General manager Howie Roseman addressed the media following the conclusion of the 2014 NFL Draft to talk about the players the team selected, specifically those in rounds two through seven (he talked about first-round pick linebacker
“Jordan Matthews, first of all, it’s one of those guys, you ever meet someone and he’s just like, 'Mr. Roseman, nice to see you. I know you’re a Florida graduate and I went to Vandy in the SEC and how are your four kids,' and it’s almost spooky. It’s like, all right, I’ve got you, you know who I am. I appreciate that. But at the Senior Bowl he’s getting tape on guys, we’re watching tape on guys at 5:30 in the morning. This guy, the level of determination he has, his work ethic, it’s going to rub off on everyone. He can do anything he wants as a person. You leave meeting him, and he’s as impressive a guy as I’ve ever met, really.
“When you talk about a guy like Jordan Matthews, he can (beat man coverage) by his ball skills, by being able to go over guys. He's 6-foot-3, he's 217 pounds, he's got huge hands, he's got long arms.”
“Obviously (Chip Kelly) really liked Josh, but as an evaluator of the personnel staff, we really like Josh because it's easy to see what he does in our offense, right, so it's an easy transition for us. That’s one of the hardest things when you’re projecting players is how are they going to fit in your scheme if they don’t do what you're doing? So with a guy like Josh, you see him playing the slot, you see him playing outside, you see him doing the things that we ask receivers to do, and then I know coach has talked a lot about what we’re looking for in a receiver, the ability to beat man coverage, beat press coverage ... Josh Huff, he can separate because he's explosive. When I watch Josh Huff, I say explosion. When we looked at the receiver board, he was just a guy we wanted, we wanted on this team because of his ability with the ball in his hands, his ability to separate, his toughness on special teams and his ability to return kicks. But really it’s his ability as a wide receiver.
“I just think that as a personnel staff we were really excited about what Josh Huff can do for our offense. The more we watched him and the other receivers and saw his projection, we just got really excited and we wanted him, so that’s where we were on Josh.”
“We didn’t go in and draft (Watkins) because we think he’s just a nickel corner or we think he’s just a role player who can just fill in in a variety of spots. I use him as the example because I know he did a lot of that at Florida. But just having an opportunity to study that program, be around that program, talk to the head football coach there, that’s the kind of player he is. They were looking for a guy who could go in and kind of call the defense for them, but he’s as talented as anyone on that defense. So he was just – the fact that he was versatile just added to his value for them, but he certainly could be a starting outside corner in the National Football League. He’s got enough ability to play three spots. That makes him intriguing just as he grows, but we don’t look at him as just a role player reserve as his ceiling.
“For us with (Watkins), when we weighed all the factors about moving down, we just thought he was a very valuable player for us. We thought he’s another one of those guys kind of like when we got Brandon (Boykin), who if his ankle was 100 percent would have ran even faster and done even better in his testing. When you talk about the package of things he can do, he can play corner, he can play nickel, he can play safety. We think he’s got starting ability at all those three spots. He’s almost 6-feet tall. He’s as smart as you can be. I had a chance to talk to (Florida) coach (Will) Muschamp, obviously. I go down to Florida every year, know his career, so I just didn’t want to risk it. The other thing you’ve got to look at is how far do you want to go? You’ve got a team whose ex-defensive coordinator that have two picks within 10 of us, and we just felt like we would have a lot of regrets if we got cute there.”
“I mean, we had a third-round grade on Taylor because when you look at it, it’s interesting because really the last two years of the – first two years in my career that I've been part of looking for 3-4 defensive ends, and when you really get down to it, there’s not a lot of guys in the draft that kind of fit the description you’re looking for, and so, again, Taylor, it’s easy to see what he does. His production really is off the charts. (Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro) likes to talk about contacts with the ball, and his ability to make contacts with the ball is extremely impressive.
"He can run, he’s got instincts, obviously he’s big, he’s long, and so we did have that third-round grade, and because you know half the teams don’t run a 3-4, when we study other teams that run a 3-4, they sometimes look for different – there is variation on the 3-4 scheme, so we just kind of looked at it. You also kind of look at top 30 visits and who’s worked them out privately. I felt like we had a good handle on Taylor and the teams that are interested in him, of the teams that are interested in him had they addressed that pick with a different player at that time, were they going to go back in the first four rounds and get the second guy.”
“Ed Reynolds was a targeted guy. When I said there was a big drop off, I thought as the group as a whole, we did have a couple guys that we were kind of targeting that we had higher on our board. Ed Reynolds is an interesting guy because when you go back and you look at his tape (in 2012), I think he had six interceptions, and so you do him early, and you’re really excited about kind of seeing the jump he’s going to make. He’s got a lot of tools, had a chance to talk to (Stanford head coach David) Shaw, and he’s an unbelievable kid, unbelievable – obviously bloodlines, athletically I think he’s underrated. So for us, it was just when he was sitting there in the fifth round, he kind of stood out to us, and now it’s kind of on him.”
“You know what, every time we're drafting a big guy I think of Bill Parcells who said a long time ago, 'God didn’t make a lot of 330 pound guys that can run.' Beau Allen, the first time I watched Beau Allen, it was impressive how athletic he was for such a big guy. A powerful guy, and for us to find those guys it’s hard. It’s hard to find those guys.”