Notes from Ryan Grigson's Pre-draft Press conference, which was held today (May 1, 2014) at Noon (I apologize these are not exact quotes, but pretty close):
Is there a difference this year in approach?: Different, because of less top talent at 59.
Actively seeking to move up?: Keeping options open, if player they have to have is there they would try and do it, but also happy with 5 picks they have and realize not much to offer to move up this year with only those picks.
Asked about rookie OL and if he likes to play them: Depends on situation, ultra talented corner could do it based on simplified system, OL can be tricky and has harder learning curve.
Feel better at center or safety with what he has?: Both are work in progress, have talented players on the current roster. 3 snappers, including Thomas on roster right now. Usually will have true center as the #1 guy and then a guard first who can also snap as a 2nd center. Will keep options open.
How did costa effect plans?: Will keep options open, always want to improve, but will still expect competition with guys. will look at all positions, but if someone is out there to improve team they will try and find them via FA or draft.
Signing Nicks, getting Wayne back, how does that effect decisions to add more WR's?: if someone can make team better they'll try to get them, but feels good about this years group. Bar is set high with this group of WR's. Have had to win now on the fly and have guys who can play now. Would like to have guys who can challenge early.
How do you feel, as a talented team, not having a high draft pick?: There are deep spots in the draft, with lots of juniors. Really going to focus after the draft. Only have 5 picks but UDFA's will be valuable to assess. Will try and look deeper with extra weeks of prep. Want someone who has a chance to start, might need time to develop, but are really smart and can learn.
Draft and FA, how important is it do find diamonds?: Staff and I love trying to find those guys that nobody hears of. Like to find a guy who maybe did poorly on pro day, but really work him out and love him, then try to keep it a secret how good he could be. Helps more for back board than front board, however.
How do you find these talented unknowns?: Credit goes to pro scouts who go to regional combines. Talked about McNary, who was rated by Eagles staff as a 4th rounder, but had to serve for country and so he was out of teams minds. Those notes let them come right back to him when he was available. They use these methods when looking at regional combine.
Are you open to trading picks?: Phone-lines will be open for trades. Don't want to simply say "well, he fills a need", they want to grab somebody who excites them. Trading back is always on the table, but need to see how it plays out.
How do you balance personal decisions entering into the draft?: Adapt or die mindset, every player brings something different to the table. Luck was the ideal #1 pick for us, having someone that can carry team is important, need to build around him. If he starts 0-6 first year, then we maybe build differently, but overall character of the team always feels like they can win now and that continues.
Defensive line, have consistently gotten somebody, do you like this current d-line?: Love them, really like the body types we now have and think they fit the system better. Current guys have a good understanding of our scheme and have a respect for stopping the run and a strong mindset for it. D'Qwell brings a strong mindset of how to get guys to stop the run.
When you go into the draft now, do you start planning now who you have to draft to replace players down the line?: Absolutely, always planning for the future and for unexpected things that come up. Never want a hole to creep up on you. Developing players at every positions is important. a lot of great teams, when best players walk away, they have someone who steps right in without skipping a beat. Want to always be prudent to the future.
Looking for different type of player type than Bethea to pair with Landry?: Always looking for a good pair, this years draft has a deep safety group. Want to have safeties that can cover and switch back and forth between strong and free. Never a perfect world where someone can do both great, but want a good balance.
Invision Arthur jones playing NT?: He's a big guy who is stout enough to do that. camp and preseason will shake out where he should be and how the d-line shapes up.
With extra weeks, tough not to over analyze?: Definitely wanted to be careful not to over think and fall into the brushfires that the news and internet can fuel and confuse you with. last 2 weeks are focusing on back board and staying consistent with front board. Talking to guys who could fall un-drafted and building relationships now.
How hard is it to evaluate a guy who played at a small school vs SEC?: Was always taught that you need to scout the player not the school. Really adhered to that, wants to make sure staff feels that way too. Talent should show on film, and sometimes quality of film etc. can deter scouts, but guys for the Colts have a drive to painstakingly review ALL talent. Greg Toler, out of college, was an example how them looking for someone who was hard to scout out. Have lots of tricks for trying to do it.
How much news on players out there is pure BS?: Have to consider your source. At the end of the day you look at the film, regardless of what people say at the combine, pro days, other team scouts. Tape doesn't lie, and that's our battle cry.
Do you try and trick other teams into not knowing what you'll do?: (laughing) Don't have time to try and throw other teams off, you can't predict it all anyway.
Fortunate with Luck, but there's a lot of uncertainty with this years QB's, you think it would change things if teams ahead of you select them?: I hope a ton of QB's get taken ahead of us. It's hard when you start connecting the dots at who might take what, it causes you to second guess if people will reach and who will be there. Important to look at everyone.
Concerns about Richardson?: Let the guy get in pads, Trent is in a great place right now. That position is one of the strongest on the team. Like him, we expect big things. Beating a dead horse with this one.
I'm sure a more accurate and detailed response will be out there eventually, but here is a glimpse anyway. The comments are yours!