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Draft Transcripts: Caldwell, Koyack and Bradley

Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell

(Opening statement) "We finished up with Ben Koyack. Tim Walsh made it clear that we had to draft a Notre Dame guy so they wouldn't not have a guy drafted. All seriousness, this guy adds a lot of depth throughout. He can play both our F and our Y, he played in the Senior Bowl and we like a lot of his traits. He's big-bodied and athletic and will offer a lot of competition there. Before you ask, we do have the flexibility to keep five without the additional fullback."

(On what he likes about Rashad Greene) "Just his instincts, he's a very good football player and has a knack for zones. He's got excellent hands, good run after catch and for special teams wise, we feel he can come in and really compete for that punt return job."

(On what jumped out about Neal Sterling) "Well he dominated his level of competition. I want to say he averaged 16-plus yards per catch and he's a big guy who runs well. His versatility, not only on the offensive side of the ball but for special teams; as we got later in the draft, we wanted to find guys that can contribute on special teams for Coach Mallory and this is a good guy. Like I said, he's flexible, we can play him in the slot or put his hand down and play him as a tight end and has a lot of room to grow. We had him in here for a visit and he has broad shoulders kind of like Clay (Harbor) when he came out."

(On why Michael Bennett was still available) "You know what, I don't know. Every year in the draft, the same reason why Allen Hurns was there after the draft last year, guys slip through and sometimes teams draft for needs. I can't tell you what other teams are thinking or why it wasn't a great fit for some schemes. He is a scheme fit type of player and fortunate for us he fits our scheme."

(If Rashad Greene would still be available after bypassing him in the fourth round) "Once we bypassed him in the fourth, we didn't think we would have the opportunity to come back and get him. Fortunate for us, he was there and I don't think he would have been there too much longer. I know a couple of our guys got some texts that they had him targeted right after us."

(On James Sample) "I think he will go in there and initially start with Sergio (Brown) and Josh (Evans) for that starting free safety role. Josh will also compete at strong safety. He's been at free for two years so he's got that down. He'll play, probably play behind Cyp (Johnathan Cyprien) to compete for strong safety. Sample is a guy who we feel like has a skillset where he can do both. He's 210 pounds and runs a 4.5 and has a little bit of that element of what we talk about with redline-to-redline. He's got very good ball skills and he's a hard-hitter. All of that compounded with we think he's a very good special teamer. We added Sergio and we felt like Sergio has those skill sets too, but Sergio is an A-plus special teamer so we felt like we got better in two phases there, both in special teams and on defense."

(Overall thoughts on past three days) "I think the overall mood is good.  We are really happy, I know our scouts are happy and our coaching staff is happy. We got some players in the later rounds we didn't think would be there in Michael Bennett and Rashad Greene and even Ben Koyack, who was a guy who went to the Senior Bowl and felt like he would be higher regarded in this year's draft. We feel good. We felt like the key coming into the first two days was getting Dante Fowler, Jr. and TJ Yeldon and if we did that then everything after that would be icing on the cake. Overall the mood is good and waiting for this to end up and see if we can get even better in free agency."

(On drafting big conference players) "I don't think it's a negative. If you've got guys from big schools that play top competition, and I think if you look at them they all come from successful programs at some point in time. Coach Muschamp ran a great program there (at Florida) and you can't deny that. Any player that you get who played for Coach Muschamp for three years you know is going to be pro ready. We're excited about that we know we can coach Dante hard, that's for sure. There's a high ceiling on him. I think somebody mentioned in the draft room that we took a lot of players from major programs – it wasn't intentionally, there were just players we liked and I think it's a bonus."

(On if Jaguars intentionally stayed away from spread guys) "I wouldn't say we intentionally do it. I think the receivers we draft, we look for a specific skillset and when you get in a spread offense, the route tree some of the receivers run is limited but that wouldn't deter us from drafting one if we get him into our system. With our coaching, we can coach them to run the route tree. As long as they have the speed and athleticism to do it, it may just take a little longer to develop."

(On linebackers in the draft in moving forward) "There were five guys I think it was we felt like, maybe if one fell to us we would be lucky and sure enough none of them did. But we feel good, we got Poz (Paul Posluszny) under contract and Telvin (Smith) coming back. We signed Dan Skuta for that reason and have a couple of young guys that are rising. We feel like we have depth there and will try and add some college free agents as we go."

(On less need-based drafting)  "A.J. Cann, James Sample and even Rashad Greene, we liked. We had a little bit of need there but we didn't have to go surge somebody so they would come start. Those guys will offer great competition at their position groups. If some of them have to sit on the bench for a year until they're ready then that's a good problem to have."

(On open competition this year in camp) "I think it's great. It's great for everybody and it' s going to be fun seeing everybody going out in training camp and these rookies will see what real competition is and even the guys that have been there for a year or two will say it's different. They will be pushed. Now, even look at our tight end group, we felt really, really good about it and now we just added another guy. It's going to be great competition across the board and we will see where it goes and it will help the outcome of the season."

TE Ben Koyack

(Thoughts about being drafted in Jacksonville?) "I am excited for the opportunity. I am glad I got picked to a great team with a great coach and I am excited to get started."

(What were you thinking as the clock wound down?) "I was hoping my name was going to get called. I was trying to stay positive hoping a team would take a chance with me and give me an opportunity to prove myself, and that's what Jacksonville did."

(On interaction with the Jags staff) "I got to see them around and on one of our last days we got to interview with the coaches. I felt like they were a great coaching staff. I felt like they were the kind of coaches that I would like to play under. Again, I am glad I had the opportunity to do that."

(You would rather still be taken versus undrafted?) "I don't view it that way. I am happy to be drafted and happy for a team to pick me up. For any team to have that confidence in me as a player is something that is very rewarding, so I just have to go out there and show them that."

(On blocking more this year) "Yeah, I would say so."

(How do you think this last year prepared you for going into the NFL and trying to be more of a well-rounded tight end?) "It made me more well-rounded. I think it put more of a focus on being able to block and (being) more physical, which is something that paid off as the year went on. I think it gave me the foundation going to the next level. It's always something I have to continue working on.  The work is never really done. It just helped give me a kick start to get going."

(Thoughts on coming to a team with two established tight ends) "It's a great opportunity to learn from two of the best guys (Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis). I am excited for the opportunity, I am excited to learn from them and I am excited to get to work."

(How much pride do you take on being a good blocker?) "It's something I definitely take pride in. Guys feel like they have to go into another gear to get by me. I work a lot at it. It was something -- I was always told I was just a receiver -- being able to block, I really took it to and it's heart something I work on a lot."

Jaguars HC Gus Bradley

(On if he has increased competition through free agency and the draft) "I think that if you look across the board every position group was strengthened either through free agency or the draft. I think that it's bound to happen. Most teams can say that they did that. I just think an overall feeling of competition with each (meeting) room and that's always good."

(Does it still come down to what Blake Bortles is able to do?) "Every position group can say that. It's a big part of the offensive line gets better, the running backs do better. It's across the board. That's really our mentality throughout the team. Since that's a position that's really public and people look at, he has to improve. There's no doubt in my mind that he will."

(On James Sample) "Just his size, I think. His versatility, his mentality. I think there's no doubt that we want guys that love the game and play with that sense of spirit, that energy level that we have on the defensive side of the ball. I think he has those traits, as well as his athleticism."

(Does Sample's presence allow you to use Jonathan Cyprien like you envisioned?) "Yeah. I think that we make a decision based on the free safety that we have and how we utilize Cyprien. If we feel like the down safety can be a free safety and play in the box and do really well, that's advantageous for us. If Cyprien can play in the middle of the field and do some things in the middle of the field and do all of the traits we're looking for, that's good. So teams can't just book which safety is coming down in the box. In an ideal sense, we'd like both of them to have the ability to come down. If the free safety does not have that trait then you would see Cyprien to be the guy that's down more."

(On Rashad Greene) "I think with our quarterbacks, they want receivers that they can trust. They're going to run good routes, they're going to catch the balls that are thrown to them, they're disciplined and they're tough. That's what he has. He has those traits. I can see that it could develop where the quarterback really trusts him. I think he's shown that over the course of time."

(Other than Dante Fowler, Jr., do you see this as a defense-heavy draft?) "I think there's three offense and five defense. It wasn't our intention to build offense or build defense. If there would have been a linebacker there, one of those guys, maybe in the third round, we would have looked at it. There wasn't, so next best player available. I don't think we projected it or looked at it and said there was going to be more offense or defense. It just worked out there."

(On A.J. Cann's selection) "Sometimes on the offensive line, that happens. We're really pleased with it. I know in our scale, where he was rated, and he was available there, and again, sometimes you get caught up and saying 'this is sending a message to them.' I think that in each position group, you want to strengthen it in competition. That's what it has created. We're very pleased with him."

(Were you surprised that Rashad Greene and Michael Bennett were still available when you selected them?) "We looked at that earlier. Both of their names came up in conversations. To have the ability to draft them when we did was great. I give credit to our scouts because they were patient. They were able to fill some other needs for us and still get the guys that we needed in the later rounds."

(What's the status of your offensive play install?) "Still a work in progress."

(How will the offense be different this year compared to last year?) "Well, we have no fullback. That would be different. It'll be interesting. Without giving out too much information, it's not going to be a secret. We play preseason games, things like that. I think that the offense, you're going to see that we try to utilize the strength of the players and try to figure out their skillset. That would have taken place. The longer you're with guys, the more you get to know them, you utilize their skillset and put them in position so they succeed. You may see a little bit more of that: specific uses out of people, where we think their skillset is. A guy like Marqise Lee now at X, we feel like that will be a good move for him. Getting to know the players more, I think that's why if you ask some of the new coaches that have been here. They've watched film, they get a chance to meet with them, they're really looking forward to the time to get them on the field and see them work and see them play. I think that's why I think the OTAs and training camp will be so important."

(In general, how has this offseason gone?) "I think it's been very good. I'm pleased. If you put in a combination of free agency and the draft, and I felt like we added very good players. I'm pleased with that. Very pleased with their mentality. I think we have a good locker room. We have some good players in that locker room. The additions of free agency and the draft are only going to make us better. I love the fact that we really competed strongly to get players in here that fit our culture and what we're trying to do and are very good players."

(Do you think you'll make a good leap this year?) "That's our mentality. We really want to make a big jump in improvement. We're going to challenge these guys. Sometimes you challenge them in different ways. A rookie that's coming in, he has different things that he's facing, different anxieties that he's dealing with. A lot of these guys have played a lot of football. They've started a lot of games. We do expect to make a jump."

 

The Jaguars drafted tight end Ben Koyack out of Notre Dame with 229th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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