I've written and spoken a lot of words the past three days leading up to and during this draft. I'm tagging out.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is tagging in.
This is what he said Friday night after the second round was complete and the Dolphins picked Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas. You tell me (and him) what you think of what he said.
Heeeeere's Jeff Ireland:
(Opening Statement) - “We moved up from the middle of 3rd round and picked up Daniel Thomas, running back from Kansas State. What we like about Daniel is that he is a physical runner; [He is] big, very versatile. He can run, he can catch; He has good play speed. You guys have tweeted that he is a 4.7 [40-yard dash] guy. This guy was a 4.55 [40-yard dash] for us, verified. He probably has better speed then running backs that went [higher in the draft] then him, timed speed. [We] like the player; very physical kind of guy, our kind of guy, very physical. Once he gets to the second level, he can make linebackers miss, he can make [the] secondary miss. He is kind of a one-cut runner, but very physical. He punishes defenders when he gets his pads down. He has only played running back for two years; He is a former quarterback. That intrigues me that he has been able to accomplish what he has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. He has a lot of upside as a player. Like I said, he is six-foot 230, runs a 4.5 [40-yard dash]. Those are all good qualities."
(On the one attribute that was appealing enough to move up in the draft to get him) – “He is a big, physical runner. That is what we are looking for. His versatility [as well]. He is one of the backs that shows he can block the blitz. He can also catch on third down. Just his versatility was what we were looking for."
(On his negotiations with the Washington Redskins to move up in the draft) – “I probably talked to Washington five times throughout the day and you noticed Washington moved down a couple of times. They kept calling me, calling me, calling me and then quite frankly I saw a lot of running backs going and that intrigued me… saw some teams in the top of the third round that concerned me [and that they may select] the [running] back I was coveting might go there. So that is why I went up and got him."
(On how much he helps solidify the running back position) – “He helps solidify the running back position just like [Mike] Pouncey helps solidify the offensive line. Like I said, he is our kind of guy. He is physical and he got good play speed. We have work to do at every position still. I think we still have work to do at the running back position whether it be free agency or the draft but he helps us for sure.”
(On what the selection means for Ronnie Brown) – “It means that we have one more player to compete if we ask him to come back. I wouldn’t look into Ronnie or Ricky [Williams’] future around here as being over. I wouldn’t do that.”
(On if he thinks he stills needs to address the team seed issue at some point) – “Well we got four picks left tomorrow…Yeah, I’m still trying to do that for sure…but that was a position that I thought we needed to try to get better at and I think we did.”
(On Daniel Thomas’ background playing quarterback and the team running the wildcat and if that was something that intrigued him most due to the potential of him playing the wildcat factor) – “Not necessarily, I wasn’t looking for that. I was looking for a running back. That’s what intrigued me about this kid is that this guy knows how to run the football.”
(On Daniel Thomas’ fumble history and what he thinks about that)—“(You know) whenever you got a guy that has put the ball in the ground you look into it…and it wasn’t that much of a concern. I’m aware of that I think he had six fumbles this year. I was more intrigued with the forty runs over ten yards and the…I think he had fifteen or sixteen runs over twenty yards, so. I’m more intrigued with that thing than I was worried about the fumbles.”
(On what running back came to mind that Daniel Thomas can be compared to in his opinion)—“(You know) I don’t want to throw that out there. I know I did that earlier with (Mark) Ingram but I think that it puts a little bit of undue pressure on the kid. I had a couple of guys in mind that are pretty successful in this business currently today but I’d rather not put that kind of pressure on the kid to be honest with you."
(On how many times did he meet with Daniel Thomas and what was his impression of him)—“Met with him a couple of times…we actually had him in the building not too long ago and (you know), great kid, engaging personality—everybody there at Kansas State from the scout’s standpoint really vouched for his character and his work ethic and his toughness and just really felt like his future was ahead of him.”
(On Daniel Thomas comparing himself to Steven Jackson or Larry Johnson and if those are fair assessments in comparing him to)—“Those are guys that come to mind…there’s another running back that makes me think more of, but, those are a couple of them I guess but not the guy I was thinking of.”
(On if it’s Adrian Peterson (follow up to previous question)—“No, not him.”
(On if he feels like he still has ammunition to use at some point in the draft to trade if need be)—“Sure, yeah.”
(On how he feels about Ryan Mallet)—“Like I said earlier, I like the kid. I think he’s got a great great future ahead of him. I just felt like it wasn’t the right fit for us at this time, so, but I like the kid very much. Again, I think he’s got a bright future.”
(On the latest developments in the labor dispute) – “Well we just got to go with what the league is telling us. It is what it is; it was good to see the players yesterday, or today I should say, great to see some of those guys. I wish it would have lasted a little longer, but we’re in an unrest labor situation, so we just go with the flow.”
(On whether he feels he can still address the issue of team speed on day three of the draft) – “Yeah, I do see that. The draft is, again it’s a chain reaction and sometimes the things you want to address if they fall to you and you have your board set to be able to take those, great, but I’m not going to reach for a lesser player just to identify a player that may or may not be the right fit for us, so I’m not going to reach for a player. I’m going to let the draft fall to me, and if it fits our needs then we’ll take the player.”
(On when Daniel Thomas appeared on his radar) – “Well he probably got on the radar back in last May at the Combine Meetings probably. That’s probably most of the time those are the first time I hear about some of these kids, and he was a one year player out of Junior College. That was probably the first time I had heard of the player. I didn’t take a visit to Kansas State two years ago, so I didn’t really know too much about him.”
(On when he sees the Bills take Marcell Dareus, the Jets take two defensive tackles and with the Patriots already having Vince Wilfork if he is even more pleased with selecting Mike Pouncey) – “Sure, I mean I really like the Dareus kid and when I saw Buffalo take him, that’s not why I took Pouncey but it makes you feel good that you got him for sure. He’s going to be athletic, and he’s going to give us a lot of mobility up in the offensive line and also give us a lot of strength and power when we’re trying to run the ball inside as well.”