Apr 292017
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama Crimson Tide (January 9, 2017)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Podcast of April 28, 2017: BBI’s Mike Siegel chats with veteran draft scout, Dave Te Thomas of The NFL Draft Report, and BBI’s SY’56 about the New York Giants’ selection of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson in the second round and quarterback Davis Webb in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Since 1968, Dave Te Thomas has been producing scouting reports on draft prospects for professional football teams, writing articles about the draft and NFL preseason, and appearing on local and national broadcasts across the country.

SY’56 has been scouting 500+ players per year since 2006 and has developed his own grading system. His work has landed him a position with Ourlads.com. He spends 20-25 hours per week on scouting players throughout the year.

Apr 292017
 
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Davis Webb, California Golden Bears (October 21, 2016)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the 23rd pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’5”, 229-pound quarterback Davis Webb from the University of California.

SCOUTING REPORT: Webb has the tools. He has ideal size and a very strong arm. He can move around the pocket, but he is not a scrambler. Webb throws a nice deep ball and can wing it through tight windows. But he is a project who needs a lot of technique work and more experience in reading defenses given that he comes from collegiate spread offense. He can be streaky with his accuracy and his decision-making has been questioned despite his intelligence. Webb is a very smart, hard working quarterback who loves the game and who is dedicated to getting better.

SY’56’s Take: “His size and easy throwing motion can get you excited, but he has a ways to go in terms of progression and learning. Webb is a couple years away and will have to spend a lot of time correcting elements such as a footwork, lower body mechanics, and reading a defense, among other things. Possible starter down the road, but more likely a backup… Webb is a hot name with some of the people I get to talk with…and others think he won’t ever be a starter. Nobody denies the talent, but he has a ways to go. I’ve watched every game of his from 2016 and he does the same things week in and week out that bother me. He has to completely change his game and while I think it is possible, it’s simply unlikely.”

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)

Reese: Davis Webb, quarterback, Cal. A third round selection. He was very productive in that offense, like a lot of quarterbacks are. We thought that he had the best arm in the draft this year, really a gifted arm, thrower. For a tall guy, he is a good athlete. He can be off schedule and buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things that we liked about him. We think that he will have time – like we said earlier, Eli has however much time that he has left, two or three years left in his contract or however long he plays. We think that this guy has a high ceiling that can come in here and develop behind him and learn the pro game and challenge and compete and create competition at the quarterback position. I will take any questions.

Q: What are the challenges of using a high draft pick on a player that is probably not going to play for a couple of years?

A: Well, you never know when a quarterback is going to help. Obviously, we would like for him to have a couple years to be the caddie and learn the pro game and all the nuances of playing quarterback in these league, but he has all of the tools to play the quarterback, and we think that he has a high ceiling and hopefully he can sit on the sideline, hold a clipboard and learn the game.

Q: When you drafted Ryan Nassib, I think you said that you hope he never plays. Is it different with (Webb)?

A: We hope that Eli continues to play at a high level and this guy can develop. That is what we hope for. You never know what is going to happen, but that is what we hope for.

Q: Did you have a first round grade on Davis Webb?

A: We had a good grade on him. I am not going to talk about which round we had him. We had a good grade on him.

Q: How surprised were you that he was sitting there in the third round?

A: I am not surprised by anything in the draft anymore. It is hard to surprise me in the draft. But we liked him, we had him rated high and we think that he has a top skillset to play this position in the National Football League.

Q: Do you feel like you have an advantage in taking this guy and knowing that he has a chance to develop in the next couple of years?

A: Well, we hope so. That is what the whole premise is – that this guy can sit behind Eli for a couple of years, two or three years or however long it takes. Let me get this straight guys, we hope that Eli plays for a long time for us. Eli is our quarterback and we still think that he can play at a high level, but we do know that he is not going to play forever, so we are trying to make the best decision as we move forward for the rest of Eli’s career.

Q: What type of franchise quarterback qualities did you see in Davis Webb?

A: Here is the thing. First of all, he has a big arm. He has one of those wintertime arms, he can throw it in the wind, so again, we thought that he had the best arm talent in the draft this year and this guy is football all the time. You have to be that kind of guy in this league. You can’t half do it up here and play at a high level in the National Football League. This guy is a son of a coach, football all of the time and he has the quarterback profile that we like.

Q: What was the process like with him? Did you see him or meet him?

A: We didn’t bring him in here or anything like that, but we spent some time with him at the combine.

Q: Nobody went to work him out?

A: We did not.

Q: How does this work out for the rest of the roster? You have five quarterbacks now.

A: Well, again, we are just going to create as much competition at every position as we can and that will take care of itself as we move towards training camp and we will see where it goes.

Q: Did you sit with Eli at some point and let him know that you were thinking of bringing in a quarterback to develop?

A: Eli understands the process. Eli is a very smart guy and he understands the process. He knows that he is not going to play forever. He knows that it is our job to prepare for when he has finished his career here, so he understands that. It is nothing that we had to talk to him about.

Q: Did you talk to him after you drafted the quarterback?

A: We didn’t have any conversation with Eli before we drafted, but we draft a quarterback and we are going to let our quarterback know that we are drafting a quarterback, of course.

Q: Is there any concern that you are coming out of the draft without picking an offensive lineman?

A: Well, there are a lot of picks left and we will keep trying to fix the roster and add to the roster as we move through the rest of the draft. We have more picks to take.

Q: When you made the first few picks, did you have to talk about if you had to take Webb at that point?

A: You never know where guys are going to go. We stay true to our board. The big defensive tackle was there and we picked him and this guy was the next guy on our board and we picked him.

MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)

Q: What do you like about him?

A: He’s a big guy with a live arm. Son of the coach with the top intangibles. Went to Cal and took leadership of the whole group. He ran meetings. Really strong personality, a leader. A football junkie. He’s a surprisingly good athlete for his size. Just has a lot of upside to develop.

Q: What happened when he was at Texas Tech?

A: He was coming off of a couple injuries. He started there. Texas Tech had a lot of guys that transferred out of there. A kid went to Virginia Tech, a kid that is at Oklahoma now. Davis kind of beat them out. He was competing against Mahomes. Coming off an injury, Mahomes had a leg up. He just kind of beat him out at that point.

Q: Did you get to see him at his pro day?

A: Yes. Saw him at the Senior Bowl, saw him at the Combine. We’ve been tracking him all year. Our area scouts were really excited about him early in the year because of the transfer and guys that are out west. Really fired up about him from that point on.

Q: What does it say about his resiliency as a player that he could lose his job at a major program at Texas Tech and then go right to another one like Cal?

A: This guy is a football player. Son of a coach, tough guy. Obviously disappointed. I’m sure he’s disappointed right now that he wasn’t a higher pick. That’s what you love in a quarterback. Guys that can bounce back and have fortitude to persevere. That’s what you need. We think he has that.

Q: Is the process of picking a quarterback different than from other positions?

A: It’s more of a lightning rod type of pick as opposed to picking a DT or corner and stuff like that. A quarterback has all these innuendos and questions about why you’re taking him and what you’re going to do with him. It’s the most important position in sports, so of course it’s going to get the most attention.

Q: Did you have any contact besides the Senior Bowl and the Combine?

A: Yes, we met with him in the fall, our area scout met with him. Senior Bowl, we met with him. Combine, we met with him. We kind of kept an eye on him. I’m surprised he was still around at this point. I thought he would go higher.

Q: Why do you think he fell?

A: That’s a good question. I think it was the system that he played in, a little bit of the inaccuracy that he had. Each team evaluates quarterbacks in a different way.

Q: One of the scout criticisms was his deep ball can be a little inaccurate. Is that something that when you have a coach like McAdoo and a couple of years, you feel like you can work out?

A: We’re hoping this guy can develop his skills. You have a guy like this in the situation we have now, we’re hoping he doesn’t have to come in right away and be the guy and get thrown into the fire. He can work on his skills.

Q: Were some of those concerns on why he fell not as much of a concern to you guys?

A: Yes. Obviously, it gives you a little bit of a cushion and some breathing room. You saw what happened in the first round, teams trading up everything to get those guys. We feel we have a fairly equal talent at the bottom of the third compared to some of the guys that went pretty high.

Q: Ben McAdoo hasn’t even met Davis in person. You take that as he trusts the board and scouting. Does that speak to how this process played out?

A: You learn from Philly down there. The Sixers. Trust the process. No, I think we work hand in hand really well together. The coaching staff, scouting staff and ownership. Frankly, I try and put Ben in touch with guys that I think we really have a chance to get. Again, I did not think at this point Davis would be one of those players. I thought he would be gone at this point. He’s watched the tape, the quarterback coach has communicated with Davis, our scouts have been in touch with him and talked to him at various points throughout the year. He’s just one of the guys that wasn’t a priority to Ben to meet because there are only so many guys you can meet with.

Q: So the lack of contact wasn’t because you were playing coy, but that you didn’t think it was realistic?

A: I don’t know. No, a little bit of both. You try and mix it as a little bit of both. You want to do your research and dig but still not be too obvious about what you want to do.

Q: Were you going to take a quarterback in this draft no matter what?

A: No, not necessarily. If there was a guy at the right time and was the right guy, we were going to take him.

Q: Does he draw comparisons to any other QB’s?

A: No.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO: (Video)

Davis Webb, big man with a chip on his shoulder. He’s a gym rat, coach’s son, excited to plug him into quarterback school and hit the ground running.

Q: Ben, where does he slide into your depth chart right now?

A: He’s a young guy, he needs to come in and see how he does, throw him into the mix and let him compete.

Q: What do you like about him? What stands out?

A: I think he’s a big man, he’s a fluid mover, he’s a pocket passer but he’s not necessarily a statue back there. He can move around and has some good rhythm in the body.

Q: Why does he have a chip on his shoulder?

A: He lost a job early in his career, sitting there probably a little bit too long in this draft.

Q: You thought he would be drafted earlier?

A: I thought he would drafted earlier, yes.

Q: 1st round?

A: We had him graded fairly high.

Q: Ben, Jerry said you guys called Eli and told him what you guys were doing. Obviously that’s not something you do with other positions. How closely will you monitor how the players react to this?

A: Not at all.

Q: What was Eli’s reaction?

A: I didn’t talk to Eli.

Q: Do you feel like the offense that you run might be a friendlier transition for someone coming out of an offense like Texas Tech or Cal?

A: I think every case is different. You take it on a case-by-case basis and we find out when we get them in the building.

Q: Was there a point where you were sold on him? [inaudible]

A: Again, we liked the way he works, we like the way he leads, he’s a positive player, did a nice job at the Senior Bowl, that helped his cause.

Q: Does his performances remind you of another quarterback?

A: There are a couple guys out there, but I don’t want to do that to him.

Q: For you personally, your only one-on-one time with him when you were in the room with him was at the combine?

A: My evaluation was based on film study.

Q: Does he fit into the offense in the way that Eli does? Obviously not experience wise, but is he a different kind of athlete?

A: Pocket passer. Again, he’s a fluid mover back there. He can move in the pocket and extend plays. He can do some creating. Like I said, he’s not a statue back there.

Q: You have not met him before?

A: I have not met him.

Q: Is there extra gravity brought on by taking a quarterback, especially given the importance of the position?

A: That’s a dramatic question, I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Q: This is an important decision, I would assume, as a head coach and a franchise, potentially bringing in the quarterback of the future.

A: He was the highest player on our board, we had a high grade on him, we felt that there was good value for the pick, and we’re confident that he’s going to come in and develop.

Q: Usually when you take a guy in the 3rd round, you expect him to play somewhere, special teams, start, rotation, you don’t expect this guy to play at all.

A: He’s not going to be covering kicks for us.

Q: How do you weigh that? You get a guy in the third round and say look he might sit for two years.

A: Well, you have to trust. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, whether it’s scouts, Marc Ross, the coaches evaluate, the coordinators evaluate, Jerry and I evaluate. You have to trust the process.

Q: This is a guy you said you thought would be gone at this point. As the Draft is unfolding, are you thinking in the back of your mind, hoping that he’s going to last?

A: Hoping doesn’t work, I tried it. It doesn’t work real well, so you just let it play out, take it pick by pick and when you have someone sitting up there that you graded up there and they’re the highest guy on the board, you’re confident that you did your homework and it’s going to pay off.

Q: What character traits have you been able to identify with him that make him the potential franchise quarterback?

A: You can see he’s a persistent guy, he’s a hard worker, the game is important to him. Like I said off the bat, he’s a gym rat, he’s a coach’s son and grew up in the game and that helps. He’s going to have to have thick skin like they all do. Let’s get him here and let’s get him a playbook and a helmet.

Q: He was the highest player on your board in the 3rd round?

A: When we made our pick he was the highest player.

Q: Was he close to being the highest rated player in the second round?

A: That’s a long way back.

Q: Did you have a set idea as to what milestones you want him to reach at a certain point or do you let him develop organically?

A: Reps are tough to come by, that’s a big part of the offseason and the way things are with the new CBA. Reps are tough to come by, but they call it development for a reason. It takes different guys different speeds to get you to where you want him to go. We just need to get him in and throw as much at him as quickly as possible and see how he handles it.

Q: You said you haven’t met him in person, was that by design?

A: No, there’s only so much ground you can cover.

Q: How big a benefit do you think it is for a quarterback to come into the league and sit for a couple years?

A: I think it’s huge. I think it’s tough to come into the league and be a number two. I don’t think there are very many guys, even in this draft, that can come in and be a number two quarterback. I think it’s challenging, it’s asking an awful lot. It’s a different game and it’s a challenge. It’s a benefit to be able to sit behind especially a veteran quarterback and learn. It goes a long way.

Q: You think for developmental purposes it’s better for a quarterback to get in the game right away or sit?

A: Case by case, it’s different. Every guy is different, but I do think it helps.

Q: You say you never met him, but did you talk to him tonight?

A: Yes.

Q: What was that conversation like?

A: He’s pretty excited.

Q: You?

A: Pretty excited.

Q: Do you have to strike a balance? I mean people are going to want to see this guy play at some point and you still have Eli. Is that going to be [inaudible]

A: Doesn’t matter. 

MEDIA Q&A WITH DAVIS WEBB:

Q: What was your reaction when you got the call that you were coming to the Giants?

A: I was ecstatic. I was very fortunate to be selected by such a great organization and great coaches and Coach McAdoo and I am just very thankful for the Giants organization picking me up today and I am ready to get to work.

Q: Ben (McAdoo) said that he was surprised that you were on the board this late. Were you surprised by that, too?

A: Yeah, the NFL Draft is a little weird. You really can’t predict it, so anything can happen, but I am just glad that I ended up at such a great organization and so many great players on the Giants team and obviously great coaches. I am just looking forward to being a great teammate and being a prepared quarterback.

Q: They have obviously made it clear that Eli Manning is the starter here. They view you as someone who can potentially take the reins. Is that a role that you are comfortable with?

A: I don’t know what my role is on the team yet. Obviously Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, so he is one of the best and a Hall of Fame quarterback. So I am just excited to be in the same quarterback room as him and we will see what happens. I am just trying to be a great teammate first, be prepared from a week-to-week standpoint as a quarterback because I have a long way to go.

Q: What was this process like for you in the last two days?

A: It was all over the place. My emotions were very high and very low, but again, I have had so many great people help me out the past couple days and past 22 years of my life to always stay even-keeled and control what you can control and commit to those controllables and that is what I did tonight and yesterday. It was out of my control and I was just looking forward to seeing who would pick me up and obviously the great organization New York Giants and there are so many good players of the team, so I am just excited and looking forward to heading up to New York very soon.

Q: What is your relationship like with Patrick Mahomes?

A: Yeah, Patrick Mahomes and I are very close friends. Obviously we were together at Texas Tech and we have kind of stayed in touch ever since then. So it was cool to go through the draft process with him and I am looking forward to seeing how he does in Kansas City with the Chiefs organization and obviously I will be rooting for him.

Q: Do you come into this process setting milestones for yourself or do you plan to develop organically?

A: I am not sure. I am a very goal oriented type person, but at the same time, I don’t know what my role is yet. I am just a third round draft pick tonight and I am looking forward to being a great teammate first and being a hard worker because those are the two things that I can control and I look forward to doing those two things first.

Q: You mentioned there are a lot of things you can get better on. Is there anything particular that you identified as something you want to work on right away?

A: Yeah, I have brand new coaches so I am excited to see what we can continue to develop and get better at. Obviously I think that one thing I need to work on is being more efficient mechanically. Coming from a spread type system in college and going to the NFL, obviously every college quarterback needs to develop into an NFL type quarterback, so I am just looking forward to that development and working hard at it.

Q: Is there any disappointment that you are not coming to a team where you are going to compete for a starting job right away?

A: Not at all. I am just excited to be a part of a great organization. I commit to the controllables, and the Giants thought enough of me to pick me tonight and I am just very thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting teammates and getting in the playbook and being in the weight room and just develop relationships and be a great quarterback.

Q: When was the last time you were in New York?

A: It was a couple weeks ago. I visited the Jets, so that was the last time that I was in the area.

Q: What do you see as your greatest strengths as a quarterback?

A: I am not sure. I think that I have a couple things that I do a good job at, but at the same time there are so many rooms for improvement in my game. I think that I am a great leader – I was voted a captain at two different schools, so I would say that my leadership qualities are strong. I was a coach’s kid and the only two things that I focus on are being a great teammate and being a hard worker and I think everything else will play itself out.

Q: Was your father a quarterbacks coach?

A: Yes, he was. He is a head coach at Frisco Centennial down in Dallas.

Q: Are you home in Texas right now?

A: Yes, I was home for draft night in Prosper, Texas and I had my family over and a few close friends and we were all very excited when the New York Giants called my name tonight.

Q: You are going to have the luxury of time with the Giants. Do you view that as beneficial to you?

A: I don’t really know what that question entails. Again, I am very happy right now just to be selected to the NFL. I think that every kid wants this dream to happen, so right now I am thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to getting to work and being a good teammate.

Q: When did you get a sense tonight that the Giants were going to take you?

A: Again, I didn’t know which team would take me because there are 32 good ones out there. The New York Giants happened to select me tonight and I am very fired up for them and I am excited to be up there in New York very soon and get to work and learn the new playbook and try to develop into the quarterback that I think I can be.

Q: How much did the Giants come onto your radar during this process?

A: They were definitely on the radar. There were a lot of teams out there, but I am just very happy that the Giants selected me tonight and I am looking forward to getting up there.

Q: Did you talk to Coach McAdoo earlier and if so, what did he have to say?

A: Just welcomed me to the team and the organization. I am very blessed by that. I am very thankful to Coach McAdoo and the entire staff and I am looking forward to getting up there.

Apr 282017
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama Crimson Tide (September 10, 2016)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the 23rd pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’3”, 310-pound defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson from the University of Alabama.

SCOUTING REPORT: Fifth-year senior. Tomlinson is an average-sized tackle who is very strong and tough. He can hold the point-of-attack against the double-team block. He is an outstanding run defender who plays with with leverage. Can stack and shed and he is a sure tackler. Tomlinson is not a top-notch pass rusher, but he has good quickness and can push the pocket. Tomlinson is very smart and a high-character player who plays hard all of the time. Tore one ACL in 2011 and the other in 2013.

SY’56’s Take: “One of the more interesting and impressive kids in the class when it comes to the off the field story (both parents died before he was 18 years old). Tomlinson doesn’t have standout physical traits but you know you are getting a guy that will get the job done. While he is a different sized player than Linval Joseph, I feel he will have a similar impact early in his career. Just a reliable presence inside that makes guys around him better with the potential to blossom in to more. Really watch some Alabama tape and you’ll see him do things you didn’t think he could do. 2nd round is where I strongly consider him.”

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)

Reese: Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle, University of Alabama. Big guy that we think can come in and compete for a starting job for us. Create a lot of competition at that position. He’s a two-gap type player. He can hold the point of attack, has that NFL toughness that we like and the profile that we like. We thought he was a terrific pick right here right now at this point in the draft.

Q: Did this position become more of a need when Johnathan Hankins left in free agency?

A: Well, we’re just trying to pick good players. Obviously Hank left, so that created a little bit of a void. We’re just trying to pick good players. We stayed true to our board and he was the next man in line.

Q: Does the way that Landon Collins has worked out so far make you even more comfortable taking a guy from Alabama?

A: Well, Alabama has notoriously put out good players and Landon is a terrific player for us. We’re just trying to pick good players from wherever. Alabama has obviously been a top program. This guy is, like I said, NFL ready. He’s a big, tough guy. Big guy on the inside.

Q: How much have you interacted with him?

A: We interviewed him at the combine. He was one of the best interviews we thought out of the entire combine. He was one of the best guys we interviewed. He’s a New York Giant kind of player.

Q: What was so impressive about that?

A: I can’t remember everything because we interview so many guys. I just remember that he was impressive. When he left the room, everyone was like, ‘wow, that was pretty impressive.’

Q: Is he a guy that can bounce outside to defensive end as well?

A: No. He’s an inside player. He’s a two-gapper and can push the pocket inside. He’s an inside player.

Q: Was he close to being a first round pick?

A: I think some guys probably would’ve considered him as a first round pick. I think that, yes.

Q: You seem very comfortable with this format. Every three or four years you take a defensive lineman and get what you can out of him. Is that just the way it’s worked out?

A: That’s just the way it’s worked out. We would love to keep the player. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. With the last two big guys we’ve had inside (Linval Joseph and Johnathan Hankins), we weren’t able to keep them. They moved on to a better situation for them. We’ve been able to draft some guys that have been able to come in and fill the gap for us.

Q: With an undergrad degree in finance, Dalvin is going for a second degree in financial planning in May. How proud does it make you that you guys have brought in someone smart both on the field and off the field?

A: We want him to play football. We don’t want him to do our taxes or anything like that. We want him to come in, stop that run and push that pocket so our defensive ends can get to the quarterback.

Q: You’re comfortable having two mainly run-stopping guys in the middle of the line?

A: Well, we think he can push the pocket inside. He’s violent with his hands inside. He’s got that NFL toughness that we like. He has the grown man strength inside. We think he can push the pocket for us inside.

Q: You like that though? The two guys that are run stuffers in the middle. Is that fair to say?

A: You have to stop the run up here. You have to rush the passer and you have to stop the run. I think he gives us a two-way guy.

Q: The one thing that sticks out in his bio is the two ACL’s. How much did you have to push him just to make sure?

A: Yes, that came into consideration for us. He’s played on those things for three years now. Our trainers and doctors were okay with him and didn’t think it would be an issue.

MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)

Q: Is this a guy that you guys feel can step right in and contribute?

A: For sure. It kind of reminded us – we kind of talked about the situation where when we had Linval (Joseph), the year we took him we kind of talked about him early and then he was there in the second for us and filled a void. Linval goes and then (Jonathan Hankins), we were really high on Hank and we talked about him early and he was there in the second round and we took Hank and he filled in. Both of those guys became pretty good players for us, so this was kind of a similar situation.

Q: So in four years you will be looking to replace him?

A: I hope not.

Q: Is there a guy that you can compare him to that is in the pros now?

A: No, he is himself. I don’t know. I am not that smart to kind of go off the top of my head. No, nobody jumps off right now.

Q: What about Hank? How similar or different is he to Tomlinson?

A: They are different players. I will just talk about Dalvin. Dalvin is strong, he is country strong, he has jolt, he has walk-back power, he is stout at the point of attack, he has sneaky athleticism and every down he plays hard. Every down.

Q: Was the knee injury a concern?

A: No, he has been three years and played and we have a great medical staff here that makes sure that we don’t take anybody that is a risk and they were good with him.

Q: What do you remember about the combine interview with him?

A: Man, Dalvin was one of the best definitely this year, but he will be a guy that you talk about for a long time. He was one of the more memorable ones that we have had. He was just smart, mature, poised, confident, just a man. He walked in the room and he had a commanding presence and as they say at Alabama, he is a man’s man. He was an ultimate leader there, guy you want in the foxhole and just really a leader for those guys. We hope that he brings some of those same attributes for us.

Q: Did all of that come through in the interview?

A: Yeah, well you knew about it coming in because all of our scouts do a great job throughout the year getting the information, and everything from Bama right from the start was, ‘Watch out for this guy, he is underrated. They have all these stars on the defense, but watch out for this guy.’ Sure enough, the guy is kind of the lynch pin of their defense and they are underrated, so you knew all of the positive things that they say and then when he comes in the room and talks – you will see when he gets here. The guy is pretty impressive.

Q: Was there one thing that he said that really stuck with you guys?

A: No, just the whole interview and the way he carried it to just talking about his life and then all the football things that we talked about.

Q: When you walk out of an interview like that, do you kind of think that you would love to make that pick at some point?

A: Yeah, you want all the boxes to check positive. I would say convergent validity from your scouts, from your interview, from the combine, from the fall and everything to kind of come together and he was one of the few guys that when we talked about him, it was all positive, from the area scouts, to the coaches, to myself, to Jerry (Reese), to Ben (McAdoo) and Chris Mara. Everyone said positive things. Now, did that mean he was the first pick in the draft? No. But I just mean that everything that we talked about Dalvin was positive with his profile. It was just one of the more impressive profiles on and off the field that you will see. It is what we like to call a clean profile.

Q: His NFL.com profile stated that he never played more than 45 percent of snaps in the season. Is that something that you look at?

A: I never knew that stat. I just know that at Alabama they rotate all of their guys in and out and they play. We just know that when he is in there and he is playing whatever role for us, but for them when he was in there he was doing the dirty work, getting the hidden production and just a grunt, tough guy in there.

Q: How important was it to bring in someone from Alabama who has that championship experience and was working under one of the best college coaches of all-time?

A: That is always a positive. Bama puts out good players. You are looking at 15 guys every year at Bama and you know that they get big-time recruits and that they have the pedigree and the profile, so when you are going there you have an expectation of what you are getting from players from that program.

Q: He has a pretty substantial wrestling background. Is that something that you look for in a defensive lineman?

A: If he can wrestle the offensive lineman down and make a tackle, yeah. But no, that just adds to his impressive profile, that the guy was a three-time state champion in wrestling.

Q: You mentioned last night that Engram was a clean profile guy. Does that factor into where you place players on your board?

A: Sure. Experience, positive off the field profile, those are the things that help out a player’s value on our draft board.

Q: Dalvin’s parents passed away. Was he raised by relatives?

A: Yeah, he had a group of people that kind of raised him. The things that he has been through in his life – he had to grow up fast and it shows in the way that he carries himself.

Q: You have been at Alabama every year. Is Tomlinson the kind of kid that you had an eye on the last couple of years?

A: No, he is a fifth year senior and kind of had to work his way up into the system there, so he wasn’t one of those ‘jump off the screen’ kind of guys when he was a young guy. They rotate so many guys in and out of there that you don’t know who is going to be the next one. But he earned his time on the field and he made the most of it.

Q: How important is it that he has that dirty production aspect?

A: I think that is a big thing that the coaches were looking for with whoever that fourth guy was in there because we have three studs on the defensive line, I think. So the next guy – he can kind of come in there and learn from those guys and play his role, there are not a lot of big expectations and just go play.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO: (Video)

McAdoo: Very good profile, pro ready, excited. I’ll open it up.

Q: Jerry said it was a pretty memorable interview at the combine.

A: Yes, he did a nice job in the interview. He knew the football very well, great personality, he’ll fit in well in the room.

Q: Is that a thing where you test him on plays or something like that?

A: Yes, we have some different things we like to take them through, different exercises and he did a nice job.

Q: When you consider bringing guys into the defensive line room, do you think about the big personalities, big players when you look at that defensive line with a guy who can really fit in with a OV (Olivier Vernon), JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul)?

A: I think the interview just kind of confirms some things. You see him on tape, (he) plays at a high level, he’s pro-ready, plays with a good pace, uses his hands very well, which is something you don’t get with a lot of guys coming out of college and do it very well. He’s not just a run stopper, he has some transition rush skills, which is nice on first and second down. He has some versatility there to.

Q: Not everybody does, but how much do you like having the two 300-plus pounders together in the middle that can both stop the run and how beneficial do you view that combo together?

A: I like third and long. That’s a good place to start, with your defensive tackles.

Q: Do you draft a guy like Tomlinson thinking about the fact that you play a team like Dallas in your division twice a year that’s going to be running the ball for a while?

A: Just value in big guys. It’s where he was on the board, but you have to stop the run. That’s the foundation in this game. One of the core parts of this game is stopping the run, getting teams into third down and long so you can rush the passer and disrupt the quarterback.

Q: How do you view this move as the Johnathan Hankins replacement?

A: We lost a good player, Hank moved on. Dalvin was at the top of the board, so we picked him.

Q: Is it difficult to evaluate a guy like him when he has so many good players around him?

A: You just watch his fundamentals; grade him off of his fundamentals. They produce some good players down there at Alabama, but they play good players as well. You see good players throughout the SEC, so he’s battle-tested.

Q: How similar or different is his skill-set from a guy like Hankins?

A: They’re two different players. He has some versatility, he can play a little nose, a little three (technique), possibly some five technique or some four technique based on the scheme.

Q: Coach, two picks so far, two players from the SEC, what does it say about that conference that you guys have gone there twice now?

A: They must have some good players because they were at the top of the board twice. 

MEDIA Q&A WITH DALVIN TOMLINSON:

Q: What was your reaction when you got the call from the Giants?

A: I was excited. My family was excited with me. Everyone was happy for the most part.

Q: Was this about where you thought you would go for the most part?

A: I wasn’t sure where I was going. I was just waiting and being patient, to be honest.

Q: What do you remember most from your interview with the Giants at the combine?

A: I remember just critiquing myself a lot. I told them about my life story and everything. I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my career at Alabama and also in high school. I always fought through it and just wanted to become one of the best competitors on the team.

Q: Do you feel that you’re NFL ready?

A: Yes, I feel like I’m ready for the NFL.

Q: Dalvin, are you particularly excited to play with Landon Collins after the year he had and with a defense that led the Giants back to the playoffs last season?

A: Yes, I’m super excited to see Landon again. The Giants defense is an amazing defense. I love the play calls and the scheme they run. I feel like I’m going to be a perfect fit for their defense.

Q: Has Landon reached out to you?

A: I’ve been getting a lot of texts and calls. I haven’t seen anything from Landon yet, but I’m pretty sure he has.

Q: Can you just get us up to speed on your background?

A: I grew up in Georgia. I was a three tournament wrestler. State championship in high school. Just have been through a lot of adversity. My mom passed going into my senior year. I pushed through it and it motivated me to become a better football player and person. I used that at Alabama and try to continue to get better each and every day. It paid off for me.

Q: Your father had previously died?

A: Yes, he passed when I was five years old.

Q: Who are you gathered with right now that is closest to you?

A: My brother, my aunts, uncles and cousins. Family friends and all the coaches from high school and even park ball that have been coaching me through my whole life.

Q: Is part of that adversity going through two ACL surgeries?

A: Yes, it is. Coming into college with a torn ACL and then also having a second one and still being able to get back onto the field. Most defensive linemen probably wouldn’t have been able to come back from it the way I did. Also, to fight through it each and every day was tough on me at first. I just kept fighting through it each and every day and it ended up working out in the long run. I’m grateful for it because everything happens for a reason.

Q: How would you characterize your pass rushing skills?

A: I feel like I’m a great pass rusher. I haven’t been in the position to show it off a lot. I feel like I’m an even greater run stopper but I have a very good pass rush game.

Q: I think I read that you could’ve gone to Harvard. Was that right and a serious consideration?

A: Yes, that’s right. I was pretty much considered a nerd coming out of high school. Harvard was in consideration for me because academics was a big thing in my life.

Q: Were you a soccer goalie?

A: I was a goalie and I played striker, also.

Q: Striker?

A: I know, right.

Q: How many red cards did you pick up?

A: I didn’t pick up any in a few years. I’m surprised just like you are. I thought I was going to get a lot more red cards.

Q: You played soccer in high school?

A: Yes, I played up to my senior year, right before I got to Alabama.

Q: Soccer and football are in different seasons in Georgia, right?

A: Yes. Soccer is in the spring and football is in the fall in Georgia.

Q: At Alabama you wrestled teammates in the locker room all the time right?

A:  Yes, for the most part.

Q: Undefeated?

A: Yes.

Q: How much are you looking forward to joining this defensive line here? They have a couple good players.

A: I’m pretty excited. They can teach me a lot of things from the defensive line standpoint. I’m blessed to have people like that at the program already.

Q: How familiar are you with that defensive line already and the fact that you’re the replacement of Hankins?

A: I haven’t gotten to meet them personally but I’m pretty sure when we get there we’re going to have a pretty good relationship and build an even stronger brotherhood. They’re going to mentor me and become a better defensive line.

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Evan Engram, Mississippi Rebels (November 5, 2016)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Podcast of April 27, 2017: BBI’s Mike Siegel chats with veteran draft scout, Dave Te Thomas of The NFL Draft Report, and BBI’s SY’56 about the New York Giants’ selection of tight end Evan Engram in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. They also discuss how the rest of the NFC East did.

Since 1968, Dave Te Thomas has been producing scouting reports on draft prospects for professional football teams, writing articles about the draft and NFL preseason, and appearing on local and national broadcasts across the country.

SY’56 has been scouting 500+ players per year since 2006 and has developed his own grading system. His work has landed him a position with Ourlads.com. He spends 20-25 hours per week on scouting players throughout the year.