out when our pick came that the guys were sitting there that we were talking about. So we weren’t go to try and force a round peg into a square hole. We took the best player up there that fits some kind of need for us.
On the protocol for talking to the draftees prior to selecting them:
CG: You call them and find out if there healthy, make sure they hadn’t stepped on the curb and broken their ankle this morning or something. And then once you figure out they’re healthy, congratulations, hang it up and that’s it.
BN: We talk to every one of them after we draft them, but when that last guy is picked, that’s it.
On if this lockout will set the rookies back compared to them being around immediately in other years:
CG: No, they can come in for a minicamp. That’s the only time they could really come in and that would be scheduled two weeks from this weekend. I guess there’s an outside chance that could still happen. That would be the first time we would have seen them.
BN: That’s out too unless it (the lockout) lifted.