NFL Draft 2015: Bill Belichick Discusses Why He Drafted Jordan Richards And Geneo Grissom

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Nov 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Geneo Grissom (85) in action against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. Oklahoma defeated Iowa State 59-14. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

After the New England Patriots selected Jordan Richards and Geneo Grissom in the second and third round of the 2015 NFL draft, Bill Belichick met with the media to discuss the picks.

Here is the official transcript: (via the official Patriots website)

BB: All right. How’s it going here? Got the No-Doz going? [It’s] not really too much different from kind of where we were scheduled to go [going] into the day. Took 64 with [Jordan] Richards; [he] has been a good player at Stanford. He kind of plays both strong safety and free safety. [He’s] been a real productive guy for them. I think he’s a guy we’ll like [and] you’ll like having around here. Then Geneo Grissom is a player that has played a couple different spots, converted from tight end to linebacker or defensive end, whatever you want to call it. He played defensive end in ’13, played outside linebacker; he’s also played inside in some passing situations. [He’s a] pretty athletic, versatile guy in Oklahoma’s defense over the last couple of years. [We’re] looking forward to working with both of them, along with Malcom [Brown]. [We’ll] just see how it goes with that group. And we traded to tomorrow, so we ended up with seven picks for tomorrow, so we’re kind of spaced pretty evenly throughout the rounds in the draft. I think we’ve got a good, nice opportunity there in terms of a flow to be able to sequentially make some picks if we hold on to them. We’ll see how that goes. But I think there are a number of interesting guys that are on the board. We tried to get the picks into that sort of area of the draft, so hopefully we’ll be able to grab some players that we like in those spots. That’s it.

Q: You mentioned Richards played both safety spots. Can you elaborate?

BB: Well, you know, you can see him in the box; you can see him in the middle of the field. You can see him doing pretty much everything.

Q: Did he come down and play on the line of scrimmage at all? BB: He dropped into the box a lot. They didn’t really play him, no. They didn’t really play their safeties that way – like linebackers. But most of the time they played on the line, [they] disguised it. But he’s down around the line of scrimmage a lot, but he doesn’t line up as a linebacker.

Q: It seemed like he took a lot of pride in knowing everyone’s assignment on the defense. What was your assessment of that?

BB: Yeah, real good. I don’t think – everybody you talk to, they rave about it; about his communication, his leadership, his football character on and off the field. I don’t think there’s going to be issues with that.

Q: Grissom versatility-wise almost didn’t have a home or a position because they were moving him around.

BB: No, I wouldn’t say that.

Q: End-of-the-line?

BB: In 2013, they played 3-4 defense. He’s played under two different coordinators. But when Mike Stoops came back, his 3-4 defense and they didn’t have enough depth there at defensive end, so he played four-technique, actually four-high technique in 2013 at 260 pounds. So he was way undersized, but he competed well. They didn’t knock him off the line of scrimmage. He didn’t look like a linebacker.

You wouldn’t probably think he was that light, if you didn’t know it, not by the way he played. He has good playing strength. He runs well. Then this year, it looked like they had more depth on the defensive line, they moved him to outside linebacker. So both last year and this year on third down he played end and then also bumped inside to an inside rusher position. They had pretty good edge guys, you know [Eric] Striker and the other kid, the underclassman. He was kind of the guy that would move down inside at times. He was productive there; the Alabama game for example. He’s rushed inside, he’s rushed outside. He’s played anywhere from the end of the line, five-technique, defensive end in a 4-3, outside linebacker in a 3-4.

Q: How much did that Alabama game stick out to you?

BB: I’d say he’s pretty disruptive in every game. He has plays in every game. It’s not like you have to watch four games to find him making a play. He’s been a hard guy to block in that league. There are a lot of teams that throw the ball. You watch Texas Tech, TCU, games like that, there are 50 passes in the first half.

Q: He also seemed to have some ability to anticipate the passing lanes in terms of getting up and batting balls.

BB: Yeah, I’d say he’s very instinctive as a pass rusher. He’s in coverage a decent amount of the time as a walked-off linebacker. So you see a guy play out in space, out over the slot. He does a lot of that. So, for a guy to play from three-technique to end-of-the-line to a walked-out linebacker…at the Senior Bowl, they actually played him off the line, like in the tackle bubble. He’s a pretty athletic, versatile guy.