Josh Norris

Draft Decisions

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Press Conference: NFC North

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


How does a draft writer spend the first weeks after the big event? I’m not sure, but I have decided to watch ever press conference for every team after each day of the draft, so you don’t have to. The goal is to pick up tendencies, tells and specific reasoning for selections. Sometimes the coaches and general managers have a role in mind, and as I’ve learned, too often they do not.


As you can see, the notes are very rough. This is not transcribing, more so noting the important points involved in an entire thought.


NFC South Press Conference Notes

NFC West Press Conference Notes

Chicago Bears


Speaking: Ryan Pace rounds one and two, Pace and John Fox to wrap day three. Prescott area scout on Trubisky and Morgan. Shiver area scout for Shaheen. Summerville area scout on Jackson and Cohen.


The Bears did not post full press conferences for day two and three.


Received:

2017 first-round pick (No. 2)

Traded to 49ers:

2017 first-round pick (No. 3)

2017 third-round pick (No. 67)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 111)

2018 third-round pick


1 (2). QB Mitchell Trubisky, UNC - At the end of the season Pace stressed importance of the QB position, and getting the position right. Only chance to add a quarterback like this is when you are picking this high in the draft. We had conviction and wanted to do everything they could to get him. Mike Glennon is the starting quarterback, no competition. Spoke to Glennon after the pick… Trubisky’s accuracy, ability to see the whole field and athleticism to extend the play with his eyes up were the most important traits that separated him from the rest… “If we want to be great, you can’t sit on your hands. These are the moves you have to make”... We all really valued him… Pace watched him play live multiple times. Private workout. Had dinner with him… Trubisky’s camp hid the workout… Discussed lack of experience a lot, even when he saw the field in 2015. Something positive happened each time he got into the game… Teams were calling for the No. 3 pick… Has great feet. Used a term called “funny body throws” when being forced to throw off balance, awkward position, across body… “No rush on this… no timeline. Good situation for Mitch to develop.”... Pace is excited for the quarterback room, and there is no room more important than that one… Pace said he and Fox were “arm and arm” in this decision… “How are you going to get better at the quarterback position if you don’t do it this way?”... Don’t want to force. Who are the highest graded players? And when one of them is a quarterback, then get the quarterback… Even keel personality. In a moment of craziness his mind is calm… Really difficult to keep interest quiet with the draft being covered year round… He upgrades us at quarterback


Received:

2017 second-round pick (No. 45)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 119)

2017 sixth-round pick (No. 197)

2018 fourth-round pick

Traded to Cardinals:

2017 second-round pick (No. 36)


2 (45). TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland - Goal was to get some draft picks back… Want to see small schooler dominate his level of competition, and Shaheen did that… Great character, high football IQ, strong work ethic, athleticism stands out at his size… Basketball background… Consensus in grading… Area scout was on him in the fall, pounding the table… Carries the weight very well. Frank Smith went to private workout. Sudden for being big… Like the tight end group as a whole. Dion Sims is the Y, Zach Miller is the F… Shaheen was used all over the field…


Received:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 112)

Traded to Rams:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 117)

2017 sixth-round pick (No. 197)


4 (112). S Eddie Jackson, Alabama - Graded highly on the board, why they moved up for him. Free safety and punt returner… Instincts and ball skills. Playmaker on the back end, knows what to do with the ball in his hands. Takes control when the young guys mouthed off. Was able to workout a week and a half prior to the draft.


4 (119). RB Tarik Cohen, NC A&T - Joker RB. Passing down back. Can separate on his routes. Dynamic and dominated at his level… Type of player that you watch one or two games and you end up watching his entire season, he is that much fun to watch… Small but explosive. Huge hands. Feels like you’re watching a video game. Most electric and exciting HBCU football player I’ve seen in a long time.


5 (147). G Jordan Morgan, Kutztown - See him as a guard even though he played tackle in college. Can do both thanks to arm length. Coaching at the Senior Bowl gave them this advantage… Pace brought up taking Jahri Evans from Bloomsburg, why he’s not afraid to draft from smaller programs… Dominated his level of competition. Westchester game was his best, blocks a DB into his own bench on a screen play. Only played half a season of high school football. Low key personality.


Detroit Lions


Speaking: Bob Quinn. Teryl Austin on Davis. Jim Bob Cooter on Golladay and Roberts.


1 (21). LB Jarrad Davis, Florida - Went back to spring scouting last May and June. Had individual workout in March... Few calls to trade down, nothing too serious… Good to see all of the receivers go off the board so the target could be available… Can play MIKE and WILL… Jarrad Davis was their top guy “at that time” at the LB spot… “None of these guys are perfect” in regards to character... Intelligence, work ethic, toughness, leadership are what you ask about with character, everyone came back with glowing remarks for Jarrad… Best player available fit need (imagine that)... “Would have been a tough decision about five picks before, but the board fell into place”... None of the prospects are perfect medically. Passed the Combine physical. Passionate, good playing speed, blitzer, good coverage skills. Special teams player of the year. Well rounded… Had offensive players graded “about where they went” but surprised at how quickly they came off the board. Expect a few more defensive players to be drafted before their pick… Never too serious about moving up… Had trouble at LB last year… “Follow the board, take best player available and mesh it with need”... Linebacker usually one of the shallower positions in terms of number of draftable players on a board… Davis is a three down player… Thought defensive prospects would be drafted early. Ended up being offense.


2 (53). CB Teez Tabor, Florida - “I probably watched more film on him than any prospect I can remember. Everyone said he was slow, but I didn’t see receivers ever run by him”... Went back to 2015 and 2016. “I take play speed as a more important gauge than timed speed”... Corners have to be extinctive. Reactionary athleticism. One of the hardest positions to play in sports. That is more important than the Combine time… Instincts mean anticipation… Combine caused Quinn to watch much more tape. 40 time was an alert… Estimates around 14 games total watched. 30-45 minutes per game… You have to be confident as a corner. The best athletes in the world are running at you. Football smart… Failed a drug test, punched a teammate. He answered all of those questions. No issues there.


Received:

2017 third-round pick (No. 96)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 124)

Traded to Patriots:

2017 third-round pick (No. 85)


3 (96). WR Kenny Golladay, NIU - Trade was discussed many picks before the deal. Waited on the other half to say yes… Versatile, can play outside and inside… Primarily will start off on the outside, route running might allow him to play inside… Bigger guy means likely an outside receiver… Helps to have a guy with size no matter what… Team communicated with Boldin back in March. The door is open… Unique story. Sent out his own highlight tape to get recruited to a D-I school.


4 (124). LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tenn - Rearranged the board the night before. Put a target on 15 players.... Speed, good tackler, playmaker. Instincts are very good. Quinn spent time with him personally… Surprised he was not drafted in the third round… Instincts are viewed on the field…  


4 (127). TE Michael Roberts, Toledo - Doesn’t impact the decision on Ebron. Roberts is a different tight end, he is a Y. Ebron is an F… Quinn shook his hand at the school’s pro day. Quickly retracted it and gave him a fist bump instead because of how uncomfortable it felt in Roberts’ huge hand…


5 (165). DB Jamal Agnew, San Diego - Pro day solidified his evaluation. Will complete in the slot…


6 (205). DE/DL Jeremiah Ledbetter, Arkansas - Initial vision is defensive tackle… Will wait before saying he should add weight…


6 (215). QB Brad Kaaya, Miami - Really good value. Sticking out on the board for most of the day. Didn’t go into draft saying have to select a quarterback… Al Golden, TE coach, recruited him… Learning an NFL offense at an accelerated rate is what is next…


7 (250). DE Pat O’Connor, EMU - 7th round and rookie free agency is more chaotic than the first round.


Green Bay Packers


Speaking: Ted Thompson. Eliot Wolf on Kevin King, DeAngelo Yancey and Aaron Jones. Gutekunst on Josh Jones. Alonzo Highsmith on Vince Biegel. Jon-Eric Sullivan on Jamaal Williams. Mike McCarthy recapping the entire draft.


Board was strong enough to absorb the trading. Discussions took place the day of the draft, board was strong at the end of round one. You have to have a dancer to dance. Every team outlines other team needs, canvas what they might be looking for.


Received:

2017 second-round pick (No. 33)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 108)

Traded to Browns:

2017 first-round pick (No. 29)


2 (33). CB Kevin King, Washington - Always good to add guys with size. Something we are cognizant of. Has ability to bend at his height, which is uncommon… No one offered “good value” for the pick. Didn’t want to lose Kevin. Considered him at No. 29… Each person on staff has teams they are responsible for in terms of staying in communication with regarding trades, allows Ted to not have to work the phones during the draft… Has the talent to develop into a No. 1 corner. One of our goals was to get faster… Strength not an issue (bench press question was asked)... Tough to find a comparable for his size and movement… Pretty good at both man and zone… Wants to be the best…


2 (61). S Josh Jones, NC State - Really versatile. Explosive athlete, good size, coverage ability in the back end… Wanted to get faster “because that is the way the game is going.” Don’t want to get out flanked… Wouldn’t shy away from playing him in the slot, played a WILL role too… Sent people to his pro day, met with him at the Combine, Gutekunst is from Raleigh, so he knows people at NC State… Speed, size athletic ability was a need in the secondary… Added more pieces to the pie. Tough position to be successful all the time… Lot of similarities to Micah Hyde


3 (93). DL Montravius Adams, Auburn - Good size and tremendously quick and explosive off the line. Born with his hand use, tough to teach. Highly recommended by Auburn. Surprised and elated he was on the board… Viewed as versatile to move around…


4 (108). EDGE Vince Biegel, Wisconsin - Tenacious player. “Real guy.” Loves to play football… Vocal. Had his own identity playing on that defense. Played as many games as anyone in the last 10 years at Wisconsin… He makes us better. That is the goal of every pick… Has a knack for getting to the quarterback. Most important traits are speed and tenacity… Alonzo really cares how prospects approach workouts. Loved Biegel’s mentality for the pro day… Will be ready day one… All the greats have something about them who make them who they are. You can sense that with some of the prospects… Lost 1,100 snaps with peppers and Datone Jones leaving… Wrestling background


4 (134). RB Jamaal Williams, BYU - Aggressive downhill runner. Tough. Built to last. Complements runners already on the roster… All football, and might thrive in the elements when it gets cold… Fine with medicals… Can run through contact, break tackles. Strong lower body. Sees it well. Few opportunities as a pass catcher… We feel really good about the kid. Team captain. Loved by his teammates. Says something about his character that he returned to school… Played his best football late… Good at pass protection… Truth be told, size plays a factor in evaluation when considering cold weather, wearing down opponents. Hammer… Ty Montgomery remains the starter


Received:

2017 fifth-round pick (No. 175)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 238)

Traded to Broncos:

2017 fifth-round pick (No. 172)


5 (175). WR DeAngelo Yancey, Purdue - Big and strong. Excellent hands. Good speed, plays faster than 4.5. Size and strength is what was appealing… Confident kid when he came in on the visit… All-purpose type.


5 (182). RB Aaron Jones, UTEP - Thought he played faster than 4.51. Can consistently beat the safety’s angle to create big plays. Doesn’t play small… Good hands. Helps competition when you double at the same position for rookies… For UDFAs we are always looking for a trait. Speed, size, athletic ability. Sometimes you get lucky.


6 (212). C Kofi Amichia, USF - Still feel OL is a strength for the team…


7 (238). RB Devante Mays, Utah State - Three running backs “just worked out that way”... Felt it was a strong year for the position in the draft… Mays does a nice job of sitting down on the run. Nice kid…


7 (247). WR Malachi Dupre, LSU - Home run hitter, post corner type receiver… SEC allows teams to see players matchup against NFL types… Wisconsin vs LSU was the first live college game McCarthy had been to in 20-plus years. Packers drafted two players from that game…


Minnesota Vikings


Speaking: Rick Spielman on days 2 and 3. Jamaal Stephenson on Fourth round picks. Mike Zimmer on the entire draft.


Received:

2017 second-round pick (No. 41)

Traded to Bengals:

2017 second-round pick (No. 48)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 128)


2 (41). RB Dalvin Cook, FSU - Started making calls as soon as they knew he was falling to the second day. Too talented of a player to not take a swing. Great value… No concerns with medical. “Some things in his background” might be the reason of Cook fell. Extensive research. Spoke with Cook for 45 minutes on the morning of day two… Cook’s sincerity and honesty were important. Spielman says Cook was never charged for alleged bar incident. No concerns at all. Told Spielman he will leave the bad influences behind… Watched him live against Ole Miss. great balance and vision. Explosive plays out of the backfield as a receiver. Needs to clean up pass pro. Willing to do it, but needs to clean up technique… New RBs coach will put an emphasis on ball security. “No doubt” we can correct Cook’s... Zimmer had no influence on Bengals trade. Had a good feeling he wasn’t going to last until No. 48… A good running back can help an offensive line. Brought up Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson… All of the scouts liked the player… “Has all the physical tools you could want at the position”... Hard to play action pass when you can’t run the ball… You can control the game more when running game is successful


Received:

2017 third-round pick (No. 70)

Traded to Jets:

2017 third-round pick (No. 79)

2017 fifth-round pick (No. 160)


3 (70). C/G Pat Elflein, Ohio State - Had doubts they could get an offensive lineman they targeted at 79, so they traded up… Tone setter up front. Can play C and G. Coaches will decide best spot. Visited as a top 30. Brings physical… Got a lot better in the running game on day two… Fielded 20-30 calls on day two about trading picks. “Just put it out there” is his philosophy… Compensatory picks allowed for even more trades… Nasty playing style. Physical. Brute strength. Tone setter. Athletic limitations, but having bumpers on the side of you helps that… Perfect fit for what we want to do… “Bit back” at Spielman during Combine interview. You can tell how competitive he is, easier to get him there… Watched him for many years because thought was he would declare in 2016… The kind of guy we’ve been looking for… Will start off at center. Very good there…


Received:

2017 third-round pick (No. 104)

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 132)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 245)

Traded to Chiefs:

2017 third-round pick (No. 86)

---

Received:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 109)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 219)

Traded to 49ers:

2017 third-round pick (No. 104)


4 (109). DL Jaleel Johnson, Iowa - Had a target in round three, but adding picks with the amount of players they like on the board, trade down made sense… Trading up and down is the funnest part of the draft for Rick Spielman… Have a lot of contact with Iowa. Big man. Strong. Athletic… Several defensive tackle contracts up after the 2017 season… Will be a swing guy. More of a power rusher than quickness. Explosive hips… Felt that the big defensive linemen would go off the board early. Outstanding Senior Bowl.


4 (120). LB Ben Gedeon, Michigan - Loves to play the game. Tough guy. LB depth shallow at the moment… Can play inside or outside. Good at the point of attack. Instinctive… Played a lot of special teams…


Received:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 139)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 230)

Traded to Eagles:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 132)

---

Received:

2017 fifth-round pick (No. 170)

2017 fifth-round pick (No. 180)

Traded to Chiefs:

2017 fourth-round pick (No. 139)


5 (170). WR Rodney Adams, USF - Explosive athlete. Likely a slot receiver. Jet sweeps. Possible returner.


5 (180). G Danny Isidora, Miami -


Received:

2017 sixth-round pick (No. 201)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 220)

Traded to Redskins:

2017 sixth-round pick (No. 199)

2017 seventh-round pick (No. 230)


6 (201). TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech - When you get to the late rounds you see athletes and then rely on coaching staff to go from there… Used out of position last year… Spielman attended the Miami game (3 TDs). Tremendous upside as an athlete. Coaching staff thinks they can develop off unique athletic traits… When Jared Cook went to Oakland, team was on the lookout for a mismatch tight end. Hodges possibly can do that.


7 (219). WR Stacy Coley, Miami - Best player on the board when drafted. Saw him play vs. Virginia Tech. Inside and outside. Can create big plays. Wanted more playmakers on offense. Have a separate board for prospects with return skills.


7 (220). EDGE Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern - Pass rush ability. Extremely long arms. Can never have enough cover guys, can never have enough pass rushers. Defensive end.


7 (232). LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State - Brought him in a top 30 visit. Tall, rangy, athletic. Type of athlete the coaches want to work with. Unique in pass coverage. Unique range on the field.


7 (245). DB Jack Tocho, NC State -



Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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