New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis
NFL Draft Day 2 Press Conference
Friday, April 27, 2018
What kind of receiver is Tre'Quan Smith?
"He was a good size, has decent speed. What we like about him is he is a really smart player. He's really tough and he's been very productive (averaging nearly) 20 yards per catch just last season. He's a good run after catch guy and he's going to fit in with our group."
Is his blocking something that was a strong suit of his?
"Yes, he's a good blocker. That's important for our receivers to be good blockers and he's definitely that and that's part of that toughness that he brings."
Is there a reason why he fell to pick 91?
"I don't know that. It is all on the eyes of the beholder. Obviously there are some players that were taken today that probably we had graded lower than than what they had. That just happens and I think that too much gets made out of why a guy drops or doesn't drop. More often than not that gets created by the media. The guys broadcasting the draft because if a guy did not meet their expectations then, Oh, why is he dropping? Well that's not everybody else's expectations. That's their expectation."
What did you hear about his interactions at a dinner with team personnel in Orlando?
"I wasn't there, but the reports were really good."
Does this draft pick have anything to do with concerns about Cameron Meredith's knee recovery?
"No, This is a case of at that point in the draft where we were at this is the player that was graded the highest in that group where we were and we were not concerned about (Meredith's recovery) and I would not say there was a glaring hole or anything like that. This was a player that we liked a lot and we're glad to have him."
Did you consider moving up at all today or decided to stay put today?
"I think we pretty much shot our gun. We have to retain some things for the future so we weren't really coming in with the mind-set that we were going to target someone and move up. Look, that is always a discussion. We talked a little bit about it a couple times. But then the player we talked about all of a sudden went off, but I think we kind of like having the amount of picks we have later in this draft and so it would have been difficult to give give up any of those and then and then certainly would be difficult to give up any future picks at this point."
What areas would you like to focus on tomorrow?
"I think again that comes down primarily to the players that are left on the board and I think regardless of position we're just looking for good players. We're also looking for guys that can help us some special teams because that's going to be the route that a number of these guys in later rounds for all teams (initially contribute). That's their route to make a team. We'll pay close attention to that as well."
See photos of the New Orleans Saints No. 91 draft pick, Tre'Quan Smith of UCF. Draft coverage is presented by Dixie Light.
How did Smith average nearly 20 yards per catch last season?**
"Yeah, I think it's a combination. He got behind the defense and like I said before he's got a really good knack for getting yards after the catch. It was a combination."
Is there a concerted effort to add bigger receivers to this offense?
"I think you're just looking for good players number one, but size (is important) at every position and you'd like to have size at every positon, but I think the main thing is just getting good football players, getting players that are smart, that are tough and that are productive and this player certainly fits that bill."
Was there anything in particular that Tre'Quan did really well that caught your attention?
"That starts with the area scouts and our scouting department. They had high grades on this guy and talked really highly of him early on and he was impressive to our coaches and was impressive in the interviews we had with him and did a nice job at the Senior Bowl as well. Just throughout the process I think he did a good job."
Did you know you would get a wide receiver at pick 91 or did that change throughout the course of the day?
"That was a function of what was available to us as we look at our draft board."
Is defensive end such a hard position to acquire in free agency or the draft that makes it worth more than other positions?
"I think pressure traits are hard to come by and when you have them you protect them and you generally don't let them out of the building so I'd say yes."
Does that make you more comfortable with the draft capital you gave up to acquire the edge rusher you targeted?
"This is the philosophy regardless of position. If there's somebody we really covet and we have an opportunity to move up, then we're just going to going to analyze the cost and the risk and if we like it we're going to make a move and that's what we did."
What did you like from everything you saw from Marcus Davenport?
"He's a pressure player and he has a high motor (and has) all the things that Sean (Payton) said last night (about him) or our our entire room would say. He's productive. He went to the Senior Bowl and that was a step up in the level of competition for him and (he) did a nice job there (it) wasn't too big for him and the kid's smart. He's tough, he's all the things that you're looking for in terms of makeup and all the physical traits he's got and he needs some development as well. But we like the player."
How crazy is it that his family is from New Orleans?
"Yeah, I'd say that's a nice coincidence for him isn't it? He has a family history here and that's kind of cool."
Is Tre'Quan Smith more of an outside guy?
"We're going to find out where we play him. I think one of the important things here is he's a smart player that can fill a lot of roles for us and when we get him him here we'll see what he does best and our coaches and offensive staff do a great job of making sure we take advantage of the skill set of our guys. He's got a pretty large skill set."
Do you feel like the team is transitioning away from tight end play to the best play-makers you can find?
"I think we've always done that."
How do you think he fits with the receiver weapons this offense already has?
"I think we are going to find that out. That is going to be work in progress through this offseason and training camp and our coaches will do a good job of blending him into the group that we already have and that is true for any new player into our organization is that we have a vision for them and we have to wait until they get here to really see if that fits."
Do you think he will be able to get playing time with such a talented receiving core in place already?
"I think that's true for any young player. They've got to earn their way. No one's given anything here. They've got to earn it and he'll be no different. But again that's part of the things we like about him is that he has the makeup, the intelligence, the toughness and all the traits that we covet. I know he'll fit in."
Will his experience in a no-huddle offense make his transition harder or easier heading into the NFL?
"I don't know the answer to that. We'll find out when he gets here."
What were the three hours like waiting to make the pick?
"It's kind of boring. I wouldn't say it's boring because we're interested in seeing how guys come off the board relative to how we've got them graded. We're interested in seeing particularly the teams in our division what they're doing. We look at all the trades that are done and what was paid to make those moves so we're just gathering information for either current or future use. So it's interesting to see how it comes off. Look it would have been nice to have a second round pick. We paid attention to the players that were available when we would have picked, but otherwise it was just a normal draft."
You have only kept two of your first round picks into second contracts over the last decade or so. Is that something that bothers you or is that a measure of draft success?
"I don't know the answer to that. That's a good question. Obviously you'd like to draft the player and have him play for you for 10 or 12 years at a high level and yet every case is a little different. I would have to go back and look at each one of them and analyze the reasons for each one and talk about the reasons for each one. I couldn't just make a general statement about the ones we didn't retain or against the ones that we did."