A: [Rueben Randle is a] big receiver, outstanding athlete, very smooth, quote unquote pro-ready, 97 receptions in the course of his career for almost 17 yards per. Size, speed. People said, ‘Can he get deep? He can get behind?’ Yes, he can. He doesn’t have that Olympic type speed, but he has the size and the speed and the power. He’s a smooth athlete. Very, very athletic guy and I guess Marc told you that we rated him very highly and when it came time for us to make our pick he was without a doubt the guy that had the highest grade.
Here, in the bottom of the third round we picked corner Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech. This is a guy, very competitive, feisty guy with 12 career interceptions. He’s also a punt returner. He’s a physical tackler. He is a competitive guy who many times is matched up on the opponent’s best receiver. Whether it’s the physical aspect of the game, the coming up in run support, the competitiveness in the press position, whether he’s playing from off and just playing the ball in the air. This guy does have outstanding hands and has been able to convert that concept into many interceptions. Quite frankly, he had nine picks in 2010 and they pretty much stayed away from him this year as he added only three. But he also has the potential to be a punt returner. We like him for our special teams aspect also. He’s played the gunner. He can play various kickoff coverages, etc., etc. We feel like we can accomplish a lot with this kind of an athlete. He’s not the biggest guy in the world. That was discussed. However, we do think he is a competitive, feisty guy and he’s one of those people that has not backed down from anybody. Played against some outstanding receivers in his career and did an outstanding job.
Q: What’s it say that you work for an organization that does not panic and trade up, whereas some other organizations get antsy and do that when they have a chance to get a guy rated as highly as you had Randle rated?
A: Having worked with this group of men who are in our personnel department, I think we take a lot of pride in getting the proper grade on the player. A lot of pride in ranking the players properly and then stacking the board and believing that there is going to be a good player for us to pick by virtue of showing patience and not doing a lot of maneuvering. As an organization, when we go into a draft we look at the number of picks we have and we certainly expect to come out of the draft with that many or, if we’re fortunate, more, but we don’t do a lot of trading. We don’t do a lot of maneuvering. We do have a number of calls that come into the room offering to maneuver, a lot of which are ‘Are you interested in?’ Of course, as you know, to move substantially, particularly if you’re going to move up substantially, is going to cost you some picks. So we believe that we’ll have an opportunity to draft a good football player, whether you’re talking third, fourth round or whether you’re talking even later in the draft.
Q: When you see a guy like Randle drop, do you second-guess yourself?
A: No because I think the homework has been done. I think there have been a lot of personal calls made into that particular school, talking with coaches who have worked with Randle. Thomas McGaughey was with us as a special teams coach here and he is currently on the LSU staff and gave Randle a very strong recommendation and we have a lot of faith in Thomas’ ability to judge. Also, I think Jerry Reese has an individual that he has known for a long time on that staff who verified and talked about this player and his ability. Nobody is perfect. You have some things you have to be able to work with, but he will respond to good, solid coaching and that’s what he’s going to get.
Q: It seems like there are a few red flags.
A: There is. He did fail the test in Indianapolis. We’re very much aware of that and we’ve addressed that with him and we’re prepared to address that professionally as well when we do get him here.
Q: You’ve taken some chances on some other players like that in the past.
A: Provided we have enough information about the player to believe that we can work with him and he’s willing to overcome whatever issues he’s had.