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Del Rio on Daryl Smith


"We got a good linebacker out of Georgia Tech. A good athlete. Strong, fast. We feel like he's a real good football player and we're real happy to have added him. I just got off the phone with him. He's from a town in Georgia about 5 hours from here. We're happy to have him."

(where do you envision Smith playing on your defense?) "We'll see. He's played mostly in the middle and special teams at Georgia Tech. He shows the athletic ability to be able to play outside. We'll look at him at both and see how our guys fit best. There is not a cookie cutter. We get our guys and watch them move around and we'll play them where we think they play best."

(from watching Smith on tape, do you think he'll be good in coverage?) "Yes, we think he'll be very good in coverage. We think he can play outside and inside. I think he'll be very versatile. He's a strong, strong player. Plays through the face of blocks very well. He's a productive guy. If you watch film, he's a fun guy to watch."

(were your first and second round picks similar in value to your mock draft?) "This is another case of good value. Our value line has been remarkably on target. I think that's a credit to our scouting staff and all the effort we put in to getting prepared. This is a good player and we're happy to have him."

(as a general rule, do you like having a versatile linebacker who can play a couple different positions?) "I think being good at one position is the first place to start, but when you have value and you're capable of playing multiple positions, that certainly helps us as a football team. As you know, during the course of the season you'll get injuries and guys will have to be able to slide over, slide in and do more than one thing. So certainly it doesn't hurt when you're looking at guys."

(will Smith start this season?) "I anticipate it being very competitive. Greg Favors and Tommy Hendricks both came here with an opportunity to compete for a job and that'll be the same thing with Daryl Smith. I feel like we have some good athletic guys that'll scrap and go after it. The best will come out of that group and that's how we'll look at it."

(is your strategy the rest of the draft to take the best player available, as long as he's not a quarterback or running back?) "We're going to stick to the best player available mode to a certain extent. Basically, the way it works is we like to stay within a certain value line across our board and then we'll take the position that we want. So we don't want to reach up from down low because of positional need and reach above somebody that's rated higher. So we do the best we can to stack our board in the way that allows us to then, later in the day when you have a large clump, you take the position you like."

(do you think at this point, you had to get pretty lucky to get a pass rusher?) "It looked like there were three this year people thought were productive college ends that would have that ability. I think you saw that Houston traded with Tennessee and gave away about three or four of the middle picks to get in position to take Jason Babin, who was probably the third and final guy that you would say has that 'defensive end, pass rush ability'.

(from this point on, do you look for a player for a particular skill?) "You can't make the board be something it's not. You just grade your guys and rank it, go in and select the best that you can. I think what we'll be looking at as you go forward in this draft, there are guys that will come in this league and play well. We want to find some of those guys. They're not high second round or low first round guys. These guys are down here for a reason, but there are some good football players left to look at. So, we'll try to find some guys who can help us."

(are the positions being selected following in line with your value board, and do you expect the run to continue in the second round?) "Yes."

(did you expect seven wide receivers picked in the first round?) "Yes, we did. We thought of the wide receiver position, that there were three that would go first and the others wouldn't be far behind and would continue and run through the first round like they did. It was our thought that there was no way one of those seven would be there in the second round and it was an accurate assessment."

(was Michael Bouleware a consideration with this pick?) "He is a consideration. He remains on the board, as far as I know, and we'll continue to look at him."

(are trading talks still active between teams, or has that stopped?) "No, it's very active. It doesn't stop. Calls are coming and we're calling. It's just the way the process works. You're always on the phone and seeing where people are and what they want to do and letting them know what you have in mind. Sometimes it fits and works for both teams and sometimes it doesn't."

(did you consider taking a player like Kenechi Udeze with the number nine pick with the thought in mind to try to trade up to the bottom of the first round to get a receiver?) "We looked at it both ways. Because we had the receiver that we ended up selecting a little higher than Kenechi. We looked at it the opposite way – would we be able to get back up into the bottom of the first and get a pass rusher? It ended up being too rich to do it. We would have to gut our draft to do it. It would cost too much. It just didn't work for us so we elected to pass on that and we'll move on."

(are picks more expensive this year to trade than in the past?) "It's market driven. If three people want a pick, all of a sudden you can get more. If you're the only one that's looking and then all of a sudden your guy leaves the board, there's nobody on the phone. So you do what you need to do. It just varies. It's market driven. Players come, players go. Somebody has a guy they get excited about and they want to look for him and then he disappears and they drop out."

(if someone wants to trade up to your spot, do you stick to your numeric table?) "Not completely. I don't think that's realistic, to be rigid with the numeric table. I think there are times when the value to you makes sense, maybe on the plus side or the minus side of the numeric table, but it makes sense for you and the other team. When that's the case, then you make the deal."

(are you still talking about trades involving Donovin Darius?) "We've had some discussions. We like Donovin. He's a good football player. There's not a fire sale going on. We value him. That type of mentality (of getting rid of players) just doesn't exist here."

(do players currently on your roster factor in your draft picks?) "Players come up and all that, but we established a value for him (Darius) and we're not backing away from what we think is the value. It doesn't look like it's going to happen and we're prepared to play with him. We think he's a good player which is why we tagged him, and we'll go on."

(on Daryl Smith listed on the board as a first round grade) "We liked him. When you pick high in the second, you hope that's the case that you're able to get somebody that makes it down to you."

"We are going to continue to look at opportunities going up and coming back. Where there is value to make a deal, we'll make it. But we're not going to force something. I think our process has been very thorough and I think it's a credit to Shack Harris, Gene Smith and our staff and all the work we put in to getting ready."

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