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Everything the Miami Dolphins say about this NFL draft

The NFL mandates its general managers and others conduct a pre-draft press conference but those have become notorious for delivering precious little draft information because, well, most teams don't want to reveal their plans.

The Dolphins are no different.

They had their draft presser Friday. It was long. It was enlightening to me to see how vexed the Dolphins are about Dion Jordan's status. (I question Jordan's desire to remain with the team).

But on the draft? We heard assistant general manager Eric Stokes loves Todd Gurley. We heard Mike Tannenbaum get an early start on his pitch for undrafted free agents. Tannenbaum also smartly put to rest the question of who makes the final call in the draft, which is a landmine many organizations step on without it having to be that difficult. After all, if you know, says what you know and move on. Equivocation may not sound like a problem, but when it gets rolled out publicly, it sounds of uncertainty in the process. Tannenbaum removed that uncertainty.

(One thing not said in this transcript: Hickey told me afterward he believes Stokes is ready to be a GM now. Obviously the Dolphins believe they have a star in the making here. I wouldn't be surprised if you hear more from him in the coming days, months, years).

Here is everything the Dolphins said at their pre-draft presser:

Mike Tannenbaum:

(Opening Statement) “First off, I want to thank everybody for coming to a bright, sunny afternoon in the tax-free state of Florida. That is my first official plug to all of the undrafted free agents that are listening to this press conference that we are in beautiful tax-free Florida. First off, I’d like to just say it’s been terrific working with Dennis and Eric going through this process. I’ve learned a lot, seen a lot of different approaches and it’s truly been collaborative and we’ve integrated a lot of different experiences that we’ve all had. I also want to specifically mention that I think these guys in particular have done a great job of identifying the strengths and the weaknesses of this draft going back several months. That affected our plan and some of the moves we’ve made up until this point and it’s easy to sit now, a week out and say, ‘Hey, this draft looks great at X position or Y position,’ and these guys did a tremendous job of that several months ago. I also want to publicly congratulate Mike Pouncey on his extension, it’s always great when you can extend contracts for players that were drafted here, developed here and coached here. I also wanted to touch on a little bit of this notion of analytics and the draft. Recently we had a friend of mine, R.C. Buford, the General Manager of the (San Antonio) Spurs, I thought he put it best. He said, when you’re scouting and evaluating players, it’s a combination of what your eyes and what you see and what your scouts see, your ears, what your scouts and the trusted information you get and you want to supplement that with the numbers and what your mind is telling you. If you don’t have alignment in those factors, keep asking more questions. I thought that was great perspective how analytics over the last couple of years have been added to the process. Our goal heading into next weekend is to have as much flexibility as possible. By no means are we sitting here saying our roster is perfect, but we feel good where we are. With the recent addition of Greg Jennings hopefully that gives us even more flexibility to make the best decisions possible for us whatever they may be. Before I turn it over to Dennis, I want to publicly thank (Director of Team Security) Stu Weinstein, who will be part of his 31st draft as a full-time member of the Dolphins. This will be his last draft as a full-time member. I just want to thank Stu for 31 great years and turn it over to Dennis."

Dennis Hickey:

(Opening Statement) “Thanks, Mike. I also want to echo that on Stu. In my 20 years (in the NFL), his time as director of security and doing those backgrounds, he is the hardest worker that I have ever seen in getting that information. I know he touches on a lot of lives that pass through this building. With the process that we go about, we have a methodical process that started about 12 months ago. It involves a lot of people and personally I want to thank my assistant Annie Berger in keeping me straight, she is the true brains of the organization and just all of the work that she does behind the scenes with that. The process involves a lot of people throughout the building, of course our scouts and our executives with Eric and (Director of Player Personnel) Joe Schoen and (Director of College Scouting) Chris Grier and (National Scout) Adam Engroff, and a lot of other people that sacrifice a lot and are committed to doing their part to help make the Miami Dolphins a championship team. The process encompasses a lot of different things and there is a lot of work that goes into it. The whole goal as we work towards it getting all of the scouts and their information and incorporating that with our coaches and their input and that’s what we’ve been doing over the last several weeks and trying to come up with a Dolphins value for each individual prospect and with that, the Dolphins value leads to making up the board and the board leads us to the decisions that we make. Last year, after the draft, we were fortunate to add what we feel is a very key member to our personnel staff and that is Eric Stokes, really, a quality evaluator, a great person and he’s really added a lot. I’ll pass it over to Eric."

Eric Stokes:

(Opening Statement) “Thanks, Dennis. This has really been an exciting time for me personally. This is my first draft as a Miami Dolphin and I really look forward to draft night come Thursday. I’d like to thank Mike and Dennis, (Head) Coach (Joe) Philbin, his staff. We’ve had a lot of healthy debates, it’s been a lot of fun working through this draft process and we certainly look forward to pulling it all together and have a great draft as we get to the weekend, starting on Thursday. I also would like to thank our scouts, members of our personnel staff, Joe Schoen our director of player personnel, I’d also like to thank Chris Grier, our director of college scouting, Adam Engroff, who is our national scout and to also recognize some of our area scouts, Ron Brockington, Chris Buford, Brad Forsyth, Marcus Hendrickson, Chase Leshin and Matt Winston. These guys do an unbelievable job. I also want to give a special thanks also to Ron Labadie, who is going to be completing 25 years here as a member of the Dolphins organization. We really appreciate all of his time, all of his efforts and really wish him nothing but the best moving forward. As far as the draft is concerned, as Dennis mentioned, we have a process driven approach to everything that we do. With that, that process really started about a year ago in May with our NFS meetings, at that time, that’s when we received a list of prospects, from there our scouts began their summer tape work and working off that list and then really getting into the meat and potatoes of the fall schedule. During that time scouts are on the road for about six months, this is truly when the evaluation process begins. More importantly, this is when character really begins to take shape. So extensive research is done at this time. From that standpoint, then we’re able to move onto college all-star games which is a great opportunity for us now to finally get some face-to-face conversations with prospects that are going to be in the draft and also get to look at them in a different competitive environment when you can maybe see a couple of things that you didn’t see in terms of the fall visit. From that standpoint, we get into the combine, which everybody knows has become quite the media event. At that point, it’s a great time for us to really get to know the juniors that declared, have some face-to-face time and really start to get to know those guys. Coming off the combine, we get into the spring, we have pro timing days and it really just serves a couple of purposes, one, another chance to look at the prospects at their schools, but also more importantly for us, more time to do research, and find out more of the answers to the questions that we have as we come out of the combine and our February meetings. From there, we get to our 30 visits, which we recently just completed and that’s an awesome opportunity to have prospects come into your building, get to spend time with your coaches, get to spend time with your personnel staff, get to meet our sports science, our strength coaches, our nutritionist. Really get an opportunity to get to know what this Dolphins organization is all about. With that, we’re really excited about the process and can’t wait for the draft.” 

Tannenbaum:

(On who ends any debate when discussing a player) “Dennis does. We have a great debate, we look at the board, we let the board dictate things in terms of trying to make trades and things like that, but the final decision rests with Dennis."

Dennis Hickey:

(On comparing the draft needs of last year to this year and how much more flexible this year appears to be in terms of which position to go after) “Again, the process is the same for us and placing that value. That’s where we valued Ja’Wuan James last year who is a quality player for us. The process doesn’t change, the names change, the players change, the prospects change, but that part of the process has not changed."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On how good of an idea they have of who they will come away with picking at 14 in the first round) “Based on my experience, if we’re at 14, there will probably be 12 players that we love, if we’re at 20 there are probably 18 and then you sit there and you hope. That’s always been my experience."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On DE Dion Jordan being absent for voluntary workouts) “Yeah, right now we’re in the voluntary part of the offseason program and we’re really happy with the attendance and if somebody chooses not to be here that’s obviously their decision."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On DE Dion Jordan being absent) “Yeah, again, it’s the voluntary part of the program and we can certainly talk about the guys that are here. That’s the part of the offseason program where we’re at."

Dennis Hickey:

(On having success with players that may have had issues in college last year and if that will influence their decisions this year) “Well, with all of the players, we judge them on an individual basis and that’s part of the process that Eric was referring to and that our scouts do such a good job, being extensive, being thorough, we always talk about doing our due diligence with every prospect. With that, those lead us to the decisions that we make based on an individual basis."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On having a history of moving up in the draft and if he feels like the Dolphins have enough ammo to move up this year) “Why can’t we talk about all of those trades they made backwards? Dennis traded back multiple times last year and we got Jarvis Landry. We’re an equal opportunity trader (joking). In all seriousness, we want to be as flexible as possible. We added Greg Jennings who we think is a really good player, that just added to our flexibility. As the next three days of the draft unfold, hopefully there will be opportunities to go up and down. I know there has been a lot said about moving yup a lot, but we could go the other way as well, so we’ll see what happens."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On how they weigh what they see at the combine versus what they see on tape) “I think for all of us, as many years as we’ve all done this, they’re all a big factor. I always like to say there is not one part of it that is outcome determinative, but one of my favorite parts about the draft is when you turn in the card, it’s a representation of the Miami Dolphins, it has Stu Weinstein’s imprints on it, it has our doctors, it has the area scouts, all of the things that these guys have touched on. I wouldn’t say that any one area is the outcome determinative, but you try to put all of the pieces together."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On if you get better at drafting as the years go on) “I would say for me, absolutely. You read the books about the great GMs (general managers) like Ron Wolf’s book in particular was meaningful for me, or coach (Bill) Parcell’s book recently and they talk about some of the mistakes they made early. But I would just tell you, for us, it’s about our preparation and you see what happens. I’ve seen a lot of unexpected things happen but I feel really good about where we sit with the roster and I feel really good about the flexibility we have. Sure, if we’re sitting here a week from Monday, we can certainly talk about, I don’t know what we’d have for lunch because we’ve had Subway, we’ve had Laspada’s, I don’t know who would be up next, but we can have that conversation. A lot of unexpected things are going to happen, and that’s OK. I just think we could all sleep well at night knowing that we’re prepared and when something unexpected happens hopefully for us it’s opportunistic."

Dennis Hickey:

(On if they put more weight into a player’s character given the recent trouble the NFL has faced with the multitude of suspensions) “Our emphasis on character has not changed. In all of the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve always placed a strong emphasis and relied on our scouts and the interactions we have with these young men, hearing their stories, what shaped the. That’s always been an emphasis. But again, we judge each player, each prospect on an individual basis."

Eric Stokes:

(On University of Georgia prospect Todd Gurley... Go!) “He’s a talent. He’s definitely a player that his ability that stands out and shines. He’s an exciting guy to watch. We’ve enjoyed working through that process with him and seeing him. From there, we’ll see where things shake out."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On how much weight they put on injuries that players suffered in college and if they would be available later rather than sooner in the NFL) “I would answer that question much more philosophical, be it character, injury, whatever it is. You have to be extremely thorough and look at where opportunity is. We always used to say, there are two sides to every story and the truth is in the middle and that could be an off-field issue, it could be medical. It’s a very subjective process. Candidly, you want to work with your doctors and say, ‘Hey, three years ago you guys had this guy off the board and he’s playing at a Pro Bowl level, what can we learn from that?’ It’s a learning process for all of us and that includes. That’s why this process is so interesting, it’s subjective in that, at the end of the day, you have to make your best decision."

Dennis Hickey:

(On if they look at when a player can help them, short term or long term when deciding to draft them) “We always look at things in short-term value and long-term. It’s a balance. Obviously, some guys have more payoff in dividends in the longer term and others in the short term. You weigh that with every prospect and that’s how you place them on the board."

Mike Tannenbaum:

“Sometimes a tiebreaker may be, player X doesn’t have a contract in 2018 and this guy does. That’s where you want to make sure you have a good sense of your cap situation and expiring contracts as well."

Eric Stokes:

(On what made him want to join the Dolphins) “First and foremost my relationship with Dennis was a factor. But also with that, the Miami Dolphins, this is one of the iconic franchises. This makes people stand up and perk up as far as our business when it comes to the history of this game, arguable one of the greatest coaches, you have Hall of Fame players, you have Super Bowl titles. So there are so many elements from that aspect that draw you, not only just a part of this game but a fan of the game. Then I would also say that (Owner) Mr. (Stephen) Ross, the ownership, the resources that we have there to be successful, all of those things sway you to wanting to be a part of this and really have a chance to do something special. I’ll also say that Ryan Tannehill was a big part of that also, a young quarterback, a prospect that I scouted coming out of (Texas) A&M, a guy that I just think is on the come and on the rise. That also was another intriguing factor to bringing me down here to Miami."

Dennis Hickey:

(On if the draft board is set) “Like I said. We are finalizing that. There will be minor tweaks, but for the most part, that’s part of the process leading up to it. We want to be proactive with our decision making and that’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. We’ve been funneling the information, the evaluations. We still have time to, hey, if there is a discrepancy, there has been a lot of healthy disagreements and healthy debate, so alright, we have the time to go back to the tape and watch it and work through any discrepancy and come to a final decision on the player and where he stands."

Mike Tannenbaum:

“The board is firmly etched in pencil."

Dennis Hickey:

(On how they evaluate players from schools on bad teams) “When you evaluate players, you focus on traits. Again, regardless of the competition, you can focus on athletic ability, feet, lateral quickness, strength, power, hands, ability to come out of cuts, all of those different things. You focus on the traits and they lead you to what the player’s projection will be."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On if a decision has been made on the fifth year option for QB Ryan Tannehill) “Is Pat Dye listening to this press conference? Because if he is what Eric just said was hypothetical (joking). Look, Ryan is here, we’re excited he is here, we haven’t made any decisions yet. We know when the deadline is and we’ll make those decisions when we get there. Obviously one of the other axioms you’d like to use this time of year is the tape sets the floor and the character sets the ceiling, and for all of the resources Mr. Ross gives us to put into a player, you want to make sure that player is taking all of those resources and Ryan is just a great example of that."

Mike Tannenbaum:

(On what the conversations have been like with Tannehill’s agent) “Anything that we’d be talking about with an agent would stay between us and them."

Dennis Hickey:

(On if they’d like to use the draft to shore up the offensive line) “We’re always trying to get the best 53-man roster at whatever positions. We’ve added some guys this week. We also like the development and trajectory of a lot of our young players. That’s an ongoing process. We like our guys that we have here and we’ll continue to add to the roster."

Dennis Hickey

(On QB Ryan Tannehill being sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL in his three years and if that’s on him or the offensive line, and how much that is concerning) “Well, obviously, you want to keep your quarterback upright. That’s a big part of winning in the NFL. There’s a lot that goes into each of those individual plays and I think it’s a combination and something we’re always looking at."

Dennis Hickey

(On if they have to emerge from the draft with at least one quality wide receiver) “We’re looking to add quality players in a lot of different positions. That’s the goal."

Mike Tannenbaum

“One of the great things about our sport is there are going to be some untold stories in the fall and why can’t it be some of those guys like a Rishard Matthews that no one is talking about right now, that he takes the next step. Development from within is the most critical part for sustainable success. Yeah, we’re going to add some players and we think they’re going to be impactful and hopeful. The majority of the answers are already on the roster and we’re going to have to continue to improve. The other three teams in our division are improving, so we have to stay up with their rate of improvement and development from within has to be a big part of any plan."

Eric Stokes

(On thoughts on the wide receiver class overall) “I think it’s a very solid class. I think one thing you’re finding is, based off even last year, there was some dynamic explosive receivers. Receivers are contributing much sooner than what they used to and are becoming a little more impactful at an early stage. In regards to this class, I think there’s a little bit of everything. There’s some bigs, there’s some guys that are some littles, there’s some guys that have speed, there’s inside, outside, so the beauty of it is that there is really quality depth throughout. You can really kind of find whatever kind of niche that you’re looking for in regards to that position."

Dennis Hickey

(On if this draft has its own personality as far as strengths and weaknesses) “Absolutely, and we always talk about having clusters of players within the board and that’s always something where healthy debate comes into when you have players grouped together. Obviously, each year, it’s a little bit different where there clusters at what positions are. But that’s one of the things, as you said, every draft is a little bit different with those players and that’s what we’ve worked through as part of the process to come to this point."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On running backs not being as drafted as high previously and the position seeming to make a rebound in this draft, and if that’s because of the players or the way front offices are valuing the position) “Yeah, I think it was a little bit of each. Obviously, the prior team I was with, we ran the ball when we had success. I think you have to be balanced. I’m not sure if Ryan (Tannehill) asked [someone] to ask the question about how many times he was hit (joking). You have to be balanced and opportunistic. Now that there are a couple of better running backs, that’s certainly the perceived value. It’ll be interesting to see how that unfolds on Thursday night. The other thing we were constantly talking about is like, at the end of the day, we’re going to play with the players that college football puts out. If there’s a lot of depth in the receivers, over the last couple of years, that’s what we’re going to be playing with. Some teams have won recently with rotating running backs, so teams are going to look at that as well."

Eric Stokes

(On things like size, weight, etc. and if that determines what they need) “I say we need players who love football, first and foremost. I think we need players who have toughness and bring physical presence. I look at that a little bit differently. I love football, I love all kinds of different players, but, first and foremost, I want players that are going to be passionate about the game. Those are the kinds of players that we want to bring here to the Dolphins organization."

Eric Stokes

(On if a specific skillset makes a difference) “That all depends on what our coaches are kind of looking for. That’s kind of one of those deals where, that’s kind of an individual basis, in terms of what we need, where our holes are. I think that’s more case-by-case in terms of, you’re looking at different players with different skillsets, are you talking about nickel corners or are you talking about outside corners? Are you talking about Z’s or are you talking about X’s (receivers). Those are all of the types of discussions that we have with our coaching staff and we’re able to hone that down."

Eric Stokes

(On what he sees in this class of cornerbacks) – “I think overall it’s maybe not quite as flashy as it has been in the past, but I do think that there is a lot of depth at the position. A little bit like the receiver position, I think there’s a little bit of everything in this draft. Much as I said, I think there’s some guys that are more slot types, I think there are a few outside types, press-vertical corners. I think there are some guys that can play zone. Then I think there are guys that are interchangeable in terms of having some safety, corner flexibility. I think you can find a little bit of everything in this draft. It’s just about what kind of niche you’re trying to fill."

Dennis Hickey

(On if they feel comfortable with the offensive playmakers as the roster is now) – “We added Jordan Cameron who’s a quality Pro Bowl performer. Then trading, we see as our third-round pick this year with Kenny Stills who just recently turned 23. He’s still a young player, but has been a proven player in our league. So we’re excited about what both of those guys bring to the table as well as the development of our younger players. We’re excited about the playmakers that we have."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On the roster changes and if it’s gone more or less like he expected) – “Pretty typically unpredictable, I guess, in terms of there’s been, sit here and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to trade (Dannell) Ellerbe for (Kenny) Stills, (Mike) Wallace to Minnesota, and then get (Greg) Jennings.’ You just never know how it’s going to unfold. Again, it goes back to, it starts at the top. You look at Tom Garfinkel, Matt Higgins, Steve Ross, they give us great resources. Dawn Aponte and Ryan Herman put a plan together and we want to leave assets to be opportunistic. I learned that just from my history, that adding good players in June or July, we added Vinny Testaverde one year in June and went to the championship game with him. The lesson there is you just never know. To be able to get Greg Jennings within a week of the draft I thought was great for us. We’re going to go through the draft and I’m sure we’re all aligned in this with Coach (Joe) Philbin in that, when there’s opportunities in June or July, we’re going to stay aggressive and continue to improve because, let’s face it, we’ve got three formidable opponents in the AFC East and, for us to remain competitive with them, we can’t just sit back and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take the next six weeks off.’  When there’s opportunities, we’ve got to take advantage of them."

Dennis Hickey

(On how to judge players that love football) – “I think you go back to, one, that’s part of the research and what is his past performance and the people who have coached him, been around him, how they describe his love for football. And then you also watch how he plays and is it evident by when you put on the tape that this guy loves football. Obviously, there’s interaction, but a lot of that goes into all of the research that you do and what you see with your own eyes."

Dennis Hickey

(On how to stack guys on the board with character concerns) – “You weight it in, just like anything else. It’s putting the pieces of a puzzle together, so to speak. You weight it in and then our philosophy is to put him at where his value is going to be for your organization, taking all things in, this is where I see him, wherever it is on the board. It’s a wide board, it covers a lot of expanse there. That’s where we put him."

Mike Tannenbaum

“I look at the inverse sometimes too, which is sometimes it’s an opportunity. We just met with Stu (Weinstein) today. He wrote 600-and-whatever reports. That’s an opportunity to be that thorough because, if other teams are taking him off the board, again, there’s two sides to every story. If you can be more thorough than your competitors and he’s sitting there in whatever round it may be, what you thought happened wasn’t the truth and you give them a second chance. I think by being thorough, in the right situation, it can be opportunistic."

Dennis Hickey

(On giving undrafted guys last year a chance with character concerns and they had some success, and if that makes them re-think character issues) – “I think it goes back to the individual person and their story, what shaped them, their own individual situation. Again, going back to the work that Eric (Stokes), Joe (Schoen), Chris (Grier), all of our scouts do and their experience knowing what has worked in the past and what type of issues, just getting to the baseline, what is the situation and what’s your comfort level with that on each individual basis."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On his answer about tracing a player’s love for the game) – “For me, similar to what Dennis said, if you’re winning 37-0 or losing 37-0 and you put on the tape, is that the player, is he the same guy, is he playing with bumps and bruises? To me, who you are in life is how you treat people that can’t help you. When you go to the equipment manager at a school or the trainer or the third assistant strength coach, who’s the first guy in after a loss or who’s the last one to leave? All of those things are factors that I think answer that question."

Eric Stokes

“And Mike hit it with all of those factors. It also comes down to your gut, to your instincts, what is that little ticker inside of you really saying once you have opportunities to visit with these players and sit down with them and look them in the eye. That really goes back to me. I trust my gut, I trust my instincts, and I also factor that in as well."

Dennis Hickey

(On if they are confident that DE Dion Jordan has the proper love for the game or if there is any concern about his investment in this game)  – “This is a pre-draft (press conference). We’ll talk about the draft on that."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On Dennis Hickey having the final say on the 53-man roster and the draft, if that is correct and if Mike Tannenbaum has final say on the 90-man roster) – “Yeah, all roster decisions rest with Dennis. Again, the good news is we’ve had a lot of disagreements. I think that’s what we all want is to have robust debate. As it relates to all roster decisions, those rest with Dennis."

Dennis Hickey

(On if the roster is better suited now to what Head Coach Joe Philbin and Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor are trying to do) – “We’re really excited and we’re thrilled to add a guy like Kenny Stills, see what Jarvis Landry did last year and his continued growth in this system and the growth from year one to year two. A lot of young guys that are still in the development stage and seeing them take the next step. But yes, all of those things come in when you’re talking about players and talking about adding players, whether it’s through free agency, via trade or in the draft. We always talk about, what is their plan of success, what are we going to ask them to do to function in our scheme and how do they fit within that. That’s another part of the puzzle on the players, but we feel good about that."

Mike Tannenbaum

“To just take it another step further too, look, economics, we’re in a salary cap system, so it’s the right player at the right price and the right structure, and can we take player X’s resources and allocate it to another position and then go draft that player to replace that player and spend his money there. Again, I think, in particular, being around these guys for a few months now, when we first start putting our plans together in February and trying to map out, because when you’re building a football team, you have limited resources between cap and picks. Hey, we think the draft is going to be strong here so we’ve got to go spend money here. I think these guys in particular really nailed that because, again, it’s easier to sit here now and say, ‘Hey, now look in the draft.’ But to do that several months ago, that impacted what we did and look the receiver position is part of that discussion."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On if he’s ever deviated from the board during a draft) – “You really try not to. You sit there and you try to line up your need and how the board is. You do tweak trades where you say like, ‘Geez, we’re going to stay here, we’re not going to move and then you move.’ That’s happened because you feel like the opportunities are too good. I’ve had trades that we’re called to me where I’m like, ‘Did they really just make that offer? I don’t want to call you back, just hold on 10 seconds.’ I do believe philosophically you should wait until the end before you turn in the card because you just never know. Candidly, that’s what makes it so much fun and exciting. You work your tail off and you have these debates and you work all of these weekends and nights. The draft should be fun, you’re improving your team, it’s a great opportunity. Again, we’ve got a great story to tell. I don’t know if I mentioned, but there’s no taxes in this state. If you’re an undrafted free agent, it’s a great opportunity. The weekend should be a fun time for all of us."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On if they expect DE Dion Jordan to be at the first mandatory practice)  – “Look, I think what we’re expecting now is to just get through this press conference and get back into the room. We’ll deal with other issues down the road and I’m sure there will be plenty of those to deal with."

Mike Tannenbaum

(On if there is some element of luck in the draft) – “Luck’s part of everything in life. You worry about what you can control and luck’s certainly a factor, but I think it goes back to what Eric and Dennis touched on. When these guys have more time and more money, how are they going to be impacted by that? Are they going to take all of the incredible resources that we have here? We hired Wayne Diesel, a gentleman that has spent time in Africa and England, and he’s here just to get our players to play better and to feel better. We want to bring in as many people as possible that want to take those resources to get better. If we’re doing our jobs well, we’re going to maximize those resources. We won’t be perfect. We’ve made mistakes, we’ll make some more. Sure, luck is a factor in all of that."

Dennis Hickey

(On evaluating small school players and the competition they played, and how to put them on the board)  – “That goes into it. You always measure things and then you measure against all-star (games), when they play at a higher level, going against that level of competition, how do they react and how do they handle that environment. That comes into it. Again, when you issue with small schools, we’re excited about our guys who we drafted last year and we really feel like they’re ready to take the next step. We’re excited to have them on our team."

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