GM Charley Casserly
"There were two players we targeted with our first two picks, Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin. We thought Robinson had a pretty good chance of being there, but we weren't sure about it. We knew before the draft that there was a lot of speculation about trading and people moving around. As we got to the draft, it became crystallized that the first eight players were going to be he first eight players. The order wasn't exact, but we knew they would be there, and then at nine it would be Jacksonville. We were concerned about a team possibly trading up ahead of us for Robinson. We contacted Jacksonville Saturday morning and they said they would not move. They would not even switch with us.
"We knew at that point that Robinson should be there when we picked. There were no trades ahead of us and Robinson was there. We had him rated as our top corner and felt very comfortable taking him there. We did field some calls about moving back, but when the player is there that you want, philosophically I don't believe in moving back, just take the player you want.
"In doing our research, we had Jason Babin rated as our top outside linebacker. He was projected to go late first round or early second. As the draft unfolded, we got wind of some teams that were looking at him seriously. We knew there were a couple of teams that could take him potentially, and then we found another team that was starting to trade up with him in mind. We were aggressive. When you want a player, you make the decision to draft him, and then you get him.
"As the draft evolved around and we came to the fourth round, there were some players there we liked. Glenn Earl was a player that we had rated as the second best safety on our board. He was coming back from a knee injury, but everything pointed towards a full recovery. He was running. It was an example of having a player rated over the round he was taken in.
"In the end we traded back in the fifth to get in the sixth round. We thought the player we wanted in the fifth would be on the board in the sixth. It was Vontez Duff. We thought there would be a lot of players at the end of the draft that we would be excited about. With the practice squad going to eight players, we thought this was a critical part of the draft to get as many good young players that we could get to place on the eight-man practice squad. If you look at our recent history of our practice squad, you see a player like Demarcus Faggins who gets promoted during the year and has a big game against Buffalo and starts the last game of the year. Our practice squad players virtually get to be promoted. We thought that was important.
"We thought it was a strong draft early and a strong draft late. There were a lot of players in the middle that we already had here, because we had so many draft picks in our first two years. Other teams didn't have the draft picks like we had. They didn't have the luxury of having a surplus of picks to trade and move up to get a player. The way I viewed the trade is that we had two fourth round picks, one of which came from a fifth round trade last year. When you have extra picks, you get them to move up. It was a throw away pick. In my view we gave up a third round pick to move up. At that point the player on our board was an offensive guard and we've got enough good offensive guards now. That was not a position we wanted to take. We probably would have moved out of the third round." **
Head coach Dom Capers
"There is always a lot of discussion when teams approach the draft about taking
the best player available or taking what the team needs. What we did with this
draft was get some very good football players and address some team needs. Moving
into our third year we know more about our team than we did in year one and year
"After evaluating our second season, looking at the young players we had on the offensive side of the ball, being able to pick up a player like Dunta Robinson now gives us the ability to move Marcus Coleman to free safety. Then we had a very good feel about Jason Babin's ability to play outside linebacker for us. We thought he had a lot of the characteristics to come in at 260 pounds and has some defensive end qualities in terms of size, but flexibility to rush the passer and the athletic ability to play outside linebacker. After Jason, everybody else was more developmental type of projects. I felt good to move up to get Jason. We were concerned that someone was going to move up to take him."