Here is the full text of New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese talking about the seven picks the team made in the just-concluded 2010 NFL Draft.
I'll just run through the list with you really quick.
- Jason Pierre-Paul, we talked about him. We think he can be a dynamic defensive end for us. Huge upside and we think he can be a really good player.
Linval Joseph is a big, powerful, point of attack defensive tackle. He gives us a big anchor inside and we talked about him.
- I think Marc Ross talked to you guys about Chad Jones. Athletic, big safety who gives us some depth at the safety position. He has some special teams ability. We think he has a big upside as well.
- The new guy is Phillip Dillard, middle linebacker from Nebraska. Phillip is a rugged inside linebacker, tough, instinctive, smart, hard-hitting inside middle linebacker. We had him targeted for a while and we are happy he was still up there in the fourth round for us. We talked about him a little bit earlier but there were some more guys up there who we thought had the value that, at the time, was better. So, we rolled the dice and we came out with the guy we wanted at middle linebacker. We feel like he can come in and start competing right away for that job with some of the guys we already have.
Mitch Petrus is the guard from Arkansas: tough, rugged, in-your-face guard. That's what this guy is. He is hard-nosed, aggressive. He can pull and do all the things we ask our guards to do. This guy has a vicious nature about him, and we like his skill set for what we do with our guards.
Adrian Tracy is from William & Mary, we are going to play him at outside linebacker on the strong side. He's a projection. He was a defensive end and he had a bunch of sacks out there. We worked him out as a SAM linebacker and we think he can project to a SAM. He is a really good athlete, really smart kid and big kid. We think he has upside to project to a SAM linebacker and give us some depth at that position as well.
- The last guy we just drafted was Matt Dodge, a punter from East Carolina. Big legged, powerful, I mean this guy can hit some moon shots. There are some inconsistencies which most young punters have that we feel like he can come in and our special teams coaches can get him on the right track. I think he can be a good punter for us. He will be in the mix competing for that job, and I think the first question that you guys will have is that ‘you guys just signed Feagles.' Jeff's really not sure, he had a conversation with Tom last week I believe it was, and he's not sure that physically he is going to be able to do it. He has been working out really hard in the offseason trying to get himself ready to go because I think in his mind he really wants to do it but I don't think he's sure that his body can do it. We are trying to protect ourselves in that respect. We will address that middle of next week sometime, so we will see which way that's going to go. I'm open for questions.
Q: Did something happen with Jeff, like a setback or something?
A: Well, he had a conversation with Tom, and you can speak to Tom about the conversation. Physically, he wasn't sure that he would be able to give us what we need at that position. We're trying to protect ourselves in that respect. We have Jy Bond, who is the Aussie kicker, who we have in as well. We will try to grow two guys, and if Jeff is not in the mix, we will try to groom these guys to get us ready for our season. I think, New Orleans I think, had a young punter punting for them so it can be done. We need to get going right away with these guys, that's very important to me. We need to get going right away.
Q: When you say "by next week" is Jeff going to make a decision next week?
A: Hopefully he will make a decision by then. Hopefully Jeff will come in and let us know one way or another what is going to happen. I think he'll make a decision by then.
Q: How close were you to taking Dillard in the third round?
A: Well, we considered him but there are a couple of guys we considered in that spot. We talked about him, so we were close enough to talk about him.
Q: Was it ultimately because you liked Jones more or you thought Dillard would drop into the next round?
A: Probably a combination of both of what you just said there. Probably a combination of both of that. We try to weigh what can happen and who needs what. It's kind of crazy what you try and do in there but it's a combination of everything you said.
Q: Dillard's not the biggest linebacker, but is he big side-to-side?
A: Well yeah, he's rangy and he's smart. He can play in coverage. He is 6 foot 245 pounds. He's not tall but he's 245 pounds so right now he is probably the biggest linebacker on the team besides Sintim, just trying to think of our linebackers here. Maybe Jon Goff, he's probably a little bit bigger. Heavier, I should say.
Q: I heard he played weakside...
A: He played in the middle. Middle linebacker.
Q: I thought he started at weakside...
A: He might have played some weakside but most of the time, he played in the middle.
Q: What makes you think this fourth rounder can come in and compete for the starting job as a rookie?
A: Well, we are going to put him in there and give him a chance with the rest of the guys. That's what makes me think that. He's going to have to earn the job just like the other guys we have here. We have some unproven guys so we are going to throw them all in the till and see who gives us the best shot to win games.
Q: Did you talk to the Pelini's and his linebacker coach? Did he give you some type of advice or frame of reference?
A: We talk to all of their coaches. Our scouts have good relationships and they go in there in the fall all the time. They endorsed this guy and they think he is going to be a really good player. We brought him in for one of the visits we had with them and our linebackers coach really liked on the board what he saw and brought to the table. He thought that he could be a smart, tough inside linebacker that we've been looking for, and we'll see.
Q: He butted heads with some of the staff there, do you have concerns about that?
A: Well, we researched all that as well. Again, that happens sometimes with players and staffs, and he did everything to get back in their good graces. They endorse him to the fullest right now, so we don't have any problems with that.
Q: At middle linebacker, obviously Goff and you mentioned Wilkinson, Blackburn; are any other guys in the mix like Kehl, Boley or Sintim?
A: All of our guys are in the mix as far as I'm concerned. We just look for the best combination of guys. We think Sintim is a SAM linebacker and the kid we just drafted is a SAM linebacker. We think Wilkinson could do some things in the middle because he has played there before. Phillip Dillard, he's in the middle. Of course Goff, Chase can play all three, Mike on the WILL, Kehl will probably be used on the WILL but he can probably play some middle as well so everyone is in the mix as far as I'm concerned. We just want three linebackers on the field that can help us win a game.
Q: Do you think this group is it for the competition in training camp or might you add another one in between now and then?
A: I wouldn't count that out that we might add somebody else to the mix. I wouldn't discount that.
Q: Any thought about trading for Morrison?
A: Isn't Morrison signed on somebody's team right now? I'm not going to talk about someone else's player.
Q: Was there any talk of trading for anybody?
A: There is always talk of trading and drafting. There is always some talk about that still. Always.
Q: With Dodge, can he kick off, too?
A: Dodge can kick off, but I wouldn't call him a kickoff guy now. Our coaches think he can get better as a kickoff guy so we end up having some versatility in that way. He is not a holder though, so that's something he would have to learn. He does not hold for his college team. He does have some experience as a kickoff man.
Q: If you lose Jeff, who are your holder options?
A: I think we have some options between the quarterbacks. Bomar and Sorgi, yes. Those two guys would probably be the holders.
Q: With Tracy, wondering if he adjusted well to linebacker drills, did you see that?
A: Yeah, that's one of the things that was, because they are guys who are projections. He had his hand on the ground most of the time when he was at school there. At his workout, there were a lot of people at his workout. One of our scouts was there and he really worked out well at his workout as a linebacker. The movement skills that you have to have at that position. He did a good job and we think he can project. If you think back, he kind of has a body type like Reggie Torbor, who we had here for a few years back. We think he is a little bit better athlete than Reggie Torbor was. Reggie was a defensive end at Auburn, too.
Q: What do you think and/or hope you've accomplished with this draft?
A: Well, we think we have drafted good players to add to our team. We hope to accomplish that these guys, with our first two or three picks, that you can get some contributions from them right away. Hopefully, you might get a starter or two out of those picks. We think we have added some depth to this team, number one. We have some athletes who can help us on special teams. We have some versatile people. So, we think we have helped our defense. Obviously, we have drafted a lot of defensive guys. Offensively, we think that the guard can go in and compete right away because he has a vicious nature about him. He wants to come in and compete right away. He's a strong, strong kid. We think we have improved defensively, and the guard will create competition at the guard spot.
Q: How is the field of undrafted free agents?
A: Really, we're up there doing that right now. Obviously, the draft is still going on but we are getting our ducks in a row to try and target some undrafted free agents. We think there are some good players that we can target as free agents and get some bodies in here to look at.