Initial comments:ML: Concluding the day with Clinton McDonald from Memphis and Freddie Brown from Utah, I really feel good about our last four picks. They hit us in good spots. I think every one of these guys has an opportunity to compete to make our roster. If they don't, they will make other guys better, and that is big. They all have great athletic skills and upside to play NFL football. I really feel good about the finish, in particular the seventh-round guys, maybe in comparison to last year's guys.
Overall to sum up the draft, I think it's been a good, positive couple of days for us, gaining guys that will come in here and have an opportunity to compete. I don't think they are going to be overwhelmed by the NFL at all. They all have the athleticism and ability to play at this level and make us better. Things fell in place pretty well, and we will go forward now and coach them up, which is the biggest thing. Now they are ours, and we have to do the best job that we can getting them ready to play football.
Q: The players you drafted seemed to be not only high quality, but also fit your needs:ML: As the draft unfolded, we were able to hit some needs with guys that we felt really good about, and that was important for us. It really hit and fell the right way, and I think things that we wanted to try to get done since we finished last season have been taken care of. We will still probably fiddle around with a few things over the next couple of weeks, and then we will get ready to take the roster to training camp.
Q: What made Bernard Scott a guy you wanted, in spite of his off the field issues?ML: He had some things in his past and bounced from school to school. I liken him to T.J. Houshmandzadeh a little bit. I think at that point in the draft, it was worth the opportunity. He has kind of gotten his life back together, and he is ready to play football. Wherever this guy has been, he has succeeded and run for a lot of yardage. We had a lot of time talking with people around him the last couple of years, and we felt really good about him. There were a couple of other guys at Abilene, so we had people in there a couple times during this draft process and we got good feedback on him being a different person.
Q: You drafted a few guys that you had at the Senior Bowl:ML: (Kevin) Huber and (Morgan) Trent are the guys we coached. A couple of the other guys were at the game. It's good to have a chance to be around guys, particularly at the end of that week, and see how they are and interact for the entire time you're down there. Also, you can see what they can do as far as competing in the game. You really don't get a chance to see the intensity on the faces unless you are truly there at the game, and on the sideline at the game. That's been a big part of this. Morgan Trent was a late addition to us down there. John (Luigs) was on the other side with Rey (Maualuga). We've had a chance to experience those guys. You know what I like about these guys, is that they have something to prove. It wasn't a question of if they could make an NFL team, but a lot of these guys probably feel like they were going to be picked a little bit earlier. There has been a lot of talk about these guys. They have an opportunity to prove that 'I'm the best center, I'm the best tackle, I'm the best linebacker, I'm the best rusher, I'm the best tight end, I'm the best running back.' They will all come into a locker room with a chip on their shoulder, and they can carry that through and continue to play that way.
Q: Were you pleased with the value that you were able to get in the third round?ML: We are excited to be able to pick both of those players, because when we went into the draft we thought we might get one of those guys in the third round. To be able to pick both of those guys is big.
Q: How do you feel about the center position; you didn't get one of the three top-rated guys?ML: I feel real good about the center, because we felt real good about our guys that are here in our program. I feel better about it now because we have another guy to compete with those guys. Competition makes you better. I think that we are real content with where things are. There's an opportunity for the guys that we have in house. With the injuries, we were able to run a lot guys through here.