Devaney Runs the Gamut
Posted >Fri, February 26, 2010 11:15
by Nick Wagoner
- Rams general manager Billy Devaney addressed the media about two hours ago and went in depth on his thoughts on what are the four prime prospects for the top pick in this year's draft (in no order): Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.
- But Devaney didn't stop there. He also addressed rumors about Steven Jackson and more on the draft scenarios being thrown around out there. With that, here's a good portion of Devaney's discussion from this morning.
(Information on Sam Bradford’s health)
We haven’t. We will get with the doctors, our medical people as soon as we get back to St. Louis. That will be a big decision and a lot will go into that. We will probably have more than one opinion on that. We will get as accurate and thorough information that we can. We will find out after this process is over.
(How do you separate Suh and McCoy?)
We are hoping that somehow there is separation. Right now in our eyes, there isn’t any. They are both great players, they are going to be great players. They are great character guys, they love playing football. I hope something happens where there is separation. Right now in our eyes, there isn’t.
(Barring a trade, it seems there are about four prospects to choose between, is it now a decision of choosing between two positions?)
Sure. When you are 1-15, there are a lot of different directions you can go and we are still trying to figure that out. There are pros and cons to whatever position you decide to go but we know that if it comes down to that right now and there are four guys that will be given consideration but we have to be prepared for anything. If we do wind up trading down a little bit, we have to have a bunch of guys in the hopper that we feel good about. Those four guys you mentioned, sure, we like everything about them so far.
(Any trade talks yet?)
No. It’s too early for that. We haven’t even gone through the free agency period. That could alter it. We are sitting here right now thinking we need A, B and C and we sign a guy a couple weeks from now at that position, it may alter your draft strategy a little bit. But there hasn’t been any phone calls to any team whatsoever. I would think eventually that will happen but it’s too early.
(But the phone lines are open?)
Of course. Everybody that comes up here is open for more picks. Nobody is going to say ‘Hell no, we don’t want more picks, we are staying where we are.’
(Worried about medical information on Bradford?)
Yeah, that’s why we put it on the doctors. They better be sure. You hope so. You get to all of the tests but we haven’t seen him throw. His date is the 25th of March. In my mind, we may go in again right before the draft and see what his status is, is it improving, has he regressed? We need to find out and be as sure as possible. There is no sure thing but yeah, a position like that, absolutely we need to be sure.
(How much do you know about Bradford?)
We are just now starting to learn about these juniors. You go into the year and go to colleges, you can’t get a lot of information on these guys, they haven’t declared, they are still undecided so the coaches really aren’t going to talk to you about a guy they would like to stay in school. So it’s not like we say here’s what the weight coach said about him and here’s what the position coach says. One of the things we did pick up was he is a tall guy, he just needed to add some weight and they didn’t think it was a problem it was just that as he matures he will be fine eventually but one of the things is that for a tall guy he needed to put some pounds on.
(Have you or would you consider trading Steven Jackson?)
No. You know what? We need more players like Steven Jackson. We can’t be poop canning them out of the building. You know what I mean? We have got to get more guys like that in. There is no talk about trading Steven Jackson and there won’t be any.
(Thoughts on the report by ESPN's Adam Schefter that you will definitely draft Sam Bradford?)
(Tonguqe firmly inserted in cheeck) That took a lot of pressure off of us right away because when Dr. Schefter cleared him medically, we feel really good about the health status of Sam Bradford now with Dr. Schefter giving him a clean bill of health and guaranteeing our pick so we are on to the second round right now. (Laughing)
(Where does Eric Berry fit into this mix?)
He’s another guy that impacts the game. As a rule, safeties aren’t talked about going that high but this guy is I think in everybody’s mind impacts the game. So again, you try to get impact players and Berry is certainly one.
(Any interest in Michael Vick or talks with the Eagles?)
We haven’t talked to the Eagles about any of their players. This has come up a lot in St. Louis and I have to stick to this. I can no more talk about Mike Vick than I can talk about Drew Brees or Tom Brady or anybody. He’s a member of the Eagles and he’s under contract with the Eagles. We have not talked to Philadelphia about any of their guys.
(How can you avoid drafting a QB after taking linemen the past three years?)
You can’t force the issue. I know what you’re saying. At some point, we need to address the quarterback situation. We are still doing that. It’s on going. We have Marc still under contract; he’s still on the Rams. You have to go through free agency. We have to see what guys are going to be out there, the status of the draft class and then make a decision. If it gets down to it and we think the defensive tackles, these two kids are far and away the highest graded players and they are the best players in the draft, we can’t force it and say ‘Hey, we have got to get a quarterback’ and draft way down on your value. But that’s what we are trying to figure out right now.
(tendering Atogwe decision?)
We talked about that a lot. There was a lot of talk about that. That wasn’t an easy decision but I think we have got it pretty much figured out.
(What has process been like for getting updates on Bradford’s health?)
Really the only discussion has been with Tom Condon when he sent out a memo probably about a week ago to all of the teams saying Bradford wasn’t going to work out here and he was going to work out on his pro day. I called Tom to say we got the letter and where is he at in the rehab and that kind of stuff. I told him to stay in touch throughout this thing. I have never talked to Bradford at all.
(How much throwing is he doing?)
That’s what we were told. The coaches have talked to him. We are going to talk to him here and they did some initial interviews over the phone before they get here to get all of the background stuff out of the way so we can just get down to football stuff during the interview process. It sounds like he is throwing about 50 balls a day between 20 and 40 yards but I don’t know what that means. Is it soft tossing, is he ripping the ball? I don’t know that but it sounds like he is throwing a lot of balls.
(What do you want to see out of Clausen and McCoy in terms of health?)
Yeah, the same thing. Clausen is working out beginning of April and we will be there for that. You have to see a quarterback live. You can’t judge arm strength off of tape. But we have seen a bigger body of work on Clausen because he played all the games this year and was unbelievably impressive with his accuracy and all. We just want to look at arm strength that you can’t judge all the time on looking at tape. The other stuff, athletic ability, knowledge, he’s got really good temperament, all that, we are fine with all that. We just want to see him throw the ball live.
(He had 28 touchdowns and only four INT’s, can that translate to the NFL?)
I don’t see why not. I really don’t. He has been well schooled. He’s had great training there at Notre Dame. He is ready to jump in and play. I don’t know why it wouldn’t. The guy is so accurate. He’s done a heck of a job.
(Does it give a guy like Clausen a leg up to come from a pro style offense?)
The learning curve isn’t quite as long but if you take a guy like Bradford next to Clausen, you are not going to ordain them or hand them the job as soon as they get in anyway. If a guy is smart and athletic, he will pick it up. The spread won’t be a negative.
(If you did draft a QB high, do you still think you would need to add a veteran too?)
We have to spend time and figure Bradford out. That’s where temperament comes in more than anything. Some guys can do it and if they get the snot knocked out of them, it doesn’t effect them. Some guys, it destroyed them as rookies when they get put in there and get beat up pretty good and never recover. Peyton Manning won what a couple of games his first year. But you weren’t going to destroy him. So it depends on the individual.
(What if Bradford throws in March and he’s still not there but you know he eventually will be. How much would that doubt concern you?)
It makes you pause, sure it does. Then you are projecting. Then you are saying I think he’s going to be OK. That’s a hell of a projection.
(Planning to have dinner at the combine with any of the QB prospects?)
Not so much here. Every minute is accounted for while we are here. We will spend plenty of time in Norman and Oklahoma City just as we will in South Bend to talk to them. We will spend a lot of time with those guys. And, to be honest, in Austin also. We plan on spending a lot of time.