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Transcript - Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer & General Manager Trent Baalke: April 21, 2021

URBAN MEYER: (On the first overall pick and the announcing the pick before the draft) "We are knee deep in the NFL Draft process. We're going to meet with ownership tomorrow and [General Manager] Trent [Baalke] and I are working together, but ultimately, the owner's going to pull that ticket on that one. So, we're going to have a great meeting tomorrow and I imagine we'll get closer to a decision. I'm sorry, not tomorrow. Friday, right? We're going to meet with the owners this week, how's that?"

TRENT BAALKE: (On discussions about offers for the overall first draft pick) "We've fielded a couple of calls, but I think we're going to hold tight. Again, that decision is made organizationally and our ownership is definitely involved with that as well."

MEYER: (On the verdict in the George Floyd case and the impact in the NFL) "Well, I think the jury got it right and that horrific video is going to forever be in all of our minds. I look forward to working with our team and the Jacksonville community and trying to make a positive impact."

MEYER: (On the influence Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell's work with Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had on his hiring) "[It had a] tremendous impact, especially after my conversation with Russell [Wilson], the homework. Trent was very involved in this as well. I could have gone a lot of directions with offensive coordinator, with quarterback coach. I couldn't be more pleased with [Passing Game Coordinator Brian] Schottenheimer and Darrell, first of all, the two of them working together, the great experience. Then also Brett Favre, and I talked to all of the quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford, that Bevell had worked with. But his ability to get Russell Wilson in the NFL and performing at a high level rather quickly was a big reason why he's here."

BAALKE: (On what he has learned about Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence during the draft process) "Well, the easiest way to answer that is [there are] no negatives. [With] all the research we've done, you're always looking for the stars to align when you're looking at prospects, whether that be from a physical, mental, character aspect, whatever the case may be. With his situation, like many others in this draft, the stars all align and that's what you're looking for."

BAALKE: (On the depth at the tight end and safety positions in this year's draft) "I think when you look at the draft, you're looking at values, you're stacking the board based on the value of a player, not necessarily on need. If you do that, you tend to overvalue players and [if] you do that consistently, you're not going to be in the game long. So, what we try to do is just look at the player for what he is, stack the board for what it is, and let the board speak to us on draft day. If there's a player there in a position of need and we have it valued that way, the decision will be to go with the need."

BAALKE: (On trusting the board during the draft process) "I think when you look at the amount of time we've spent organizationally from a scouting perspective, the personnel staff, the coaching staff, the amount of time we've spent together to build this board, I think it becomes very easy, no different than coaching. On Sundays, it's easy to call plays when the preparation's right. I think the same thing with the draft. I think we're going to be very prepared, feel very good about where we're at, so trusting that board, that's how you make a living. You have to trust it. When you don't trust it, that's when you make mistakes. So, we feel very good about the preparation we've put into this, feel very good about where the board is. We're about 95% there, we have about 5% more to get done, but we'll be very trusting of the board come Thursday, Friday, Saturday."

MEYER: "To answer your question, I think Trent said it a second ago, as a coach, I find myself always looking at need and that's where you have to be cautious, you start chasing players. The whole idea of value is completely new to me. That's something I relied on [Defensive Coordinator] Joe Cullen and [Offensive Coordinator Darrell] Bevell as coordinators and [Special Teams Coordinator] Brian Schneider who has extensive experience in the NFL, and obviously Trent and his staff. I'm a quick learner. I've been working at this now for about three months and the last three to four weeks, this has been our entire life in that room watching video, stacking the board. So, trusting the board is key. I'm at the point almost there that I will trust it, but as a coach, I can see where [you can say], 'We need this, we need this, and we need this' and that's where you get yourself in trouble. It's been a great learning experience for me and to answer your question, I'm nervous. I'm nervous about everything, I think you know that."

BAALKE: (On the plan for the 25th overall pick) "First and foremost, trust the board. That's how me, in the position I'm in, have always operated. It all depends on what happens in front of you. You never know what's going to happen, so your plan has to be fluid. If we're in a situation at 25 where the board says let's trade back two or three spots, and that becomes available, that's an option, you pursue it. If not, you make the pick and you move on to the next pick."

MEYER: (On using all of the team's four picks in the top 65 to fill positions of need) "Absolutely. I see that we not only have to make those picks, [but] we have to add immediate value to our team. That's the way Trent, myself and our coaching staff look at it. That's how important these picks are, so we're looking at these picks to make instant impact, especially those first four picks."

MEYER: (On whether he's asked around about what it will be like at the NFL Draft) "Yeah, well mostly, I've been talking to the guy on my left about that. We've had a couple dry runs. We're going to have a couple dry runs again. I'm a control nut and an organizational nut, so I want to make sure that—I want to know where people are sitting, I want to know what camera, what we're going to be looking at on the screens. And Trent has been great and this is the first time this personnel in this organization will do it. So, we're going to be on point. And so, at this point, we've had a couple dry runs, but we're going to go in great detail early next week about exactly how it takes place. So, I'll feel much better after that."

BAALKE: (On the Jaguars fans joining together to buy Trevor Lawrence a wedding gift and donating money to the charity of his choice) "I think it's awesome."

MEYER: (On the Zoom meetings that he had with Trevor Lawrence) "Sure, we've maximized the Zoom opportunity, not just with Trevor but with other quarterbacks as well, every position. This is a very unique time, this draft to be able to –maybe the first time in history, I'm not sure—where you can't visit with the players. Even when you want on a Pro Day, you can usually go get so much information from not only the player—I remember when I was at Florida, Ohio State and even Utah, people would come in and visit and the amount of intel that you could find, not just from talking to the coach, but the weight coach, the trainers, everybody in the building. We're being very creative on how we can find out that information and I've challenged our staff, I've challenged the personnel staff to be creative on how they can find it. Zooms are great, but that only takes you so far as well. So, I've had several with Trevor, he's been great. And we've done—I mean, the one thing that—whatever the Zoom bill is, we have worn it out [over] the last couple of weeks."

MEYER: (On what has been the biggest drawback on having more of a virtual offseason) "Oh the obvious. I think the majority of coaches I know, if not all of them, get into it for the player and the relationship with the player. There's nothing quite like walking into the weight room and hanging out with the player, going into the training room. And we've had a bunch of players here and we started virtual meetings on Monday and our players have been fantastic. I've gone into, now it's mostly my position and I've had the ability today to go on and visit with some of them. It's the world we live in, we're making the most of it, it's not perfect. But you know what, I give our guys a lot of credit because I know it's all voluntary. But it's been, it's not the best because you're not there in-person with them, but it's darn close."

MEYER: (On how this draft class could help build up the defensive line) "The edge is a little deeper than the interior, but there are some really quality players on the inside as well. We addressed some of the needs on the defensive line in free agency; that was obviously a high need area for us. We're not done yet, but actually today, this afternoon, we're going to finalize—that's one of the final pieces. When Trent said we're finishing the board, that's one of the final pieces that we're actually working on. It's obviously, 'How good is your team? How good is your defensive line?' That's the first answer. We have some really solid pieces right now that we even believe will play better as they get a little more mature and we move on and the scheme fits some of our personnel. But that's a great question and this afternoon we have to get that answer. It's not completely done yet."

BAALKE: (On how they look at players who have opted out) "Well I think, as far as the opt-out question, it's difficult. I think this has been a challenging year from that respect. You've got guys that should've played that didn't play. You've got conferences that didn't play at all, they didn't have an option to play. So, how do you view that? Do you go back and use the 2019 film on guys? Because even the guys that played this year, their season was different, their preparation was different. So, I think you've got to use a combination of all the different avenues you can to evaluate these guys and make the best decision you can. But the opt-out has thrown a wrench into it. It has forced us to dig a little deeper. So, I think to the advantages of being able to really dig in and find out as much as you can about these guys and use all of that information. And again, if the stars align, then it's easy. If the stars don't align, if 2019 and 2020 don't align, then you've got to make a best guess and that best guess is based on their culture, the mindset of the player, the competitive nature of the player and those things. So, there's just a lot that goes into making these decisions and I think we've done an excellent job of exhausting all of our resources to come up with those."

MEYER: (On how much room there is for competition to still be added in the offensive lineman position) "I think that's an obvious statement. Competition brings out the best in everyone and the way I look at our offensive line is they're very talented people. We made a decision to go with the starting five that we had, which you're also going to get a guy named Tyler Shatley. We've got some other young players that I know [Offensive Line] Coach [George] Warhop thinks very highly of. And like I mentioned with the defensive line, the next question you're going to ask, 'How's your team? How's your offensive line?' And I feel like our offensive line could play much better and I believe we have the coach and I believe we have some excellent talent that we will play much better. And they're still—our two tackles were young players, which are still coming to their own. We have some veterans inside that I feel good about. But to answer your question, we will try to help bring some competition to the offensive line with the draft; we're planning on doing that."

MEYER: (On how he will evaluate the draft prospects' balance between their red flags and their talent) "That's a huge part of it. We have our doctors and we're actually—I think it's this week, Friday—we're going to meet with our doctors and our trainers. They've done a deep dive through the combine and through just research and data. Every player that comes up—I don't want to give too much away, but I'm sure everybody is doing this—they're digging that if there is any red flag at all before that name goes on the board, we're going to cover every area. And so much of this is sports performance and my Zoom calls are involved with that. It's that I've had great players that have gone on and they've disappeared in the NFL and a lot of it is because of the sports performance. Either the organization doesn't take it very seriously or the player doesn't. And that's unsustainable in high level college football or the NFL, unless it's very important to you. So, that's a question I ask every player. If it's not important, then we've got to gauge—Trent and I and our coaching staff/personnel staff— can we overcome that? Because there's a good chance that his career is not going to end well if you don't take all of the analytics and all of the sports science that's available to you. It's a huge part of the Jaguars organization."

MEYER: (On whether he plans to continue addressing speed and big play ability in the draft) "That's every year. That will be a nonstop cycle of speed, speed winds. We've addressed it with [Phillip] Dorsett, Marvin Jones, [Jamal] Agnew, off the top of my head. And we plan to—that'll be a cycle of the Jaguars always looking for speed. Big plays were absent on offense last year and we have to get better and a lot of it is speed. There's a lot more than speed involved in that, but obviously speed is a big piece of that."