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2012 NFL Draft: Martin Mayhew, Jim Schwartz Discuss Bill Bentley 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 Bill Bentley pick on Friday night.


"Well, we drafted a corner (laughter). It seems like everybody looks a little happier now (laughter).

"We really like this guy. He's quick, he's fast; he really caught my eye at the Senior Bowl - very, very impressive Senior Bowl playing against the top competition. Then I went back and watched the Oklahoma State game when he played against Justin Blackmon and (QB) Brandon Weeden and he played an outstanding game against those guys.

"Our coaches have liked him, our scouts have liked him for a while. The guy is a very productive player; he's going to be a good player for us."

On whether he's concerned about Bentley's size and physicality: "He will throw his body around - all 182 pounds of it, he throws it around.

"He's from a smaller school. Sometimes those guys come to our situation and our weight program, our strength and conditioning coaches do an excellent job with those guys and we'll see what he weighs later, but he plays big. He makes big plays. I like the way he plays."

On whether Bentley was at the top of their board and it just worked out this way: "Indeed it did."

On how he feels about the state of the team's secondary in general right now: "You know what, we don't really have a state right now. Like I told you guys before, the draft is not the finish line. We have a lot of work to do on our football team; we've got some good young players in our secondary. I thought injuries really hurt us late last year. But we're still adding to our team and we've got some more rounds to go, we've got some free agency period left to go, so we'll just keep getting better. Every area of our team can improve."


"I think Martin, he hit a lot of the same things with Bentley that hit with me also. (At the) Senior Bowl, he really elevated himself. He showed great feet; got his hands on a lot of passes and really had great body control.

"You go back and you see him against people like Blackmon at Oklahoma State, you go back and look at those things, he was always able to rise to the level of competition. He's not the tallest or the heaviest, but he ran real fast and he's a really good cover guy. He's an aggressive player also. I wouldn't classify him as physical just because he's 180-pounds, but he certainly throws his body around like Martin said. He's a good playmaker. When you watch the Senior Bowl, it didn't take very long for him to standout when it came to the cover guys."

On whether the run on corners earlier in the round concerned him at all: "Not really. Again, you can't do anything about runs. What happens when there's a run on a bank? People panic and overreact and take 50-cents on the dollar and things like that. I keep going back to the same thing: you don't sit there and say, ‘Oh there's a run, ok, well let's pull these guys up from the bottom because these other guys are gone.' I mean hey, you can't do anything about it. You just go ahead and pick. If you want to get up, get up. Don't overdraft a guy just because some other guys (are gone); that doesn't make him any better of a player. If two other guys can get drafted at corner, doesn't make your guy any better of a player.

"Bentley's a guy that we've liked for a long time. We liked him at the Senior Bowl, we did a lot of work on him, he ran well at the combine and he's jumped through a lot of hoops for us.

"We really like his ability and think he's adding another playmaker to our defense."

On whether Bentley can play inside and outside: "He has played in there, he has the physical skills to do it. Like some of our other players, the biggest question is: can he physically hold up in there. I'm not talking about, can he cover, but can he physically hold up to the beating and that's been one thing. Even like Martin said, he's from a little bit lower level of competition; he's gained weight steadily through this offseason process - you know when he started going to these training centers and getting ready for the combine and those kinds of things; he's been able to put weight (on). He's a little higher than the weight he played at, so it leads you to believe that he can even get stronger and put some more weight on and potentially yes he could (play inside)."

On what Bentley's optimal playing weight is: "My philosophy for a lot of positions is weigh the most you can running the fastest as you can. So as you put weight on, if it makes you slower, then that's not good weight. But if you're 180 and you can run 4.37; if you're 185 and you run 4.37, we'll want you to weigh 185 - as long as it doesn't slow guys down.

"Movement skills are incredibly important for corners. That's part of your skill set which you need to be able to do. But that being said, a little extra weight definitely helps you withstand the 16-game season in the NFL."

On how practicing against the Lions receiving corps will help Bentley: "When you go against a guy like Calvin, it's sink or swim pretty quick - you better get used to it.

"You watch the development of Aaron Berry that went through training camp with us last year; he was one of the guys, that even though he's a lot shorter, a lot smaller, matched up and went and covered and wasn't intimidated and you could tell a little bit about him. With Bentley, it will be the same kind of thing. If he goes out and he's intimidated by guys like Calvin Johnson, he's in the wrong business. We feel very strongly that he won't be (intimidated). It's his history that he rose to the occasion against a guy that was the seventh pick - a top receiver like that. He goes to a Senior Bowl, a very, very scrutinized week; he's out there in practice with all of the coaches and general managers and scouts and TV and commentators and things like that and he rose to the occasion. We liked those things about him."

On what he did against Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon that really stood out: "He just has great body control and the ability to shadow and stay with him. That's a very important thing to have."

On how he feels about the defense now: "I don't know that we really feel anything to tell you the truth. We're two weeks into our offseason program; we haven't even been on the field yet with our players. We have to guard against I think the thought process that you just had of being complacent, saying, ‘Hey, we have returning starters.' We have to have a hungry approach; we have to have a good work ethic to go out and earn it. I think the personality of our defense is that way.

"I didn't like the way they finished last year; I don't think anybody really was happy with it. But there's a lot of character there and there's a lot of hard work and you rely on that to be able to bounce back from those situations."

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