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2013 NFL Draft: Quotes from Martin Mayhew's post-draft press conference

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew wraps up the team's 2013 NFL Draft.

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew had to say during his post-draft press conference on Saturday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening Statement: "We had a very good couple days. We think we've helped ourselves, made our roster better. We came in with some objectives. Like I said before, we wanted to get bigger, faster, more athletic. We've added some guys to our team to help us do that. I think it's been a very good process start to finish from the meetings up to now and we feel good about where we are as a team."

On what he likes the most about this class as a whole:
"I just think that they all sort of fit into the mold of what we said we wanted when we started this process. And it just kind of fell that way. We were able to get some guys with some length on the defensive line, very athletic guys. We got some fast guys that can run for their positions. So we really have improved ourselves. We got some healthy guys. We got younger. We feel good about it."

On the benefit of adding a person to the front office: "It was faster. The information flow was faster. We've got some output from our new system where we're able to consolidate a lot of information, which was very helpful. It was helpful. I don't think that that made a huge difference in terms of who we picked, but it certainly helped us to get information a little bit quicker."

On if it was easier without franchise-changing guys available to take care of the needs in the Draft:
"I don't think so. I think as we talked about at the very top of the Draft there weren't the elite franchise-changing players. I thought that there was more depth in this Draft. They went deeper into the second and third rounds. But once we got out of the first 10 picks, it really didn't make much of a difference."

On if LB Brandon Hepburn is the smartest player he's ever drafted: "I think so. We spoke to him at the Combine. He's a very, very impressive young man. I spoke to his head coach today, Earl Holmes, who played here. Earl spoke very highly of him. He was a guy under consideration, but once I spoke to Earl, I really wanted to draft him."

On if it's fair to say he expects more immediate production out of this Draft class because of the needs they fill: "That's a fair statement, but it's also fair to say we have more holes coming into it or more holes that we knew about coming into this draft than we did last year. We do expect a lot of those guys especially guys that we took early to be on the field pretty quickly."

On what Hepburn's coach said today that they didn't know already: "Earl, I've known Earl going back before he got here. I'm from Tallahassee, he's from Tallahassee. I've known him for a long time and I trust his judgment and he was on the table for this kid. And he was on the table not necessarily about how good a kid he is ... I knew how good a kid that he is. Earl was talking about the player that he is. And talking about how the kid could help us."

On if they filled all the holes that they wanted to going into the Draft: "I think after every Draft you kind of review where you are and typically there are some things that you still, at least in our case, there are some things that we still want to do this offseason and we're going to be focusing on those things over the next few weeks."

On if there is a particular position he feels they need to address:
"No. Just the offensive line pretty much in general. We're really young there so we'll look at some veteran guys there I think over the next few weeks."

On if DT Corey Williams is still a possibility: "I'm not going to get specific names, but we do plan to add some guys over the next several weeks to our team."

On if one of his assistant coaches was particularly pleased with a pick they made today: (laughter) "Yeah they were. Some excited defensive line coaches. Not necessarily today but over this process. Coach (Jim) Washburn is a very emotional guy. And Kris (Kocurek) is too. They're thrilled with a couple defensive ends. They're really excited about that. Those guys were high on the coach's wish list. We were able to get two of them so we feel good about that."

On how quickly he expects free agency to move: "I don't think it's going to be a real quick process. I think it's going to be some time to go through everything and it could be into May, June, but you know the Draft is not the finish line. And we have all offseason until we get to camp and start playing games. I think there will be roster movement throughout the offseason."

On if all the rookies can take part in the OTAs: "You know I haven't looked at the dates yet. We try to keep aware of that, but I haven't looked at those dates yet. I think we'll be in good shape though."

On if he expects CB Darius Slay to participate in rookie camp: "I do."

On if T Riley Reiff is a left tackle now: "He's very versatile. He can play a lot of different places. And really where guys play, I've told you guys before I leave that to the coaching staff. I bring these guys in. We talk about where we think those guys might fit and ultimately it's up to the coaches where the guys play and when the guys play."

On if the instability at the return game bothers him or does he think that he has a lot of options:
"Again, there are some areas that we still plan to add. There are some spots where we need to add some players. I think you kind of identified an area that we want to make sure that we have it shored up before the season starts."

On how much special teams help they got in this Draft and who in particular: "It kind of remains to be seen. But we expect Brandon Hepburn to be a big part of that. We expect Darius Slay to help out on special teams. Corey Fuller's sort of an unknown. But he's a big, fast guy. He's physical. He's tough. He should help us too. We expect the class to kind of come in, participate in OTAs, mini-camps. We'll get a feel for where those guys can help out."

On how much contact he had with this year's Draft picks compared to last: "It just goes that way sometimes. Sometimes guys come in. It's like the Senior Bowl. I mean, the last Senior Bowl, we didn't draft any of those players. This time the Senior Bowl really paid dividends for us. There were a lot of guys that we like from the Senior Bowl. We ended up with some of those guys on our roster right now.'

On if it now becomes a wait and see game with the Draft class: "Oh sure. It's that way every year. I mean, you draft guys, you've done all the work. You feel good about them, you bring them into mini-camp and OTAs, you get a better feel for them, you see how they fit into our defense and through our offense. It's the learning process with them as you move forward. Those guys have a lot of work to do. I think they all understand that and I'm looking forward to working with them."

On any red flags with players throughout the Draft: "Yeah, there were guys we didn't take because we were scared away from them. The guys with the red flags that were a big deal to us are not here. The guys that have some concerns that we felt comfortable with that we could work through, we drafted those guys."

On drafting some inexperienced players: "Sure, sure. But I mean, when you draft a guy like Ziggy Ansah, you want to understand kind of where he is and how quickly he can get up to speed. We felt very comfortable with that from working with him at the Senior Bowl and talking with his head coach. We know what kind of guy he is. So, there are some players out there who were raw that we didn't feel comfortable with and didn't take. Ones that we take, we think that those guys are going to be very involved."

On if the Ansah pick was a bold selection: "I don't think so. I think if we hadn't gone through the Senior Bowl, if we hadn't worked with the kid, I might have been a little more concerned about it. But having been there, having worked with him, our coaches felt very comfortable with it and I felt comfortable with it."

On if he was tempted at all to draft a quarterback: "Yeah, I mean, you look at the board, you see guys with grades up there that you think highly of. That thought crosses your mind. We thought about that. There were guys up there that we graded very high who we considered drafting and we didn't."

On if the defensive line will be the unit with the most impact from new players: "We expect that. I mean, time will tell, but we do expect those two guys to be very involved and play a very big role for us."

On the crop of players at this year's Senior Bowl: "I really can't explain it. I can just tell you, the last time that we went down there, we came back and went through this entire process. At the end of it, there just weren't a whole lot of guys that were on our team that really appealed to us. This time, we went through the same exact process, had a different roster of guys and it was littered with guys that really appealed to us. So, I can't really explain it. But we felt so much better about this class of guys than we did the last class."

On if the Senior Bowl helped him weed certain players out: "Certainly, that's what I meant. I mean, yeah, there were guys there that we looked at and we're like, ‘Won't draft him, won't draft him or him,' and that was how it went. This time, we went into it open-minded and there were just a bunch of guys that we really liked."

On if there was a need that they were unable to address in this Draft: "Yeah, I mean, I really don't talk about our needs that much. I think we hit a lot of things that were really important to us. As I said a few minutes ago, there are still things that we're working on and things that we plan to work on as the offseason goes."

On if there were any tiebreaker scenarios between certain players: "There were a couple guys I think in the mix, especially late, that we felt had a better opportunity to make our team and contribute right away that we targeted instead of some other guys. I think that was a factor, especially late in the process. You know, you're talking about the fifth, sixth, seventh round. There were some guys who we knew if this guy comes in, he's in this role, he makes our team and that was important to us."

On how he addresses potential red flags with certain prospects: "I think you separate the two. How a guy performs on the field I think is different than how he performs off the field. You evaluate both. Either one can rule a guy out for you. We placed emphasis on guys doing the right things, you know, and there were guys that are off our board for reasons that have nothing to do with how they perform on the field. And then likewise, there are guys that have no problems off the field but they're not good enough. So, two different areas and we look at every individual situation. Every single player, we're not going to lump all the guys with one problem into one category. Everybody's situation is there individually and we determine whether that guy is a pick for us or not."

On signing the undrafted rookies: "Really important. We changed the process up this year a little bit. We got some input from Brian (Xanders) from things that they had done in Denver and we changed it up a little bit and we'll see how it goes. But we're wrapping that up right now and class is pretty much signed up right now."

More from POD:

Track the Lions' picks in our draft StoryStream

Presenting the Lions' 2013 draft class

2013 Lions undrafted free agent tracker

Follow all of the Lions' draft news

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