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James Harris on Rashaen Mathis


(what do you like about Rashean Mathis?) "What we like about him is he is a playmaker. He had 14 interceptions as a senior. 31 interceptions in his career. had 11 as a sophomore. The ball seems to find him. He has good size and speed. He's a 4.4 guy. He's played both corner and safety. He gives us an opportunity to try him at two positions in the secondary. He's what we call a 'playmaker'."

(was this pick based on need or best player available?) "We had him targeted as a guy that going into the draft, we would like to take with this pick. We feel very fortunate to get him here at the seventh pick in the second round."

(any reason why others had Mathis ranked lower than he was picked?) "I think some teams probably had him ranked right about the same area we had, but probably may have taken another guy. But we really don't concern ourselves with that as much as we do getting the player that we want, and going into this draft this is a guy we had targeted."

(did you feel the wide receivers available weren't worth considering?) "There were some wide receivers we liked as well that we would have considered, but we just thought that this was a guy at this particular spot that was the best value for us."

(was the fact he went to high school in this area part of your evaluation as far as it being a distraction?) "No, we don't look at it as a distraction. We just look at it as a player being able to help us. He played at Bethune-Cookman; had a successful career there. So, we don't think the playing at home will be a distraction. In fact, we look at that as an asset."

(confirming that the Vikings said you offered them a 5th pick for your 7th pick) "That's pretty close to accurate."

(on discussions with the Vikings at the same time as the Ravens) "We were all talking around about the same time. There were discussions. We really weren't quite sure exactly what we were going to do, but we all were involved in some discussions."

(on Wayne Weaver saying that the Vikings were bluffing; who do you think was bluffing?) "It was all a poker game. We were all just playing poker."

(does the Mathis pick signify an unhappiness with Jason Craft and Fernando Bryant, or are you trying to trade Bryant?) "No, we plan on playing Fernando Bryant. Mathis played both positions. We think it gives us a good player."

(so you're not trying to trade Fernando Bryant?) "No, we would like to play with Fernando Bryant, if we could. Obviously, there has been some conversation with many of our players. We'll listen. There is nobody that we consider a player that we wouldn't listen to in terms of talking or having a discussion with."

(have you tried to shop Fernando Bryant this week?) "We wouldn't say we tried to shop. We've been in some discussions about several of our players that we have been in discussions with."

(going into the second round, is Mathis the player that you knew you wanted to pick?) "Going into the draft, we had a list of players that if they were available at this pick, we would take. If none of those players were available, we would trade out. He was one of the players that we were willing to take in the second round."

(were there any other players you had ranked above Mathis?) "There was one other player available that we would have taken."

(what was Mathis' best 40 time?) "His best 40 time has been 4.3. He'll probably be listed in the 4.4s, but he's been clocked in the 4.3s."

(did you clock him at 4.3?) "Our scouts got him anywhere from the high 4.3s to the 4.4s, but to be conservative, I'm pretty sure we'll use the 4.4 time."

(will Mathis immediately become your fastest defensive back?) "Probably would have the fastest time of any defensive back that we have. Just thinking about it real quickly, I would think he would have the fastest time that we have."

(was it tempting to take a wide receiver at this spot?) "No, we had this discussion last week. We already made this decision. When the time came, we were pretty comfortable with selecting him."

(was one of the players you had listed higher on you list a wide receiver?) "I'm not going to name the position, but we had one other player that we thought would also come in and help us in terms of adding a potential starter to our roster."

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