New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held a press conference Saturday at the 2011 NFL Draft, largely to talk about fourth-round pick James Brewer, an offensive tackle from Indiana. The transcript is below:
James Brewer, Indiana - height, weight, speed, offensive tackle. A bit of a late bloomer, but we think he has a tremendous upside. He's a really good athlete. Only had one year of high school football, but he's played a lot of football at Indiana. Long arms, big man. Not as developed as much as you would like for him to be at this point, but this guy's already 323 pounds. He can add 10 to 15 pounds in a blink, we think. With the long arms, he's got 35.5 inch arms, he benched 25 times, which is good, and he ran really fast for a gigantic man like he is. So we think there is a lot of upside with him. We'll get him in the mix.
Q: Left or Right Tackle?
A: He played on the right side for them because they had Saffold and they didn't want to move him, but we think he can play left tackle. We think he can play either tackle, but he does have left tackle feet for us.
Q: How do you predict that if he didn't play on the left side?
A: You look at his athletic ability. There are some guys who are not even really great athletes who can still play on the left side. Guys know how to set and know who their opponents are and you can get away without being a great athlete on the left side. You like for the guy to be a dynamic athlete on the left, but that's not always the case. You see some very good players over there playing left tackle that are not dynamic athletes. But this guy is a very good athlete.
Q: Why was he so late to football?
A: Well he was a basketball player. He was a basketball player in high school. He just kept growing, he's a big man. I think he initially thought he was going to be a basketball player. There's not a lot of 330 pound basketball players around.
Q: Do you see this as a guy who needs time?
A: Yeah. Technique things, this guy is going to get so much better with the pro techniques and with this being his fulltime job. We see him coming in and developing. Not a lot of pressure to come in and play right away, but we always expect our guys to come in and be ready to play in case there are some injuries. He's a smart kid, we think he can come in and do that. We would like for him to get a little stronger and learn better technique. We think his improvement is the upside for this guy.
Q: What about his physicality?
A: The thing about these guys who we call late bloomers, if they're not competitive, you tend to shy away from them a little bit. But this guy is very competitive. He really wants to do it. We did all the interview stuff with him and asked him ‘do you want to play football?' He convinced us that he did. Again, he's played a lot of football for [Indiana].
Q: Did you expect to take an offensive lineman with your first pick today?
A: No. We don't assume anything. We talked about some other guys. There were several guys in the conversation with strong consideration, but we went with the big guy today with our first pick.
Q: Have you felt any urgency to pick an offensive lineman?
A: Our urgency is to take good players. That's what our urgency is. We try to take good players. If it happens to be an offensive lineman, that's great, but our motive with this draft is to take good players. Obviously, there's free agency after the draft this time. In essence, that's a little odd, but free agency does come after the draft this time. We'll see where our holes are after the draft.
Q: Are you concerned that his weight went up and down in college?
A: No. All of these kids are young kids. In college, most kids' weight goes up and down, but that's not an issue for us. He's 323 pounds right now and again, he could be 335 in a blink.
Q: Is this kid solely a tackle or can he go inside?
A: No, I think he's a tackle. I think he's going to play left tackle or right tackle. I don't think he's an inside guy.
Q: Off the top of your head, any match-ups you saw on tape with this guy thate impressed you?
A: Looking at him against Iowa. Those are some of the tapes that I watched. They have some pretty good players in their front. Against Iowa. If you want to look at him, look at him against Iowa.
Q: Can you talk with these kids all weekend?
A: I don't even know the rules at this point. We can talk to them today. There's not a lot after that.
Q: Will you consider trading up and into the fifth round?
A: If we see there's a guy that we like and we think we can make a deal to get up into the fifth round, we'll definitely investigate that. That's not out of the question, that we'll try to get into the fifth round.