2014 NFL Draft: Gleanings from Dave Gettleman's press conference


One thing for sure, Gettleman is a fun listen. He has a way of telling things like they are. After months of speculations and assumptions, it's good to hear things from the man himself. Here are some things that stood out to me:

Overall Philosophy:

Multiple times he re-emphasized the importance of taking the best player available. Don't pass on the "blue goose". Specifically he used the example of saying if a "blue goose defensive tackle or defensive end" is there, don't be shocked if we take him. He bluntly stated (before dressing it afterwards), "when you reach, you get screwed", and he's seen it too many times. He believes that it's very dangerous for any team to think that they are just one player away because you are never just one player away. If you put all your resources into one draft pick or free agent, what happens if that player gets hurt? He knows he keeps saying it, and you may look at him like he's stupid, but they will take the best player available.

He also said that your first round guy needs to be able to contribute right away. He doesn't need to be standing on the sideline next to Ron. He needs to be a guy that "the situation isn't oo big for him". In this day and age, your picks in the first 3 rounds need to be early contributors. Anything after that is a bonus (specifically used AJ Klein as an example, specifically mentioning how he stepped up in the San Fran game after Blackburn went down).

And he's seen over the years that "it's haaard to win with an average defense". He specified that nearly all of the top teams in the NFC have great defenses (i.e San Fran, Seattle), and actually stated where each was statistically ranked. Keep that in the back of your mind.

He said that Kawan Short was by far the best player on their board at pick 44 last year. I don't think it means that they didn't like other guys. Just that they really liked Short and had a relatively high first-round grade on him. They were already on record as saying they thought he was the "best pass rushing DT in the class".

Same thing with Klein. He reiterated that Klein was so high on their board that they couldn't pass on him in the 5th round. From my point of view, they could have filled needs at OT and DB with several solid prospects in Jordan Mills, Ricky Wagner, Cooper Taylor, Micah Hyde, and Josh Evans. So it speaks volumes that they did go with the highest guy on the board, despite linebakcer not being a "need" position.

When asked about the proverbial WR vs OT debate, Rivera did say that protecting Cam is a priority (obviously). They tried to get solid wideouts in free agency. They specifically knew how many catches per game they wanted to replace. How the running game improved during the season. Where the defense was ranked. Either way, I still think it means we go BPA because we do need both.


He basically kept saying he wouldn't insult our intelligence. "We need a left tackle". (Anyone else noticed that after he blurted that out, he then tried to dress it up a little nicer?). Wants a young wide reciever. Would take a caw-ner (took me a while to figure out what he was saying). He repeated these specific positions multiple times. He again said he would not insult our intelligence and that it is a very deep WR draft, and a draft with some solid offensive tackles. When asked specifically, he said they had first round grades on 9-10 guys at those positions. And yes he did seem to take the time to actually calculate that answer in his mind.

Tackle philosophy:

After a question about LTs, he took the time to go off on his own tangent about left tackles. Talked specifically about "left tackle feet" and how those can be over-emphasized when looking for an LT because only an elite few posess that trait.

Was it a nod to Byron Bell? (He was uncomittal towards Bell when asked about his long-term contract status. He repeated several times that there will be no contract talk during press conferences). Was it a nod to guys like Moses and Kouandjio? I don't know, but it seemed like something he specifically wanted to get off his chest.

WR philosophy:

Again he emphasized route running, and the desire to see a variety of routes from prospects. He specifically talked about one prospect who caught 95 balls, but all were either on screens or after running to three specific spots (Davante Adams?, Brandin Cooks?). From past interviews we alredy know that he values "pro ready" wideouts.

A few months ago he specifcially called DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen by name as fitting that mold during the pre-draft process, and then said how both went on to have solid rookie seasons. Yesterday he said that they had first round grades on only two WRs last year, and that both went on to have solid rookie seasons.

My big question is: Who are the two? We know DeAndre Hopkins is one (multiple visits, named dropped twice, and fits the criteria). Is the other Keenan Allen or Tavon Austin? I think it was Allen. But I'm mystified that if they had a first round grade on him, why wouldn't you trade up when you see him sliding to the third?

Also note, this would leave out a few highly rated guys in Cordarelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, and Robert Woods. I left out Austin because he wasn't necessarily solid last year. I left out the others because we probably would have brought them in for a visit before we regarded them that highly. Perhaps something to keep in mind for any similarly styled wideouts this year.

RB philosophy:

You're wasting your time taking one early if they can't pass block and pick up blitz protections. He really emphasized the importance of this. A RB has to be able to play all 3 downs to go early. Schemes in college cover this up for many guys. He believes that this lack of experience in college is the key reason why few go early anymore. He took the time to go on his own teaching tanget about this after being asked about the high priced RBs on our roster, so it's just something particular in his craw.


In just 20 minutes of talking, it's fantasic to see that your GM has forgotten more draft knowledge than what we could ever learn.

I liked his example talking about the "last deep WR draft class in 2009", where he easily rattled off Crabtree, DHB, Maclin, and Nicks. Talked about how he really liked Maclin...thought he was a guy who could do it all coming out of Missouri, and told the Giants GM they needed to move up to the teens if they wanted him. But they were comfortable with getting Nicks where they were.
There was another interesting story from his Broncos days about how they stumbled upon Terell Davis in the 6th round.

Dave has some swag to him, and you can tell he believes he has danced enough to know what he is doing. (Also helps when you hit homeruns in your first draft and free agency signings, and go 12-4 to win your division right out the gate)

What does it mean for this year?

BPA means BPA. If Kony Ealy makes it to us, he's in play. Very interested how they would feel about Nix or Hageman. It could easily be a CB too. But he does understand that we need a LT and a WR.

Wideouts need to be pro-ready and route savy. I believe this is why so many teams have so many wideout visits. It's not always about need. If a guy was in a specific system, or had a bad QB, or was the only playmaker on an offense causing defenses to key in on him...those things can limit your evaltion capabilites. Just because a guy didn't run certain routes in college, it doesn't mean that he can't do it. That's why you got to bring him in and see if he can under your conditions. (I'm honestly starting to think Kelvin Benjamin is not in play for us because of this)

The tackle position is very important to the team. And don't discount any guy because he doesn't move as well as you think.

Lastly, I loved how Rivera is pumped for the season. He was ready to get back to work, and didn't like the extra 2 week layoff. He knows that they have to get better, and will get better. Talked about how the guys had good workouts to start the year. Makes me pumped for the 2014 season.

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