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2012 NFL Draft: Martin Mayhew, Jim Schwartz Discuss Ryan Broyles Pick

Via the Detroit Lions, below is a transcript of what general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz had to say during a press conference following the Ryan Broyles pick on Friday night.


On second round selection of WR Ryan Broyles: "Ryan Broyles - best player on our board. Very productive guy; 48 career touchdowns - just tremendous production of a four-year career. Fits our offense, will be a great fit for us and really helps our offensive skill. (He's) another receiving weapon for our quarterback and we feel great about the pick."

On how soon Broyles will be available while rehabbing from his ACL injury from the 2011 season: "We have the luxury of being able to rehab this guy very thoroughly, very carefully and just allow him to get healthy because if the guy were healthy now, he'd have been gone way before our pick. So we're just fortunate to have this guy on our team. We think he's a great talent."

On whether this pick indicates his perception of how deep the draft is at defensive back: "We just listen to our board; we just follow our board. Our board tells us who the best players are and this guy was the guy to take for us."


"Just to start off where Martin left off: he can play slot, he can play outside, he can return punts, he's done all of those in his college career and he's done them in an unprecedented level in college football. We're talking about a guy that scored almost 50 touchdowns in his career and would have had over 50 if he hadn't gotten hurt late in the season. He's the NCAA leading receiver in the history of college football, second all-time in yards.

"He's a playmaker, he scores touchdowns and we're really excited to be able to have him. We have a good plan for him and I'm very excited to be able to get him."

On whether Broyles will be used on punt returns: "That stuff will come from training camp and from OTAs and preseason games and things like that, but he'll certainly be in the mix. He's done it in college and he's done it at a high level. He's had over 100 punt returns in his college career, averaged over 11-yards/punt return and has a couple touchdowns. He's certainly done it and it's in his skill set."

On whether he's expected to be available for this season: "Yeah, I wouldn't expect it to be a ‘redshirt (season).' We've had other players, like (Brandon) Pettigrew got hurt on Thanksgiving, came back and I think started 16 (games) for us. Every knee injury is a little bit different but the predictability of ACLs has become a little bit better.

"He worked out - he didn't work out at the combine, he worked at his pro day; he wasn't 100-percent, but he was five months off his ACL and he seems to be ahead of schedule. The good thing about it like Martin was talking about is: we're not in a situation where we'll be forced to rush him on the field. Again, you see teams that have a lot of different weapons, we've seen teams in our division that have found use for guys like that and they've affected games. He was the best player on our board and there's a discipline that goes along with that thought process."

On how difficult it is to balance between taking the best player available if he's your fourth-best receiver when there are players available that will have more opportunity to contribute: "Good players play. You don't solve needs by drafting poor players. We said that last year when we were picking guys and we'll keep on saying it. There's discipline that goes in to it and you have to be able to stick with that philosophy. The philosophy is: talent rules the board. He's a talented receiver that we have a good plan for that fits our offense and can do a lot of things for us."

On whether he's confident that there will be enough defensive help later in the draft to fill some of the needs they have on defense: "We'll see. I think if you chase need you're chasing a moving target. What looks like a need one day might not be a need another day. If you have the discipline to say, ‘Hey look, let's get good football players that fit a philosophy that we have a plan for, that continue to be the highest rated guys on your board, then you're going to be successful over the long run.'

"Even in this organization in the past, I think everybody knows some examples where this organization reached for certain players because of needs. I don't know that you're ever really happy; I don't see how that solves your need. Even when it's all said and done, that need is still there."

On whether it's easier to have that approach as a head coach instead of an assistant on the side of the ball that needs more talent: "The team is the most important thing and winning games. This time of the year - and Martin has said it before - about the finish line is not the draft. There's plenty of other opportunities whether it's waiver-wire, trades, and additional veteran free agents and everything else. There's all kinds of ways that you can address different parts of your team. Again, what looks like a need one year, all the sudden isn't. What looks like you're set at a position, all the sudden comes a need.

"You go back to our defensive line situation last year. We have a bit of an embarrassment of riches at some of those positions when it was the end of the year and Corey Williams had the quad (injury) and Nick (Fairley's) foot and (Ndamukong) Suh was suspended and all of the sudden it got real thin in there real quick when we were in a very, very critical time of our season.

"You can't ever really think about it that way and I think if you start thinking about need during the draft, you start thinking about the wrong things. Talent rules this board and that's the name of this game."

On if there are any concerns about an off-field incident with Broyles: "He had something when he was a freshman and we're counting on him having matured since then. We thought it was an isolated thing and he was very candid about it at the combine. We've done a lot of research with him; he's got great personality, he's a hard worker, he's a good football character guy. Like I said, we've all had something in our past somewhere along the line that we weren't the proudest of. The key is how we reacted to it and whether we put it in our past or not. We feel confident that he has."

On whether production is what trumps everything with Broyles: "When you score a touchdown, you get six points. It doesn't matter if you ran 4.53 or if you ran 4.31. It's how you fit in the offense, the plan they have for you and your ability to produce. The NFL is filled with players that maybe haven't measured up the way that people would have liked them to on a stopwatch or on a height-chart or whatever it is. You can start with maybe the greatest receiver in the history of the National Football League: Jerry Rice."

On what he liked specifically about Broyles: "There's a factor of playing particularly inside - but just outside, everything else, he just has a knack for the game. He's very, very strong; he's not the biggest guy in the world - a little bit like some of the other receivers, there's a guy yesterday that went off the board that was similar size - I think Ryan benched like 23 times which is extremely rare for a wide receiver to get into the 20s. That's the kind of skill set that helps him. He's very, very quick; he just has great instincts like a lot of good punt returners and a lot of good run-after-the-catch guys have had."

On whether this pick is an example of how in today's NFL you've got to get as many playmakers that can score as opposed to maybe five or six years ago: "I don't know that it's really a reflection of that as much as it is a draft philosophy and sticking with that philosophy. But I think the fact is in the NFL now you can find ways to get a lot of different guys the football. I mentioned our defensive tackle situation, but there's a depth part of this game too. We aspire to be a good consistent team and be a perennial playoff-type team. Well, our most important games we're going to play will be in December and January and things like that and depth is going to be very important. When you move the ball the way that we can, it helps to have more weapons."

On whether Broyles would have been a first-round pick had he not had the injury: "It's hard to say, but his production sure put him there. He never really had a chance to be able to get into that discussion because he finished the year hurt, but that didn't change the career he had, it didn't change the film that he had.

"When you start getting into some of those things, it's really hard to predict, but he certainly had the credentials to be there."

On how Broyles compares to WR Titus Young: "Different kind of player, but both of them are very valuable and we'll find use for those guys."

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