April 20-21, 1996
³There were two players with high value at this point in time. It was really difficult to go beyond that value, particularly since we had scheduled an offensive tackle late in the draft as a need, a developmental type of thing, but a guy you can play both guard and tackle, that¹s Jimmy Herndon. He has great size at 6¹ 8², 305 lbs, with the ability to play guard or tackle. He¹s a guy who I know can be developed in our weight room to be 330 -340 pounds with his size and athleticism. He¹s a very competitive guy, an Academic All-American, a guy who can learn more than one position, who really fits a need for us as a backup tackle right off the bat, a guy who we can get to solve and bring along in that position and a guy who had an outstanding workout for us. Mike Maser really liked this young man who fills a need for us. His value was too high for us to go fishing any further down the line.²
(on Herndon¹s availability) ³We were really surprised. It¹s kind of like our Tony Brackens pick.²
(on remaining needs ) ³We have about six young men listed in there that we think certainly have opportunities. It¹s very difficult now to get a size and speed man. A lot of receivers are gone now. That was an area of the draft that was strong, and a lot of defense backs are gone, too. One out of every four picks from the start of the top of the fourth round has been a defensive back.²
(thoughts on the draft ) ³What I really feel good about is, of course, we taken some players that we needed to take. We¹ve helped our defense. We obviously went strongly for the defensive side of the ball. A big key will be whether Aaron Beasley can be our third corner ‹ can he be a cover corner, can he be the kind of guy who can help us in regard to that? Because we¹re going to have to stick with him and call him a corner and go with that. I think the ability to get Brackens where we got him is a huge plus. To have Brackens and Hardy was a great way to start the Draft. Michael Cheever is a solid, solid guy. But can Beasley be the guy who can cover and help? He has size and, of course, he has tremendous playing speed ‹ as you know, he has not much speed on the clock but he does play on another level and he does have good instincts for the ball. These things give us a real solid feel for the draft, and then going ahead and making the pick of the receiver (Reggie Barlow), knowing we have a receiver and a return man whose level of play was not as great, but he does have the speed. We think ihe is a guy who can return and give us some developmental ability there. I feel good about it.
³Do I wish that were able to accomplish all of our goals? Certainly I do. But, as I mentioned, it¹s a long way from the top of the round all the way to the top of the next round. Even early going and a lot of players go by as that happens and to answer everything that you need is a little idealistic at this point in time. It¹s not going to take anything away from the way I feel about the draft. Nobody¹s going to know about it until we see these players down the line and how they produce. But I feel very good about it. It¹s a very solid draft at this point in time, and let¹s see what happens with these last four picks. If we can hit on some guys that come in here and fill some roles, that would help a lot.²