Florham Park, NJ– For most fans the NFL draft process consists of watching the draft, booing your teams’ picks and obsessively reading all the premature post-draft grades. But for GMs, scouts and player personnel it’s a much longer and more complex process.
New GM John Idzik, senior personnel executive Terry Bradway and director of college scouting Jeff Bauer joined a group of reporters to talk about that process and to field and subsenquently sidestep questions pertaining to the draft, Darrelle Revis and Tim Tebow.
Pre-draft pressers are known for their vauge nature as teams don’t want to tip their hand in even the slightest of ways, something these three made sure to remind reporters as they evaded answering questions. But to get an idea of how much work has been put into studying the draft these past few months Bradway said, “1,426 players we’ve evaluated, we visited 271 schools, we wrote over 5,000 reports (and) conducted over 300 interviews.”
From all that Bradway said, “When we first worked the board, about three weeks ago, we had about 250 players on our main board, we’ve probably whittled that down to 220. I think this is a draft that’s very deep in the mid rounds, especially, and even later in the draft. I think there’s going to be some players late in the draft and good quality college free agents that will be available to us.”
Just who are those players and where do said players rank on their board we will never truly know and they made sure to protect their secret draft plans as they tossed around a whole bunch of words with very little meaning.
Idzik said, “absolutely I feel good,” about his preparation and experience heading into his first draft and feels comfortable and confident in the people he has around him, helping him through the process.
When the question about this class of quarterbacks was asked, Idzik tagged in Bauer to answer.
“Obviously we have studied the quarterback class and we’re still studying the quarterback class and that decision, obviously we can’t say where our quarterbacks are ranked, that wouldn’t be prudent of us.” Bauer said, “There’s some quarterbacks out in this draft that are going to play in this league and are going to start, whether it’s at the nine pick or whatever, we can’t say that.”
That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for this year’s quarterback class, but Bauer said he doesn’t agree with the sentiment that this is a particularly weak quarterback class, “I don’t know if I’d say that, I mean I think there’s some good quarterbacks out there. There’s some good players and you can see a lot of these guys come in and playing, starting and having successful careers so I wouldn’t say that.”
Moving on to the topic of the offseason, Idzik said he has spoken to Revis and they had a “nice talk,” but declined to elaborate on any details from the conversation saying, “in general we just kind of keep conversations amongst ourselves.”
As for Revis’ required attendance at this offseason workouts and whether he should have been excused for the sake of his rehab, Idzik said, “Well again, we’ll maintain that whatever is best for Darrelle and his rehab, the Jets will wholeheartedly support. And that’s true of any player that’s going through a rehabilitation.”
To paint a picture of just how secretive this new Jets regime is being, Idzik wouldn’t even answer a question about the results from Revis’ last MRI and status update saying, “Well again, I think most of that stuff is going to stay with Darrelle, but we’re pleased. We’re pleased with everything that’s happened so far.”
And about those trade rumors? Idzik said, “We won’t discuss any supposed talks, or true talks, or club-to-club talks or player-to-club talks.”
And since he’s still on the roster you had to know the Tebow questions would pop up and that’s when Idzik kicked it up a notch and turned on the Jedi mind tricks.
After repeating his new favorite phrase, “we’re not going to discuss that,” Idzik was pressed on whether Tebow would be a part of the quarterback competition and said, “I’m not saying he is, I’m not saying he isn’t. I’m just saying let’s let things play out.”
For 30 minutes Idzik, Bradway and Bauer (but mostly Idzik), did a masterful job of answering questions by not actually answering any questions. We still have no idea what reports, if any, about a possible Revis trade have any semblance of truth and the entire world is joined in confusion about what is going on with Tebow.
What we do know is the Jets consider this a deep draft with lots of good value to be had in the middle and later rounds and we know Idzik will do his due diligence and explore every option while also protecting their draft board rankings like it’s the nuclear football.
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