General Manager Jerry Reese**
On Second and Third Round Selections Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore
We've got two defensive linemen, we've got a defensive tackle and a defensive end. Two really good football players. We've got a big guy that can hold the point inside, tough against the run game –big bodies. Both of these kids are really young players, so you like that about them. Big Hank is just a powerful inside presence, played a lot of snaps. They played him a lot. You like that about him that he can have the stamina to stay and play. That probably affected his game a little bit on the back end because I think he ran out of gas sometimes when we watched him, but early on when he gets going, he's a tremendous inside big thick young player against the run game and against the pass. I wouldn't call him a pass rusher but he gets some pressure up the middle. He can push the pocket up the middle. He can snap some heads back with his initial contact so he can push that pocket back. We think he can be a great addition, a young player. The defensive end (Damontre Moore), he is sacks. When you think about him, he's a young kid, he's 20 years old. In three years he got almost 26 ½ sacks, 26 ½ sacks is what he's got, had 12 ½ this past season, I believe. He's an edge rusher, tremendous upside for us- too good a value for us to pass up.
Q: Why did Moore slip to the Third Round?
A: I'm not sure because early on people had him ranked pretty high. You listen to the people who rank college players and he was ranked pretty high. We were a little surprised he was up there that long with his sack production, but you can't pass guys with that kind of sack production so it was a decision we made to go and go get him right there with that pick.
Q: Is his history with marijuana a concern at all?
A: Well, we're always concerned if that's an issue with players. We do extensive background information, get extensive background information. I think that it's a situation where we can handle that. His off-field issues, which I don't think are significant, I think that we can handle. If he has any issues, I think that we can handle it.
Q: Was this a big-boy draft or did you make it a big-boy draft?
A: Well, just look around the league. You saw big boys come off early and often, so you can coin it however you want to but just look at the results from all the picks. A lot of big guys went early and in the league you've got to have big guys to win. If you don't have big guys, it's hard to win in this league.
Q: Does the youth of Damontre Moore make him a project?
A: It makes him a kid that has a lot to learn. He's got a tremendous upside. He plays three years, he's a junior, so he can come in here with (Defensive Line Coach) Robert Nunn, who does a tremendous job with our defensive line. He'll learn a lot right way. He's one of those kids that can play on your special teams. He's got a pretty unique skill set.
Q: Will Damontre Moore play exclusively on the defensive line?
A: I think he's probably going to be penciled in as a defensive end and again all young players we get that can run; they play on special teams for us as well.
Q: Are there other areas on the team where you are looking for additional talent?
A: Of course. We're just looking for good players. If there is an offensive player, we will definitely take a stab at him if it fits our window and it's what we're looking for at the time. But again, we're just looking for good players and that's our goal – to get good players.
Q: All three draft picks are juniors, is that just a coincidence?
A: Yeah, it's just a coincidence but I think 75 Juniors came out this time so it seems like every year there are a bunch of Juniors that (come out), so it's just a coincidence. We aren't targeting Juniors but just a coincidence.
Q: Was it a goal in this draft to get bigger and better in the trenches?
A: Well, that's always a goal. Again, if you don't have bigs it's so hard to win up here, so the more bigs you have it gives you the opportunity to win football games.
Q: Do you think a guy like Moore has the ability to step in as a rookie and be a situational pass rusher?
A: We hope so. It'll create some competition. It's going to be great competition all over our football team and I love that because it only makes your football team better when you have competition at a lot of different positions- we will have that. We will definitely have that.
Q: With Moore's measurable, is there any comparison to DE Mathias Kiwanuka ?
A: He was 260 at his Pro Day so he's a little bit heavy and again he's 20 years old, so guys mature, their bodies mature, and they'll get stronger. He's already gained 10 pounds since the Combine. I think Kiwi is a bigger frame. Their lower body is probably similar but obviously Kiwi has been around for a while. He's definitely matured and filled out, but there could be comparisons drawn if you look at their lower body. Yeah, that's not a bad comparison.
Q: Did he play some linebacker during his college career?
A: Not a lot, I don't think he played a lot of that linebacker stuff. When you see him a lot of times, they do rush him inside a lot but he's off the edge most of the time. The thing I like, he plays hard. Guys that play hard, you can coach them to do the rest because this guy plays hard. He plays with a nasty streak and we think he's got a tremendous upside.
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN**
On Second Round Pick Johnathan Hankins and Third Round Pick Damontre Moore
Two defensive players today to help our defense – take care of the front. Run stopper in Hankins, a young kid. They are both young; one being primarily a defensive tackle that has outstanding first and second-down run-stopping ability. The other kid, Damontre Moore, has great production – 12 ½ sacks – 26 ½ over his career, 21 TFL's; a very, very good effort player on Saturday. He has some issues, I think, during the week, which we will have to address in terms of preparation and practice mentality, that type of thing. But he is young, just 20 years old. Hankins just turned 21. So we have three young guys in the fold – an offensive lineman, a defensive tackle and a defensive end. And so at the end of the day we feel good about where we are.
Q: What about last year's performance by the defensive line -….. such a priority.
A: Well, you have to continue to build. We were 31st in the league on defense. I think that is enough said.
Q: This is like a return to old time football – big bodies up front.
A: Like to. Yeah, for us – for me – I'll speak just for me – that is where it starts – up front. And you have to continue to develop and build. Be strong up there – competitive. We have good players here. We have just added some players to the mix and hopefully the competition will make our team better.
Q: You see other trends going – teams going in a different direction – small players up front. Why, for you, is it important to stick with the big guys up front?
A: Well, we are in the NFC East. We do have two teams now – one of which has established itself as running the option. However, if you look at their offense, the plays that hurt you the most are the power-type plays – the dive, the zone run, and of course when the quarterback keeps the football. In Philadelphia that will change a little bit as well. But we still have Dallas and the Giants in this division that are primarily the run game that we have to come to acknowledge here as the professional football running game. We don't run the quarterback – at least we try not to – and leave the running game to the front and the runners.
Q: Are you convinced that your first round pick is a tackle or is he maybe a guard?
A: He is versatile; he is versatile.
Q: How about this year, where will he start?
A: I'm not ready to be pinned down on that. Most likely he will be at the right tackle spot. But let's take a look at where we are at the end of the draft.
Q: Last year there were some issues on defense at linebacker and the secondary. Do you think addressing up front helps take care of some of these issues?
A: That is what has presented itself right now. We know it doesn't take care of your linebacker issues; it doesn't take care of your secondary issues. But if we can do a better job of stopping the run, those two areas will be naturally affected in a positive way. But we have addressed what we can. We have had three picks and the three picks have been represented by linemen. So that is a good thing. So where can we go and what can we do to continue to invest in some new talent; some competitive players that can come in and challenge, so we'll see throughout the rest of the draft and what is left of free agency.
Q: Do you foresee (Damontre) Moore as a big production sack guy in the NFL?
A: That is why we brought him in here. He has outstanding quickness. You look at his 40 time and you are going to say well, it is not what you would think. But there was a big split in those times in Indianapolis and he does play faster than the time you are probably going to refer back to. But his quickness and his shuttles were outstanding. So from me to you, he is as quick as it is.
Q: Are these two guys polished enough to be able to make immediate contributions?
A: Basically they have to. You have to bring them in and they have a lot to learn. They have to understand principles and values and how you do things. They are young but the nature of the business in the game today is they have to help us.
Q: There are different styles of pass rushers, defensive ends. Do you see Moore as more of a Strahan or Osi?
A: I wouldn't do that to him or to any player that has been here. Let's see what he is.
Q: It seems as if your picks were pretty quick. Were the picks pretty clear cut?
A: No, there were long discussions. We usually start four, five or six players out and discuss those players that surround our pick just in case we would lose somebody. So there was deliberation and discussion about each of them. But the conclusions were made with plenty of time on the clock.
Q: With three rounds in the books, how would you grade out the first three rounds. I know you always look for the best player available.
A: That is what you do. For us it has come in that capacity. We did talk about – really at length a number of players that presented themselves in the second and the third round taking into consideration from some other spots. But in reality the highest graded player is where we went.
Q: Each time?
A: Each time
Q: Is it a challenge to get the different pieces to be able to do different things defensively as you may go week to week?
A: It is always a challenge. The faster you are, the better you are. Then your adaptability is quite obvious. But you have your position specifics and you do have to be flexible enough to defend and attack whatever the opponent presents.
**DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE SCOUTING MARC ROSS
Q: Tell us about Johnathan **
A: Johnathan is a big, wide-bodied space-eater on his side. He is young. He is 21 years old. He has a lot of upside. He is not a glamorous type of guy inside but he does the dirty work that you need in there to occupy people – hold the point. He is a powerful upper body – snatch blocker for a 320-pound guy. Plus he plays the whole game, which you rarely see. You see most of these defensive tackles – defensive linemen – rotate in and out every series. This guy plays the whole game and plays with energy. He has got enthusiasm for the game. He is only going to get better.
Q: Coach Coughlin has mentioned that a priority this offseason was getting better on the run defense. Was this guy a person you targeted as the person who would be a force in improving that area?
A: Yeah, to us his skill set was real easy to identify. You watch him play and that is what he does. He just shuts people down when they try to run the ball. Whether it is taking on one block, two blocks – he just bangs inside and he holds the point. You need those guys to win. It helps everybody on your defense. It helps your linebackers get free. So we really like that about him. And you don't see that much anymore with the types of defensive tackles that are coming out. You see more of the athletic, quick edge, movement-type of guys. So this guy is kind of a rarity nowadays where just somebody that does that dirty work in a big body inside. And he likes it.
Q: How are his arms?
A: He could give a couple of inches to Pugh. They balance out each other – they will play off each other well.
Q: How big is he?
A: He is wide…He is just wide. He is just wide. He is about 6-3, 320 pounds. He probably played over that during the year. But he got into shape obviously throughout the postseason – all of the training. So, yeah, he is a wide body. When we use that expression, he is that.
Q: Is that where you want him – 320?
A: He probably could lose a few pounds. He is young, so he is still growing into it. He probably hasn't had as much of fulltime training and conditioning and nutrition that he will get up here. And he is only going to get better – he will grow into his body. He will become more of a man and shed some pounds and the sky is the limit for him.
Q: As young as he is, is he polished enough to be a starter?
A: Yeah, he has played a lot of football at Ohio State. He started and he plays with good technique. He plays with good hand use. He plays with good leverage. He has got really good awareness inside to find the ball – recognize blocking schemes. So this is not just a raw guy that doesn't know what he is doing. This guy knows how to play football. And he has played a lot of it and started a lot of it at the highest level.
Q: Does he kind of compliment Linval (Joseph) and (Cullen) Jenkins?
A: Right – you like a blend inside there. You would like a defensive tackle that is big and athletic and fast and can do everything. But that is just not the reality nowadays. A guy is either one or the other. And so this is a big, wide-bodied presence inside.
Q: What would you say is the knock on him? Mike Mayock said he has first round talent so he slips to the second round – good for you if that is where you wanted to get him anyway. But why do you think he might have slipped?
A: We had him identified as a first round guy. Some people might have been scared off by his lack of sack production. He just had one. Some people might have questions regarding his stamina. Okay, the guy is 320 pounds and he plays every snap, like I said earlier. So if he wears downs at the end of a 60-play game, I could understand that. So you have to look at his body of work. You have to dig deep into who he is. The kid is a great kid. He loves football. He is going to work his butt off. So those concerns that others might have, we didn't have.
Q: He is a three-down player?
A: Yeah. He has to develop his pass rush. That wasn't his strength as a pass rusher. Right now we would throw him in there as a two-down run stopper and develop his pass rush.
Q: You wanted to get bigger - last year you picked up Shaun Rogers. This year you brought in Hankins.
A: You always want big bodies. You have to win with big bodies in this league. It starts up front on both sides of the ball. We think we have done a good job with that – with our first two picks. We will see what happens the rest of the draft. But we wanted to get bigger, more physical up front, and we really think we have done that with these first two.
ON THIRD ROUND SELECTION DAMONTRE MOORE
Highly productive, well that's the first thing. The guy's production is off the charts when you compare him to people who got picked ahead of him at his position. Just look at the stats. In our view, the things we liked, we think good NFL players were good college players; productive NFL players were productive college players, and this guy epitomizes that. He's only 20 years old. He has a world of talent. He's athletic. He plays hard. A little bit leaner body frame, he has to grow into his body. He has 35-inch arms. He's physical at the point of attack with the upper body. Tons of upside, but this guy, he's a football player who makes plays.
Q: How good is he against the run?
A: He's good. Right now with his body, the lower-body stoutness needs some development but he's powerful and strong in his upper body using his arm length to snatch guys. When he gets his hands on guys, he can really control them. He does get swallowed up some if they get on him but if he gets his arms on people, he's hard to handle and he's really athletic in space. He makes plays all the way down the field and in the backfield. You look at his tackle for loss production and it's amazing. So he's really athletic once he gets in the backfield.
Q: Sacking ability is a highly coveted skill. Why did he last so long if that is one of his strongest traits?
A: Some people may have gotten scared off at the combine when he ran so slow and didn't lift that well. A Terrell Suggs, a Trent Cole, a Derrick Burgess ran really slow but played fast on tape; things off the field that people may not have been comfortable with where he just needs to grow up. He's only 20. He needs to be a professional a little bit. He's a good kid who loves to play. Those may have been a couple of reasons.
Q: Did he interview okay at the combine?
A: Yes, he interviewed okay for us. But when you see a guy run 4.9 when guys are running 4.5s and 4.6s, people jump all over that number as opposed to the 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss numbers.
Q: Did you target him as a guy who might fall because of these issues?
A: Yes. We felt good that he wasn't going to be a first round pick. I thought he might go at the end of two, so we had him in a good spot. But, again, nothing surprises you in the draft. You have to be prepared for everything. You have to stack your board for how you like the players. We were glad he was there. He was too good to pass up at that point.
Q: Is he strictly a defensive end?
A: No. He stands up there and does everything for them. They [Texas A&M] had a special joker role for him, they kind of called it there. He had his hand on the ground, he stood up. Our coaches are excited to use him in different ways. You've seen some of our guys do that hybrid role. Kiwi's been up and down. He has a skill set to do a little bit of both. But he won't be strictly a linebacker for us. It'll be more of a hybrid role.
Q: Who does he remind you of?
A: Damontre Moore. He has his own type of unique skill set. He's athletic, has really long arms, can bend. He's explosive with his closing burst—nobody who I can say… When I watched him, it didn't jump out that he reminded me of anybody. He was pretty unique.
Q: He didn't lift or run well, so what made you like him?
A: Twelve and a half [sacks] and 21 [tackle for losses].
Q: Then why test him?
A: That's a good question. That's a good question. At the combine you have to do it. Every year there are combine stars and there are non stars, And there are always good players who get to the combine who don't fare as well and that fall off the board, and there are always guys who maybe aren't good players and go to the combine and tear it up and they get ascended. It'd be good to track those guys and see at the combine to see how the guys who run the fastest, how they turn out, the guys who lift the most, how they turn out. It'd be a good thing for you guys to check out.
Q: Coach Coughlin mentioned his work ethic, specifically during practice. What did you gather on that topic?
A: Well, he just needs to learn how to be a professional to know what it takes day-in-and-day-out – what it takes to prepare. When you're a star in college, sometimes you try to get away with a little bit more. He has to learn to do that. We feel we have a support network with, number one, Coach Coughlin, his position coach and our player development staff that will help him out.
Q: With your first three picks, it looks like your approach was to get bigger and stronger in the trenches. Was that basically the philosophy?
A: Yes. Earlier when we were talking about the other guys, it's always good to get strong up front. But we didn't go into our draft meetings saying 'We're definitely going to take two defensive linemen or two offensive linemen.' Those just happened to be the guys there and who we coveted at the time.
Q: Do you think there is great depth at other defensive spots left on the board?
A: Yes. We've got some guys on the board that we feel will be there for us in the next few picks, even down after the draft or during the free agent signing. We like a lot of guys.
Q: Did you get a chance to ask Damontre about his workout numbers at the combine?
A: Yes, (defensive line coach) Robert Nunn was down at his workout, his Pro Day. Our area scout Donnie Etheridge was there. We've been in communication with him. Charles Way has talked to him a lot, so we've invested a lot of time into him. We've talked a lot to him, we like him as a person and we're comfortable with bringing him here.
Q: Were those his true numbers or was he just having a bad day?
A: He upped his bench press when he got to his Pro Day. He tweaked his hamstring trying to run his 40 (yard dash) so he didn't get to run that but he is a lot better. His shuttles are very high. His jumps and shuttles are very high, it was just his 40 didn't correlate to his explosiveness on the field, but his 20-yard shuttle, his 3-cone shuttle, his vertical-jump, and his broad-jump were extremely high.
Q: Will he play at 260 pounds?
A: Even more, his body has got to fill out. He'll get thicker in the upper body so he might get up to about 265, 270, eating right, training, full-time job. I mean these guys always get bigger.