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Del Rio on Nelson


The following is a transcript of Head Coach Jack Del Rio's press conference following the first-round selection of Florida safety Reggie Nelson.

"We added Reggie (Nelson). We're excited about a playmaking free safety from right down the road. We're close to him. We spent a lot time this spring studying the safety position. We feel like he's a guy with special range and playmaking ability and we're excited to add him to the football team. He brings speed and athleticism, sideline to sideline range. He's a ball-hawk. Six interceptions last year. He's got seven blocked kicks in his collegiate career. Urban Meyer just couldn't say enough positives about this young man. We feel like he's a real good fit and we feel like by sliding back the way were able to pick up some additional picks and still acquire a player of this value, we thought it made a lot of sense for us and we're pleased to be able to pull that off."

(you passed on QB Brady Quinn twice, did you have Reggie Nelson rated higher on your board? A lot of people thought Brady could be the first or second pick in the draft.) "Teams that were looking for quarterbacks, obviously in the mocks and everything, he was considered a second guy. I don't know that another guy has come off yet. I'm sure it's a big story around the whole country. It's unfortunate for him at this point being up there in New York and expecting to come off early and then having to sit and wait. So, a tough day for him. He's a good young man, a good football player and I'm sure he'll end up falling to somebody and represent a good value for them."

(did you consider drafting Quinn?) "Yeah, we also consider everybody and obviously he was somebody that ended up being there staring us in the face. So yeah, you have to look at all your options but we didn't feel for us it was a fit and elected not to do it, and so here we are."

(earlier this week you said that you and James Harris said in the first round you would pick the best available player. Is it fair to say you saw Reggie Nelson as a significantly better player then Brady Quinn?) "I don't know that you would say 'significantly better.' I'd say they actually had comparably grades. I think where you have comparable grades then you have to take the player of need. We had good grades on Brady and I think he's a good football player. I'm sure he'll come off the board real soon because it's just too much value."

(you said that Brady Quinn was not a fit for your team. Why?) "I don't care to get into particulars. We thought it was a much better fit with Reggie and we're real excited to have him."

(did Cleveland call for a trade?) "A couple times."'

(how is Reggie Nelson a fit for your team?) "We think he's an athletic free safety in the mold of Rashean Mathis and Ed Reed. In terms of athletic ability, this is a guy who has played some nickel, has played some corner; he's a free safety in our minds. A very athletic guy with tremendous ball skills, great range and he's got speed to close and make plays. He's blocked kicks and plays with a lot of passion. He's a lot of fun to watch. Like I said, in discussions and in doing our research and talking with staff down there at Florida how much they really love having this young man as part of their program. We think he's a great addition to our football team."

(do you think it's fair to say you were within a pick of DB Darrelle Revis?) "He was obviously a player that we had a lot of affection for and he went off before we had a chance to be involved in it. But that's part of the draft process. You study a lot of different players and then you get to pick one every round and so that's just part of the process."

(during your initial trade, were you gambling to get Reggie Nelson at the 21st spot?) "There is always a little bit of risk that you're taking when you slide back in terms of how many players are there and you're wanting to make sure that you feel comfortable about the range of players you're dropping back into or that you're going up into. And we slid back and there were several good players on the board that we thought would help us. Ultimately we were able to make a selection that we're really excited about and pick up some extra value."

(when you were making the trade at 17, did you feel confident Reggie Nelson would be available at the 21st spot?) "We hoped he would be there. Now, we didn't know he would be there. There were a few players. We took a calculated risk that ended up paying off for us and that's part of the process. You work hard at it, scouts and coaches putting the board together, and then you make decisions that you think are best for the team and I'm happy with the way it's worked thus far. A good start for our weekend."

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