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

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Sep 13, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Geneo Grissom (85) during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Q: Are there any similarities between Rob Ninkovich and Grissom’s skill sets?

BB: I think there are some similarities. I would say that Grissom has just done more than Rob. Similar to Rob, but he’s played a lot of three-technique. Which, I don’t think, Rob just hasn’t done a lot of that. Rob’s been on the end of the line, he’s been a linebacker. Rob’s played more linebacker than Grissom has. Grissom’s played in the inside part of the defensive line. Not just on passing downs, he’s played there on their base defense in ’13. He’s an interesting player.

Q: Did I read that he actually worked out at tight end at his pro day?

BB: He played tight end. He came to them as a defensive end. Then he went back to tight end, then they had some injuries, then he went back to defense. Then he played defense the last two-plus years. I think he had a whole spring at tight end. He did work out as a tight end.

Q: Is that any kind of consideration?

BB: No, we’re not trying to make him a tight end, but I’d say that his workout as a tight end is probably as good of a tight end workout as we saw all year. This guy can run, he can catch. If you didn’t know he didn’t play tight end, you would look at the workout and say, ‘That’s a pretty good looking tight end.’

Q: Did you see the work of Richards on special teams? How did he impress you there?

BB: Good, really good. Both those guys I think will have a role in the kicking game. Richards is a strong tackler, instinctive guy. I think he’ll be a good, certainly be able to play on the punt team, kickoff return, kickoff coverage, punt return; even be a matchup guy outside maybe or a holdup guy in the box. I’m sure he’ll be able to contribute in the kicking game.

Q: When you look at guy like Grissom who went through different coaches and coordinators…

BB: Just two.

Q: How does that affect the process when you’re looking at prospects?

BB: Look, there’s some guys we talk to who had, you know, five coordinators, five position coaches, four coordinators, five position coaches. I’d say he’s had a lot of stability. It’s unusual really to talk to a kid that’s had the same coordinator, same position coach for his whole time at the school. I wouldn’t say rare, but I’d say the exception is multiple coaches as opposed to just one.

Q: You said you felt like there were a number of intriguing players on the board and you have a number of picks for tomorrow. Do you feel pretty good heading into tomorrow?

BB: Yeah, I think where we were at the start of the day, we had a little bit of spacing there: top of the fourth, bottom of the fourth, no fifth, but top of the sixth, top of the seventh, bottom of the seventh. Now we’ve kind of filled in. We have three picks in the fourth round and we’ve kind of filled in that fifth round at 147 or whatever it is. So, that’s seven picks in the rounds remaining, kind of with the spacing they have. It’s nice. It’s a little bit unusual. Normally you pick and wait, pick and wait. Here we’ve kind of got, I’d kind of say a little bit of a flow. If we lose a guy, then it’s not too far where we’re probably going to be able to get the next guy versus you lose a guy and then you’re sitting there for 20-something picks, whatever it is, and you’re probably going to lose a couple more guys. I’d say there a number of players that we still feel like can be a positive factor for us. We’ll see how all that plays out. There are guys that at least right now we want to pick. So, hopefully we’ll get some of them.

Q: Most people saw Richards going further down the draft. When you look at him, was his skill set, specific to you, a good fit at that spot?

BB: You know, we always look at the board, look at the options, look at the players and take the guy we feel is best. That’s what we do on every pick. It’s what we do.

Q: He’s obviously a smart kid in the classroom and on the field. Is there always a correlation there?

BB: No, no, definitely not, absolutely not. There just isn’t. Some guys are football smart and they’re not smart in other ways. Other guys get 1500 on their SATs and can’t get a double-team block right. No, that definitely, in my experience, sometimes it correlates, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think you just take it for granted. I think a smart guy can learn. Some guys learn – it’s just like all of us – some guys can learn electronics, some of us can’t. Some people can learn something else, some of us can’t. I mean, we’re all wired differently. Some guys, football comes really easy to them; they can see what all 22 players are doing, can see what all 11 guys are doing on their side of the ball, how it all fits together. It’s easy for them. For other guys, once you get past their assignment, the big picture, the overall concepts, how it all fits together, sometimes that doesn’t come so easy for them. Depends on what position they play, but they’re all different. But I would say in his case, he’s a smart, instinctive football player and the rest of it is good too. I mean, so is Grissom.