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Harris on Nelson


The following is a transcript of James Harris' press conference following the first-round selection of Florida safety Reggie Nelson.

(on moving back from 17 to 21) "We knew that there were enough players there (at 21) so we knew we could move back. Reggie Nelson was a targeted player for us. We wanted to add a playmaker on defense and we feel he is a playmaker."

(on what makes Nelson a first round talent) "It's his history. In junior college, he intercepted six balls there and he had a career year at Florida this year. He was a finalist for the defensive back award this year and on the National Championship team; he made some key plays for them. He has a lot of range in covering the field defensively and he is a good athlete. We were down at his pro day and had him at a 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash)."

(on the first round pick becoming an impact player and possibly starting immediately) "We still have two safeties that we like a lot in Donovin (Darius) and (Gerald) Sensabaugh. So we will just add him to the mix and see what will happen. We just wanted that type of player to our roster."

(on not taking Jarvis Moss and trading down) "We thought that there was still value in the third round. We thought that there were still some other first day players available to help us. We felt it was good to get another first day player and still get one of the players that we targeted going in. We thought this would help us."

(on being surprised that QB Brady Quinn was available at 21) "We were surprised. We thought he would go earlier. We discussed him some earlier on but we were surprised that he was still there."

(do you think that Quinn had too much value to pass up?) "We think that Reggie Nelson has a lot of value to us. We targeted a defensive playmaker and he adds a lot of value to our team."

(on Cleveland calling about a trade) "In the end we just thought at that time the other deal we took was a better deal for us. The biggest thing about going back was that we thought getting another first day player would help us. Secondly, the pool of players on the board allowed us to move back and still be in position to get a good player. We felt we were still in control of how far we could move back. That was part of the decision."

(why not Quinn?) "We just took the best player through our discussions at the time and at the time the best choice for us was Reggie Nelson. We went in wanting to get a playmaker on defense. He was there. We thought he would be one of the players available that would certainly be available when we picked. We are happy that we ended up with Reggie Nelson."

(on not necessarily going with the 'best player available') "When we picked, through our discussion, we felt that he was the best player for us. When we do select players, as long as they are graded at the same level, then we can pick either one of the players. The list of players that we had available were all in the same level, so we took the player that was the best for us."

(does this send a message to Byron Leftwich to prove this is his team?) "We didn't go into it, trying to send a message to Byron Leftwich. We went into it to make the best decision for our team and at that time it was based on the best for our team."

(did you have Quinn available at 17 in any of your mock drafts?) "No. We didn't think that Brady would be there at 17. There was so much talk about Brady going early and not getting out of the top 10; we felt the same way. We thought there would be some teams that would come up and get him. Obviously, he fell farther than anyone in the league thought he would."

(was Quinn tempting as a former quarterback?) "You don't make decisions based on where you played. You make a decision based on all the work we do and all the discussions we have with the staff and scouts. Then when we make those decisions and get all that information, that's when we decide what our needs are."

(did anyone call about a trade?) "I'm not going to get into that, but when you are near the end of the clock, you always get calls. Sometimes the offer is not one of value. You make that decision accordingly. You are looking for an offer too good to pass up and they are looking for one that they can give you less than value. So when you don't make a trade, that usually how it ends up."

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