Opening Remarks: "We drafted with our first round pick here (Defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox. We made a trade with Seattle and gave up our fourth and sixth round pick, and we were able to move up to Seattle's spot. We think that Fletcher Cox is a tremendous player, in particular at the college level.
"We think that will translate well over into the NFL. He's a defensive tackle, and he has the speed and athletic ability where he could play outside if needed. He gives us a little flexibility. He's a very intelligent kid, and he's young. He has the whole package. He was someone that we targeted, and we tried to stay aggressive and go get him.
"I think he will be a nice addition to (defensive coordinator) Juan (Castillo)'s defense, and he gets to be coached by the best defensive line coach in the National Football League (Jim Washburn). Wash was able to go down and hang with him for a complete day, work him out, and take him out to eat. He got to visit with him a little bit and find out what kind of person he is. Obviously, Jim is very excited about it, as is Juan."
On whether joining the defensive line rotation right away but not starting will help him grow and ease into the NFL: "I think it (will). I think with our veteran leadership that we have inside, I think that's a positive. And then the way we rotate our defensive line with both ends and tackles, I think that's a positive. He's going to be asked to play four or five plays in a row, hopefully just three right, and then come out. Then, the next group comes in. We did that last year and had success with it. We will continue to do that this year."
On whether he would like to see Cox add weight: "You know what, he carries it well. I think he has nice glutes and thighs, and he's built – I think you'll see that tomorrow when he comes in that he's really put together in the lower half. He's able to anchor and has great upper body and lower body strength. I tell you, he's one of those rare kids who has that size and can run as fast as he can run. It's quite an amazing thing to watch him work out."
On whether Cox's versatility is what sold him: "I think it's a positive. We are not a 3-4 team, but if we decided to go to a three-man front in a nickel situation, he can do that. He can jump outside and still give you legitimate pass rush. He's big enough to anchor down. I thought going into the draft, to answer your question, and this isn't as much for us as it is for the kid, we felt he could play in a 34 front or a 4-3 front, and do it equally as well playing defensive end in a 34 front or in a 4-3 play defensive tackle. If needed, he could jump outside like (DT) Cullen Jenkins and still give you legitimate pass rush."
On whether it was anticipated that he would fall this far: "No, we didn't. We thought he would be a top six or seven pick. When he dropped, we started making plans."
On whether he was nervous another team would grab him: "I had a feeling that Kansas City needed a nose guard, and this is one thing that he's not when you talk about flexibility as his position. (DT Dontari) Poe is truly a nose guard. He fits in very well there with what they're doing in Kansas City."
On whether there was thought Carolina would take him with the ninth pick: "Yes there was."
On whether he almost traded up further: "We started making calls to pick earlier, so yeah. That wasn't going to work."
On what seperates Cox from the other strong DT prospects in this draft: "I think what you're looking at is a young kid who is talented. He is very intelligent, and I think you'll find that out tomorrow. He's a smart kid, and his athletic ability jumped out at you. For a big man to move as fast as he can move, that's a hard thing to find."
On whether he thought about making a bigger trade offer to Seattle than the one they accepted: "No, we had ourselves honed in on what we wanted to spend, and so we weren't going to get quite as elaborate as some did. We had other people there that we also liked if this didn't work out. We felt we were okay and we didn't have to overspend."
On how important it was not to give up a second-round pick: "We didn't want to do that. That's not where we wanted to go with this. We wanted to maintain our three if we possibly could, and we were able to do that with both of those."
On whether this is the best case scenario he envisioned: "Yes. Again, any time things are crazy – you saw a safety go up high and a linebacker go up high. Normally it doesn't happen quite as frequently as an offensive or defensive lineman going up there, but it worked out. The way it fell, (QB Ryan) Tannehill went and there was some question as to where he was going to go. Miami took him, which helped the situation."
On why he likes taking defensive linemen early in the draft: "I've said it for so many years here that I think you win games up front. If you can perform up front, whether it's offensive line or defensive line, you make everybody better. That's just how it works. In this case, with the defensive line, it puts a tremendous urgency on the quarterback that they have to make these decisions. Hopefully, they are the right ones for the majority of the time. There are very few quarterbacks that can throw the football when they have someone right in their face."
On whether there is a chance he could move into the back end of the first round: "Not if I sit here long enough."
On what player he would compare Cox to: "I don't know that. Let's get him here first and then we'll go from there. I think you'll like his athletic ability. You'll see that, and you'll get excited about that."
On what Washburn told him specifically about Cox: "He went down there and when you work these kids out, you're able to teach them techniques that you want done. Then, some can handle it and some can't with the drill work that you put them through. He put him through a phase of different drills and he said that he was so quick to learn. Wash didn't have a helmet and pads on him, right, so he wasn't doing it live. He was able to pick it up and execute it in front of Washburn. I think he has a good work ethic on top of all that."
On whether he was able to accomplish both taking a need and the best player available: "I think we have a pretty good defensive front. With what (general manager) Howie (Roseman) did this offseason of re-signing our own players, and we re-signed (DT Derek) Landri, we didn't really have an absolute need going into this draft. We were able to hang there and see how things fell. That 15th spot is really a unique spot where there are a lot of different things that can happen there so we were going to be patient to a point. We put a ceiling on what we wanted to spend and a mark on guys who we thought were really top notch football players in that first round there. When he started falling, to be honest with you, we got excited about that. Why not be an Eagle, right?"
On giving Washburn his guy after giving offensive line coach Howard Mudd his guy last year: "I'm just trying to keep them happy, right? Grumpy old men, right? (Joking)"
On Cox's reaction when he called: "He was excited. He was right in the room there so I could hear a lot going on. I kept him on that phone a long time and I made sure he was on and just held onto it. Talked to him a little bit. We knew it'd be a popular pick and the phone started ringing. We listened to a couple of phone calls that people called in on, and we said, 'You know what? This is the guy we want and we're going to take him."
On how he fits into the wide-9 technique: "He won't be in the wide-9 because he'll be inside as one of the defensive tackles. So that is a little different in there. Whether he was a three (technique) or a one (technique), he can do either one. Whether he is inside or outside on the guard , he can make that work in there. I think what you saw, and see with Cullen, is tremendous quickness off the ball and speed. You'll see that with him. That fits into what we do schematically. He's built for this style of a defense where you're rushing the passer and reading the run."