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Del Rio on Durant


The following is an excerpt from the transcript of Head Coach Jack Del Rio's press conference following the first day of the 2007 NFL Draft.

(was it a good day?) "We are happy with the results. It was a productive day. We wanted to add speed and we were hoping to add some defensive players. We were able to do that. We got a really exciting linebacker in the second round – a good run and hit guy. We feel like we solidified a spot that had an opening at safety and we were able to get a real fine player there with speed. Then our last pick, we got a wide receiver with good hands, he's a good route runner and he's got speed. We feel like his best football is ahead of him. In all three cases, we brought in guys with passion for football. When you watch the tape, you can watch the passion jump off the tape."

(on finding small school gems, what do you see in Justin Durant?) "I saw all the things that I covet in a linebacker on tape. He plays with great instinct and awareness. He plays with tremendous passion and determination. He's a sideline to sideline athlete and is a guy that can run and hit. Some of the things that we will work to refine him on are shedding the blocks and things like that. He didn't have to do that because he could run by guys at the level that he played at. We think that he's got the strength. I think he did 25 or 26 reps on the bench which is stronger than some of the defensive linemen. He's got speed and athleticism. He's got the size in his body even though he's not a tall guy. He's thick and he's got strength. I just believe that he's got the qualities that we are looking for. I think the biggest thing if you watch tape is that he is really passionate. He really loves to play and you like linebackers that hunt the football. This guy is a hunter."

(on Durant patterning his play after Derrick Brooks) "That's a pretty special player in the league. I think certainly we see some potential for him being a very good football player, but we will give him an opportunity to let him get to that kind of stature."

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