Ravens Discuss Day 2 of 2017 NFL Draft Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun

NFL Draft Ravens Discuss Day 2 of 2017 NFL Draft

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Team is All-in on Defense!

Ozzie Newsome Opening Statement

(NEWSOME) “As you know, we just finished thus far in the third round. I don’t anticipate that we will trade back into the third round, but you never know what could happen. We began the day still thinking about how we can get our team stronger. With that, we took [Tyus] Bowser, a guy that can set the edge and can rush the passer from the University of Houston. Then we came back and picked Chris Wormley – a five-technique [defensive end] that will fit right in with our young core defensive linemen. With the last pick we had in the third round, we took another pass rusher in Tim Williams from Alabama. As I talked about with Marlon [Humphrey], we are just trying to get very, very strong on defense with the opportunity that was presented to us in the first three rounds, and we took advantage of it.”

Eric DeCosta Opening Statement

(DeCOSTA) “I think we are a defensive team. We have always been a defensive team, and what we do with our first-time offensive coordinators is we draft defensive players in the first draft.(laughter) We did that a couple years ago with Gary Kubiak. When he came in, we drafted C.J. [Mosley] and Timmy [Jernigan] and Terrence Brooks. So, we decided to do the same with Marty [Mornhinweg] this year. (laughter) Seriously though, I think we got four players to this point that we are really excited about. We think [there is] exceptional value with all four picks. [They are] guys that really fit who we are with their skill set, their personality and the way they play – the toughness, the mentality, the tenacious defensive football. We are not done yet. We are excited about tomorrow. I know the coaches and scouts are excited about our opportunities to get better, and we will be ready to go.”

John Harbaugh Opening Statement

(HARBAUGH) “I could not be more excited. I think these are all great players – guys that have high motors, highly self-motivated guys and guys that want to be great football players. Those are the kind of guys that Ozzie and Eric have been drafting here for many years – the kind of guys that are Ravens – and I’m really excited, and our coaching staff is really fired up to coach these guys.”

Joe Hortiz Opening Statement

(HORTIZ) “Like coach [Harbaugh] said, these are high-motor guys. You turn on the film on all of these guys we took today, and of course Marlon [Humphrey] yesterday, and you really do not see these guys ever relax, and they chase the ball all over the field. They play hard at the point of attack. These three guys we took tonight have combined for 45 sacks the past two years, so they can get after the passer. All three of them, they know how to do it. [We] added another ‘red star’ [designation] tonight in Chris Wormley, in addition to Marlon yesterday. We are just fired up with the guys we got.”

John, have you heard from Marty Mornhinweg at all about the first four picks? (Jamison Hensley)

(HARBAUGH) “Well, it is amazing. After the pick, there was a parade of guys who went over and gave Marty a hug, so he is doing all right. (laughter) In all honesty, we had a conversation. We were talking about these two picks back and forth, and Tim Williams was sitting up there at the top of the board, very high on the board, and Marty just came over and said, ‘Hey, you have to take that guy [Williams].’ It is a team effort, it is a team game. You try to build the strongest team that you possibly can based on what is available. You take the best players. I know we say that a lot; we take the best available player. You do. You take the best player. When you have the best player sitting there, looking at you and staring you in the face, you take him. That is what we have done, and it has turned out to be defense. We are all happy with that. I will tell you what: If it had been four offensive guys, we would have been happy with that. That is the way it would have gone, so this is just the way it has gone.”

Will you be happy with three more defensive players tomorrow if that is how it goes?(Stan White)

(NEWSOME) “We will just see how that works.” 

(DeCOSTA) “Stan, you are a defensive guy, so you can appreciate that.” (laughter)

Alabama, Michigan and Alabama. Is that just a coincidence? (Stan White)

(NEWSOME) “Yes, just a coincidence. We threw Houston in there.” (laughter)

DE Chris Wormley had a lot of sacks, but is he more of an inside run guy? How would you describe him? I know the other two guys are sack guys, but what is he like? (David Ginsburg)

(NEWSOME) “Well, he will play the five-technique, the same position that Brent Urban and [Bronson] Kafusi play – the same position that Lawrence Guy played. But, he is also a guy that can stay on the field when we have to go into our sub package, because he can play down inside and give us some pass rush.”

John, what did you hear from your brother on DE Chris Wormley? (Ryan Mink)

(HARBAUGH) “I heard great things about him. He is one of the guys that Jim felt very strongly about. He believes in him as a player, believes in him as a guy. We talked about a lot of guys; he is one of about 14 guys we talked about. But, he really felt highly about Chris, very highly. I do not think we would have taken him if he didn’t.”

Eric, you had talked before about OLB Tim Williams and how he was someone you could have even considered as early as the first round. Were you surprised that he was still on the board this late in the draft and how impressed are you with him in general? (Garrett Downing)

(DeCOSTA) “I think every year a good football player just drops for whatever reason. He is a guy that we have seen a lot. We know a lot about him. He did visit; he spent the day with us in Baltimore. We had the chance to meet with him at the Combine. We have seen him play many, many times. He is a tenacious guy – outstanding motor, outstanding physical skills as a pass rusher. He really fits our defense. He is a really good scheme fit for us as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Those guys are tough to find. We think he is hungry, and we think he is passionate. We get good information about those guys down there [at Alabama]. We feel really good about him.”

As OLB Terrell Suggs gets older, how have you seen him over the last couple of years kind of embracing these young pass rusher guys and try to get them to the next level, and do you think he will do that for these guys? (Morgan Adsit)

(HARBAUGH) “That is a good question. Terrell Suggs is one of the most unique guys I think any of us has ever met. He just has an amazing personality. He is a lovable guy, he is a highly-respected guy, and he is a great football player. He brings energy and passion in the building every single day. But, I also think he will be the first to tell you – and I think we have all seen it – he has really grown as a leader. He has become that guy in this program. He is the Pied Piper. He is the guy that these guys follow around. He is in here working out. He has been here in the offseason program; he is really getting after it. He is kind of leading by example right now with those guys in the offseason. I do think that he is kind of the guy that is going to transition all these young pups into that pass rushing role. I think they will be following him, and he is not finished yet. I think he is planning on showing them how to do it; not telling them how to do it. It is going to be fun to watch that.” 

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Ozzie, I know you guys don’t put too much stock in … You guys are busy in there, and there is not much worry about the fans. But, I think there is some panic about offense, given the two spots on the offensive line and the wide receiver position. Is this kind of what you expected given how your board fell? Did you think it would be defense heavy, and do you think there will be some opportunities that open up on offense on the last day? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(NEWSOME) “Well, we set the board. As the players come off, we reassess the board. If you would have told me yesterday at 3:00 in the afternoon that I was going to pick four defensive players, I probably would have told you that you would not be correct. But, that is the way that it played itself out. There were some offensive players that we were targeting and trying to get, and they got taken right before us or two or three picks before us. We know that happens, so we just reshuffle the deck and move on to the next one. I say this at the draft luncheon, and I have to say it every year at this time: We are not done acquiring players. Before we play Cincinnati, this roster is still not complete. For those of you that have been here for years, you know there are going to be players that are going to be released after the draft. There are going to be players that are going to be released in training camp. We are not done. The draft is a big part of it, and we are not done with the 53-man squad that we are going to play with when we open up against Cincinnati. We probably will still add some after that.”

When we talked to OLB Tyus Bowser on the phone, he talked about how when he came here, he kind of really connected with the coaching staff. Can you talk about his visit and did you feel that same way? (Garrett Downing)

(HARBAUGH) “I felt really good about Tyus. I think the whole staff did, the scouts did. He is a very serious-minded guy. He is not a real outspoken guy. I think he kind of tries to let his play do the talking for him, and when you see the tape, that is what it does. This guy’s motor is hot. He flies around. He gets after the quarterback, he runs to the ball, and he chases stuff down. He was a versatile player; that was the other thing we liked about him. The fact that he connected with our coaching staff and he felt like this was a good fit for him, I guess that is maybe a credit to … Obviously, he is a fit for us, too, and he fits our defense. I think we have a great coaching staff. I think we have a lot of guys … He is not the first player who has said that on both sides of the ball. Our guys do a great job of relating to players and getting to know them and building relationships. I think that is what guys see when they come here on these visits and compare it to some other teams. I know we are real proud of that, and that is how we try to do it around here. We try to relate to players and help them be the best they can be. If they leave here feeling that way about their visit, I feel really good about that.”

On his conference call, OLB Tyus Bowser said that playing basketball has helped translate into his ability to play coverage linebacker. I know he rushes the passer, but is his ability to cover a strength of his? (Bo Smolka)

(HORTIZ) “Yes, it is, and it shows up a lot, because they have him actually do it sometimes more than you’d like, really, because he’s such a good pass rusher. But he’s an outstanding bender. Just watching him move in coverage, he opens his hips, he runs with guys vertical, and he’s just got a good feel and spatial awareness, which I think playing basketball helps guys on defense. Especially out in space, he can feel the guys coming into zone and close up well. So, you see the basketball player when he’s in coverage, certainly.”

Ozzie, I know you get a lot of good information down at Alabama, but did you have a process in talking to OLB Tim Williams about the arrest and the failed drug test? Was there something he said that convinced you enough? (Jamison Hensley)

(NEWSOME) “Yes, and then you can look at what has happened to him over the last 12 months. So, we take that into account, especially with the information that we get when scouts are out there. But yes, when we had the opportunity to talk with him when he came to Baltimore to talk about those issues, he was very upfront about it. So, at the end of the day, when we were talking with him on the phone, he understands that, and he will accept that challenge as to not allow that to happen. But I can’t sit here and guarantee it.”

This offensive line class wasn’t the highest regarded class in recent years. Do you feel that there are players available on Day Three that can help you in the short term and the long haul? (Luke Jones)

(NEWSOME) “Are you asking if we’re going to pick an offensive lineman tomorrow?” (laughing) (Reporter: “Are there prospects available right now that could conceivably play in 2017?”) “We still have draftable offensive linemen on our board, yes we do.”

Were there any picks today where you were at least tempted to pick an offensive lineman or a wide receiver that you had to slap your own wrist and say, “No.”? (Stan White)

(NEWSOME) “Yes, we were tempted, but it just so happened they got picked two or three picks before us. That’s what happens in this draft. We set the board and … We would have loved to take the running back [Leonard Fournette] that went to Jacksonville with the fourth pick, but he got picked before us. So, it just happens.”

Ozzie, is one of the goals tomorrow maybe to get a few more picks than the three you currently have? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(NEWSOME) “The potential is there for us to get some phone calls in the fourth round, and if we do, we’ll see what the value is of us moving back and what players we’ll have the opportunity to get if we do move back. So yes, the potential is there.”

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