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Transcript - Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke: May 1, 2021

(On waiting until the fifth round to pick a tight end) "Again, we had some guys in line. You can't control the board, the board kind of controls you at times. But we feel very good and fortunate to pick up Luke [Farrell] when we did. Again, filling that room is going to be an ongoing process, just like it is at every room. We're going to try to make each room as competitive as we can. We feel we made great strides in doing that this weekend, but we're far from finished."

(On conversations about acquiring a veteran tight end) "It's ongoing with a lot of things to be honest with you, not just that position but in general. We set out to make this roster as competitive as we possibly could and we're going to continue to work on that up until camp, and once camp gets going, we're going to take the next phase. We're sitting in a sweet position moving forward having the first claiming order as we progress through the rest of the offseason and into the season, so we're going to use that to our advantage."

(On what stood out about DT Jay Tufele) "Put on the film. He's a plus two guy all the way, great effort player, has the type of mindset that we're looking for. Coach [Urban Meyer] was very familiar with him based on the recruiting process coming out. [He's a] quality guy and quality football player."

(On trading up for DE Jordan Smith) "Well, when you look at the board, again, our board is based on value and at that point in time, he was clearly the highest rated guy on our board, and we just didn't feel comfortable with what we may possibly get if we weren't able to get him. So, we just made the decision to move up and be aggressive."

(On Head Coach Urban Meyer using his collegiate recruiting insight) "It helped a lot. When you look at what [Seahawks Head Coach] Coach Carroll was able to do when he first went to Seattle, his understanding of that group of young men that he had heavily been involved with in their recruiting process. I think you get to know them at a different level, especially in the situation we're currently in with COVID and the inability to get in front of these guys. Having all that previous knowledge of these guys as they came through high school made a huge difference."

(On using that insight in the next few years to come) "We're going to continue to work on ways to keep that the strength of what we do, having inroads to get information that we need to get, relationships. It's all a part of the business."

(On sticking to the board throughout the entire draft) "We felt really good about the board. We followed it. We didn't deviate at all every chance we got in the draft. I think we drafted nine guys at the end of the day total. All nine of those guys when we drafted [them] were the highest rated players on our board at the time we picked them at their respective positions and on the board itself as you look at the board. We look at it two ways: vertically and horizontally. Vertically by position and horizontally trying to compare the value of players across the board. That's how the board's set and we try to follow it as closely as we can."

(On WR Jalen Camp's potential) "What you're trying to do later in the draft is you're trying to find guys with upside, guys that for whatever reason may not have gotten the type of notoriety at the position or had the success at the position or whatever else may play a role in that. But you're looking for height, weight speed, you're looking for traits, you're looking for anything you can hang your hat on to develop. [He's] another guy that's a great culture fit, has a great work ethic, an excellent mindset, and he has the physical traits to develop and help us not only as a receiver, but hopefully play an important role on special teams if he reaches his potential."

(On WR Jalen Camp's workout numbers) "For a big man, his vertical, his linear stealth was excellent. His change of direction stuff was very good for a player that size. So, across the board, his numbers stood out, just another big guy with traits that did some nice things at the position and some things that our receivers coach and offensive coordinator feel very strongly they can develop."

(On the collaboration with Head Coach Urban Meyer being seamless) "I think it was, to be honest with you. It's easy to work with somebody that's this heavily involved in it. We both have worked extremely hard, as has the staff both on the personnel side and on the coaching side. It's been a collaborative effort. We've spent a lot of time. I think Coach may have eluded, we spent a lot of time in the draft room together, as individuals and as a staff overall. I think Coach said today when he walks out, he's going to throw a hand grenade in there and blow it up. I told him to wait, we need a little more time. But it was an excellent process. The proof's always in the pudding. Right now, we have nine football players. We have nine guys we feel strongly about, both as players and as culture fits. Now, the hard work begins. Now we have to get them in here, we have to go to work." 

(On possible contention between him and Head Coach Urban Meyer throughout the rounds) "I wish I could tell you we had a fist fight, but no, it was awesome. And again, we were prepared. It wasn't like we waited until we got on the clock to figure out who we were going to pick. We let the board lay itself out and it did. We trusted the board, Coach trusted it, and that was something him and I talked about leading up to the draft. You go through all these days of working and preparing and getting the board set and then on draft day, to not follow it doesn't make a lot of sense. So, we did a great job together in sticking with it and again, the proof will be in the pudding when these guys get in here and start to play."

(On the offensive line) "We feel good about the offensive line and where we're at. We're currently working on signing a couple of guys potentially once free agency hits at the end of the draft, but we feel very good about the depth, the young guys that we have in the veteran crew. Did we look to address it a little more? We did, but again, the board didn't say do it, so we didn't do it."

(On picking up DL Taven Bryan's fifth year option) "Right now, our whole focus was on getting through the draft. So, once we get done with this, we'll take a day to breathe and then we'll put our heads back together and start working on future decisions."

(On acquiring talent through college free agency) "We'd like to sign as many guys as we think can make our 90-man roster as competitive as it can possibly be. So, what the magic number is? I don't know. That all depends on who's available and who we can get, so the process is no different. You follow the board. The guys that are still left on the board at the end of the day at the high end, those are the ones go after. If you don't get them, you keep working your way down the board. So, the board stays true through free agency just as it does through the draft."

(On DE Jordan Smith as a pass rusher) "He can get off the block, he's 6'5" and change, he has good first step quickness, he can get skinny. His biggest challenge is going to be, because of his linear build, is getting stronger and being able to turn his quickness into power and being able to play with both strength and speed. You need a combination. You're not going to win with just being a one trick pony in this league."

(On TE Luke Farrell being an upside pick) "I think if you talk to Ohio State staff, they'll tell you [he was] underutilized. If you look at their tight end core as a whole last year, they have a young man that's on that team right now that's going to be one of the top tight ends in the country. His production, when you look at the stats, isn't great. I think they would say that that's one thing they're going to be working on too. But we had a lot of collaboration obviously with Ohio State and their staff and how he was used, and you went to his pro day and you saw things in him on pro day that made you believe there's some upside as a receiver and he's not limited to just being a blocking tight end."

(On a timeline for making decisions on additional players) "There won't be any workout guys that we're bringing in this year. Will we bring in a couple of guys periodically? Maybe, but once college free agency's set, then we're going to be looking closely just at other teams who may be making cuts and that type of stuff. But there won't be a whole lot of workout guys coming in."

(On bringing in additional players for evaluation workouts) "We going to sit down again [in] a day. Let's let this thing breathe for a day. Let's catch our breath and then let's look early next week on where are we going from here. What did we address? We didn't we address? What do we still need to do with the roster?"

(On DE Jordan Smith saying he was the best pass rusher in the draft) "I didn't hear that, but I love guys that think that way. Ultimately, that's what you want. You want guys that believe in themselves, that have a high self-efficacy grade. Those guys that have that feeling and belief, that they truly believe it, they have the best chance to achieve it."

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