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Josh McDaniels talks about Moreno, Ayers selections



Statement on RB Knowshon Moreno

"I'll get started by saying how excited we are after the first round. Knowshon Moreno, running back at Georgia, throughout this whole process is a player that we earmarked. Very talented and durable, tough, smart, competitive player, good person. We feel that he is going to fit into our backfield very well."

Statement on DE/LB Robert Ayers

"The defensive end from Tennessee, very similar, tough, smart competitive player, very versatile.  Can move inside, can stand up. We can use him in a lot of different ways. So at this point we are very pleased that we added two players that we thought very highly of from the get go and we are looking forward to adding a few more before the day is over."

On Tampa Bay jumping on QB Josh Freeman on pick before Denver

"I'm not sure. We certainly didn't give them any reason to do that. They might have felt that that was something they were uncertain about, made the move and gave up something late in the draft to do it. We weren't interested in that point in the quarterback."

On if Knowshon Moreno is an every down back

"He can be, certainly, yes. He catches the ball extremely well, he has very good hands. One of the things that nobody will talk too much about, is his pass protection. For a college back that is something that doesn't get a lot of recognition. This guy stands in there and he can put his face right in their numbers and he'll keep them off the QB. So certainly on third down as the player grows in our system and he becomes more comfortable with what we are doing. I think he could definitely give us that versatility."

On if acquiring three running backs in free-agency and RB Knowshon Moreno as first pick in 2009 NFL Draft would be puzzling to fans

"Sure. We felt that we were going to attack the draft with the philosophy that we were going to take a player that we had rated very highly in the first round, at a position that we felt that we could add depth or add the possibility of a starter. In both cases we are hoping that he and (DE/LB) Robert (Ayers) both come in and compete. Whatever their roles will ultimately be, they will end up determining that. We feel very good about both of them."

On if RB Knowshon Moreno was the best player left on the board when picked

"He was one of the very best players rated on our board from the beginning. We felt very good about him before the draft even started. And then at that point in time there was a run on a few defensive players, there in the first ten picks and he was in the mix with those guys. He was certainly the highest rated guy on our board at that point."

On if he wouldn't have gotten equal value on a defensive player at that pick

"Relatively speaking you are looking at needs and (DE/LB) Robert (Ayers) was certainly in that same discussion. We felt like the order may make a difference with our ability to get both players. So taking (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) first and Robert second paid off and worked the way we thought it would."

On whether he came into the day and at any point thought he would take a defensive player first and hope RB Knowshon Moreno would be there at eighteen

"That certainly could've happened, had it worked out that way. But like I said, he was rated very highly on our board from the beginning and we felt very good about him and the way that it fell. That could've happened where we maybe tried to do that and take a player that we felt good about defensively and then came back and tried for the running back, but the way that it shook out, we are very pleased with."

On DE/LB Robert Ayers playing in a five technique

"Maybe both, he's certainly capable and that is where we are going to put him. But again he's a guy that can stand up or put his hand on the ground. And the one thing about (DE/LB) Robert (Ayers) is he's got enough versatility about himself that he could be outside the tight end or he can possibly in on the guard in third down passing situations so he's a player that we are looking forward to trying to maneuver around and we'll see where he fits best. But we feel very fortunate to have him."

On if there are still defensive players on the board that they would consider moving up from 48th spot to select

"If that scenario unfolds and it makes sense for us to do that then certainly we would. Again, I'll go back to this, it doesn't necessarily have to be a defensive player, but it could be. But we certainly are not going to shy away from a player that we feel is very valuable to us at this point before we pick in the second round or even sometime after our pick at 48."

On if they took running back first because another team was interested in him

"Yes. There may have been more than one (team). I know that there was a lot of discussion about this player, I think this player. You never know 100 percent, but I think there was a lot of discussion about this player between 12 and 18 somewhere. So the way that it fell it just made all the sense in the world for us to go ahead and take him at 12 and not deal with holding our breath or try to move up from 18, into the middle of 12 and 18 to get him. The two players that we really valued at that spot were (DE/LB Robert) Ayers and (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) and the way we took them felt perfect for us."


On two big trades jumping over Broncos to take quarterbacks, did they feel Broncos were looking at them

"It could've helped, I don't think it hurt. If that's what they were concerned about that's for them to decide. I don't' know if that is exactly the reason they felt that. There is always the unknown of what the team that is on the clock is telling the team on the other end of the phone about who else is calling. I think that is always something that you don't really ever know all that much about."

On what separated Knowshon Moreno from the other RB's in the draft

"I think the fact that he can play on three downs, he catches the ball extremely well. Like I said he's a good pass protector, which I know from college football is something that a lot of backs, when you come into the NFL is an area that you really need to work strongly on with those players because depending on the system that they were used in the weren't asked to do it very much. So he does it, he's effective in it, he catches the ball, he makes plays out of the backfield. Very rarely do you see him take a big hit and that is because he is very active in finishing his runs. He definitely makes people miss in the secondary and he's going to be a valuable player."

On DE/LB Robert Ayers only starting one year

"You always note that, that the player was a one-year starter. How many years was he productive. In your evaluation of each player you want to make sure that you are aware of that, I know we are with Robert. But, he's so physical, he's so versatile, he can play on third down. He can do a lot of things against the run, on first and second downs that are very valuable to us. He played in a conference that there are a lot of very physical offensive lineman and a lot of good football players that he's lining up against week in and week out over the course of the last season. You got to see him play against a lot of good players in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). He played against a lot of good competition. He's the kind of player that we are looking for on our defense and front seven, tough, physical, versatile, can affect you in both the running game and the passing game. We are very pleased to have him."

On what would response be to fan that asks why we take an offensive player when help is needed on defense

"We're going to stay to our board and we evaluated the ability of each player and the needs on our team and it may have been the opposite if we would've taken (DE/LB Robert) Ayers at 12 and (RB Knowshon) Moreno at 18, maybe and maybe not. But we were comfortable with where we were at and we went through a lot of backs last year. We only had three healthy backs at the mini-camp last weekend. We are hoping that those players can rehab and help our team out also, but then again he is very talented and he is going to be a good player for us and were excited about that. We still got the defensive player at 18 that we were hoping to get at 18."

On if he received calls from other teams trying to move to 12 or 18

"We did get calls before 12, to move back to 12 and we did get calls behind 18 to move up to 18. We were very comfortable with where we were at and when the draft started to unfold the way it did in the first 10 the two players that we ended up drafting were the two players that we really wanted from the 10th or 11th picks on. We weren't actively trying to do that and we did not actively try and move forward based on the way that the draft fell. There were teams trying move back into 12 and up to 18."