2009 NFL DRAFT SUMMARY
SCOTT PIOLI: “Just a quick recap to where we’re at right now. We’ve still got the final pick in the draft and there is a chance we may be in this round [again]. We may try to get back in this round even before the compensatory picks.
“As you see we spent most of the time on defense yesterday and today on offense. Todd and I feel like we’ve upgraded our football team on offense, defense and special teams.
“Big picture we feel very good that we’ve improved our football team in terms of depth and competition. Again, we’ve added three on each side of the ball [as of this time.] ”
Q: What about the kid from Missouri, where do you project him?
PIOLI: “He’s a tackle and we see him as a right tackle. We talk about left tackles, right tackles and some guys are swing tackles. We see him more as a right tackle. He started for two years and has a basketball background. Big, big body, not just tall. He’s a big man. Probably coming in and lining up at right tackle primarily.”
Q: [Quinten] Lawrence is a kick returner?
PIOLI: “And competing for playing time as a wide receiver. He’s a fast kid with really good tools, done some return work obviously. He has some track background, has some very good speed. He can run fast but he can also play fast. So, we’re looking at him to do a little bit of both. For a lot of young guys like this coming from a smaller school he’ll probably have to cut his teeth primarily as a return guy, but we worked him out as receiver as well.”
Q: Do you have any other obvious candidates on the roster for that position?
PIOLI: “At this moment there are some guys who have some background on kick return and punt return. Then we might add some more. There is still rookie free agency.”
Q: Was the defense your focus coming in?
PIOLI: “it wasn’t the plan to say we’re going to spend the first day on defense and the second day on offense. It’s how the draft kind of fell to us. Again, the combination of best player and need and it kind of fell that way. I think if you get yourself too focused on any one thing going into the draft you tend to ignore other things and other opportunities. ”
Q: Have you covered all the ground you had hoped to?
PIOLI: “There’s a lot of ground to cover, a lot of ground to cover. We’ve started but there’s a lot more ground to cover and we will. As this ends today we’re not done improving this football team. There is going to be a lot of things that happen with other teams and with other people. There are going to be a lot of other opportunities. There are some people out there who are going to be free agents. It gets to about two weeks before the draft and some of the veteran free agents want to stop and settle down and see what teams are going to draft and see where they think their opportunities are the best.
“We’ve covered a little bit of ground here but there’s a long way to go and we’re heading in that direction.”
Q: Can you talk about the running back [Javarris Williams] you took in the seventh round?
PIOLI: “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and very tough and he’s put up well over 4,000 yards in four years at Tennessee State and in the OVC [conference] I’m a little familiar with. Some of these younger players, when they come in at skill positions, is one of the ways they make teams is by making it on special teams. He’s a guy we’ve spent some time with. Maurice Carthon spent some time with him down at Tennessee State and worked him out. We know him pretty well.”
Q: How were the overall trade conversations, how did they go? That was one of the big topics going into the draft.
PIOLI: “We talked about a lot of different trades with a lot of different people. We spent a lot of time on the phone. Again, different opportunities, but we didn’t feel good about them. At this point in wanting to trade we felt we would have to give up too much to get to certain spots. There were a couple of players that we talked about that we thought about potentially trading up for but it was getting close enough to our pick and fortunately they fell to us and we were able to save the picks.
“Again, I love to look for trades and consider trades but if they’re not right or the right opportunity isn’t there you don’t consummate the trade.”
Q: Were there any conversations about any players on your roster right now being traded for picks?
Q: You said there was a lot of ground to cover. Are you generally satisfied that you were able to cover as much these last few days as you had hoped you would?
PIOLI: “I’m satisfied. With the opportunity we had I’m satisfied with the progress we made in the last couple of days. We’re not done yet. There is time today and we’re going to keep at it. At this point I’m pretty satisfied but we’ve got to continue to keep going. That’s the thing: anytime you think your football is set and your roster is set that’s when things start to creep up on you.”