New Orleans Saints Director of College Scouting Rick Reiprish media availability on selection Thursday, April 28, 2011
Opening Statement:"Cameron Jordan, he was a guy that we had targeted as one of the top four picks that we would like to get in this draft. Fortunately for us he came to that 24th spot. We think he is an outstanding athlete. He brings a lot of size and athletic ability to our defensive line. He is going to be bigger than some of the people we are playing with at that position. He is a guy that can play either side, left end, right end. In time, he will probably play down in a three technique some in a nickel pass rush situation."
(On playing end in a 3-4 scheme in college)
"He is a 3-4 end but they play all of those defenses. 4-3, you'll stand him up sometimes as an outside backer and rush him off the edge. He is athletic enough to do a lot of those things."
(On using him on the inside pass rush)
"He could. We have talked about doing certain things with him. He is really like a left end for us right now, but he will work at a couple different positions I think."
(On if the team predicted he would fall to the 24th pick)
"We actually thought he was going to go a little higher. We were very surprised and nervous the last two or three picks before we got there because there were some people calling and asking if we wanted to trade up. We thought about trading up and in the end we tried to make a decision on what to do and sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make."
(On if he was the only player of the targeted four remaining at the 24th pick)
"Actually, there were two of them. When you are picking 24th, down the line like that, no matter what position, you really just have to throw darts a little bit and see who is going to be there. You evaluate the players and you put it down and think these guys are going to go ahead of us. Hopefully, one of the four will get to us. Fortunately for us, there were two of them there."
(On what separates him from other defensive ends that the team looked at)
"I think he's got a little more height and length to him. Long arms. He has the ability to be a run defender as well as a pass defender. He is 287 lbs now and the kid is really a thin looking guy. Those attributes give him the chance to be a run defender as well as a pass rusher for us. We haven't gotten a lot of rush off of that left side and I think this guy brings a little bit of that."
(On playing left end)
"I think he will start out there."
(On his youth)
"That's a big plus for us. We are trying to get younger and faster. Younger, bigger, faster."
(On his performance in the Senior Bowl)
"The first time our coaches had seen the kid was in the Senior Bowl. He did have a good week down there in practice and in the one-on-one situations, pass rush. In the game, he played fairly well. He did a nice job for us as far as introduction to our coaching staff. We kind of knew about him as scouts, but that was their first look at him. That was a plus for him."
(On moving up the team's draft board that week)
"He probably did move up a little bit. Our idea is not to downgrade anybody for going to an all-star game. This kid came in there, did a nice job, worked his tail off. He was a guy that probably helped himself a little bit. We did like the kid as far as grading wise by our scouting staff."
(On the influence of Will Smith's possible suspension on this selection)
"There is thought process that went into that, yes. There is some thought in that. I don't know if it had a great deal of influence in what we were doing because we are still grading the player."
(On the positions of the four targeted players)
"Three defense and one offense."
(On Da'Quan Bowers falling in the draft)
"There have been rumors going around that he has some deals with his knee injury. The kid is an outstanding player, athlete, size prospect as a defensive player. That's the only thing I can think of. Some people downgraded him a little bit or let him go because of the injury that popped up."
(On offers to trade back)
"I think there were two. When things started to get close to us, we had two offers to trade back."
(On a chance to trade up)
"We did have a chance to trade up. We thought about it and the way it worked out was fine for us. We talked to a couple of people about possibly moving up."
(On classifying the pick as a top-grade or need)
"A combination, you could say that. Going into the draft, I think our idea, the thought process, was to get bigger, faster, and stronger on the defensive front seven. I think we are trying to help them."
(On how this selection will affect the second round choice)
"We will have to just wait and see. We will have to see what happens and who is available at that pick. Yeah, it impacts it some. My opinion and I think our overall opinion is that we are going to look for the best player at that point in time. Not necessarily fit a need, but the best player we have graded on the board."
(On if Jordan was the highest rated player on the team's board at his selection)
"He was probably one of the two highest graded players we had."
(On his position on the team's board at the beginning of the draft)
(On his comparisons to other players)
"There are a couple guys that came out. You look at the guy that St. Louis took in Chris Long with the first or second pick in the draft. He is very similar to that. He is a tall guy, has a lot of range to him. I think he has those qualities. He is a little heavier and bigger than Chris I think, similar in that respect. We talked about him being maybe a Michael Strahan in years past. He is a little bit different size than Strahan was. This kid is taller and longer in his body build. He is built like a defensive end that you play in a 3-4, possibly a 4-3 for us. He is built like those guys."
(On his family history in the NFL)
"The lineage of the kid is pretty good. He understands what pro football is about. I think he understands from his dad, who had a long career in the NFL, what it's going to take to stay that way."
When you were sitting in here, did you guys know that you were making a trade to select Mark Ingram?
"That was what I got called out for. That was a part of the trade."
Was that the offensive guy you had highly ranked you discussed earlier?
"I didn't want to take this guy. Sean (Payton) didn't want to take him, Mickey, the scouts…No, this guy was the other offensive player we talked about, very high on the board."
You had both Jordan and Ingram both in a group that you hoped would fall to 24?
What do you like about Ingram?
"It's hard to find something you don't like about him. The only negative about this kid is he got hurt early in the year a little bit and didn't quite play as well as he should have been. Towards the end of the year he started coming back into that Heisman Trophy form. He was a really solid player, powerful kid. It's hard to make a comparison, but he runs the way Pierre Thomas runs, a little bit faster and he's a little heavier."
Is he a low to the ground guy?
"Low to the ground, hard to tackle, he gives you very little hitting area. This kid gets everything going forward. He's not going to fall back. He had a long string of not fumbling the ball. Ball security was a big issue and he's really good at that. He had those two fumbles at the end of the year, but that was the first fumble in his career I think in over 300 carries. We're excited to get this kid. He's an outstanding football player. He's a productive back. He's going to add to what we already have here and be a really good player here for us."
Is there a reason why those guys fell a little bit further?
"We just laughed about that in there. Two years ago when we won the Super Bowl, we went to the combine. We picked these seating arrangements for the 40-yard dash, one through 32, where you sit. We picked number four and that was a good choice. We said we'd like to be number one. But number one had to sit on the field, two was on the bench, there on the bleacher. We were the first one on the rail with no one blocking our view. Last year we picked we were about 30 and this year we picked we were four again and I told Sean and Mickey, we have a little mojo working here. Who knows? We'll take it if it is. It's pretty good."
You gave up future compensation to select Ingram. Was there hesitation on this move?
"I thought there was no hesitation. When that kid became available and the trade became available we were all excited to get that player. This guy's really going to add to our offense and give us a little bit of the ball control we want to do on the ground."