Head Coach Kevin Stefanski & Vice President of Player Personnel Glenn Cook (4.29.22)

Opening statement:

Cook: “Obviously, we moved back a few picks and picked up what we think are two really good players in the third round. They both really speak to the moniker of smart, tough, accountable, resilient and gritty young men. They give us a ton of agency on that side of the football so we are really excited to add both (CB Emerson) Martin and (DE) Alex (Wright) to our defense.”


On the common saying of ‘you never having enough corners’:

Cook: “You never have enough good players. We love his length, his size and his ability to press. Like I said, it will give us a ton of multiplicity and versatility on that side of the football so we are excited.”


Stefanski: “But yes, you can never have enough corners (laughter).”


On if Wright needs more development, given comments in a third-party scouting report:

Cook: “We do not expect him to come in and be perfect right away. What we do love about him is he is big, he is long and he is physical. He will definitely come in and contribute in the run game right away. Then we can kick him inside. He did not get a ton of opportunities to do that at UAB, but we see some of that ability in him, and that will help us out on third down.”


On if the Browns view the selections as long-term, big-picture picks rather than players who are expected to have an immediate high impact:

Cook: “I think AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) spoke to that in his pre-draft presser. We kind of take that approach just in general so I guess the short answer is yes, but not just in the mid-round – our expectation is to help our guys grow and develop over the course of time and be pretty good.”


On the motive to trade back in the second round:

Cook: “We just thought it was good value. I think Andrew will speak more to it, but how the board was set and where we were at that point, we felt really pretty good about the trade.”


On there being a run on WRs in the first and second rounds and if the Browns were comfortable in that situation:

Cook: “We talk about it. We run through all of the simulations and all of the different possibilities. Honestly, how this one played out, we were pretty prepared for it, and we moved accordingly.”


On Martin’s ability to get interceptions and saying he wants to improve there, given Martin only recorded one in college:

Stefanski: “I think sometimes the interception numbers for corners can be a little misleading. You always talk about offenses staying away from a certain guy, but those are all things – speaking of player development things – that we feel like we can work with him. Played in a really difficult league. Played against some great players. Like his size a lot. Somebody I think coach (defensive coordinator Joe) Woods, (pass game coordinator/defensive backs) Coach (Jeff) Howard and (assistant defensive backs) Coach (Brandon) Lynch, they can really get with him over the course of his career and early on get with him and start developing some of those traits. Like Glenn I mentioned, I think he has it in him.”


On if it is challenging watching many players be selected prior to the Browns making their first draft pick:

Stefanski: “No, I think it is exciting. We are sitting up there like you guys watching it on TV and seeing the names come off. The truth is you fall in love with a lot of players during this draft. There are some great football players out there, and you wish you could have all of them, but I thought Andrew and the crew here did a great job of staying true to the board and making sure that we can add value later and add players that we feel like can have an impact this season and really beyond.”


On Wright’s strengths:

Stefanski: “Big and long. We had him in here for a pre-draft visit so we got to spend time with him and see him up close and personal and get to know the person. To your point, that is a really good defense. They do a great job on defense down there. Got to talk to him about that and how they deployed him, but you definitely see his length on tape.”


On reports that the Browns are in discussions with the Panthers about potentially trading QB Baker Mayfield:

Stefanski: “We are not going to discuss those types of things in this setting.”


On if the reports about talking to the Panthers about Mayfield are accurate:

Stefanski: “We are not going to discuss that type of thing.”


On Wright’s versatility on the DL:

Cook: “I think there were snapshots of it. That is a part of it where you are trying to project, ‘Hey, can he do this? Can we help him grow in this area?’ I think some of the opportunities he did get to do it, he really displayed the potential, the ability and the effectiveness as an interior pass rusher. We put a ton of value on being able to keep people inside, especially in some of our ends – you see (DE) Jadeveon (Clowney) do it and (DE) Myles (Garrett) do it. It is pretty exciting to see if he has similar potential.”


On Emerson could potentially play inside CB, given his size:

Cook: “I will kind of leave that to the coaching staff in terms of how they will deploy him, but he gives us a ton of versatility – that is the big piece. Kevin always talks about on offense, but we want that same versatility on defense. If you look at our division, you just look at how people are playing across the league. Like you said, you never have enough [cornerbacks].”


On takeaways from his interviews for general manager openings this past offseason:

Cook: “It was a great opportunity. You get an opportunity to see yourself in a different setting. You get feedback on how people view you and honestly some of the areas you can grow. I was very grateful for the opportunity, but I really want to focus on these young men today. Appreciate the question.”


On many fans or media expecting or hoping the Browns would take a WR in the draft but not yet taking one midway through the third round:

Cook: “To your point, there is still a lot of the draft left. We will stay true to the board. I think we have done a good job of preparing and stacking and setting the players where we think we should take them. We trust our group to make decisions across every position and try to add as many good players as we can.”


On how much injury histories of some players in the draft factored into trading back from No. 44:

Cook: “We weight that into how we evaluate each individual player. I will not speak to anyone specifically, but we definitely factor it into our overall evaluation.”


On if the Browns coaching staff encouraged to the personnel group to acquire more depth at CB:

Stefanski: “No, it is not coaching-staff driven. Although, it is a (former Vikings Head Coach) Mike Zimmer comment [of never having enough depth at cornerback], but I think he got it from (Pro Football Hall of Famer) Coach (Bill) Parcels. I think it is an organization think. You have a good football player in Martin right there on the board. He is a valuable player to what we do in trying to defend the pass. Just felt like it made our team better, but I would say it was organizationally, we value those players.”


On how to start Emerson’s development, including as it relates to playing inside and/or outside CB:

Stefanski: “That is a good question. With all of these guys, you have to get your hands on them at the rookie minicamp in a couple of weekends and really start with the basics. I think that is where our coaches do a really nice job. We consider ourselves developers of a player. You can’t just X and O and scheme them up. You have to develop the traits of these guys. We will see where he is. Ultimately, like Glenn mentioned, we like guys who play with versatility, and you also have to go off the pace of each player allows, if you will. We will see what he is comfortable with. Played outside and used his length well, but if he is a guy who can bounce inside, I think that just adds to what (defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods) and the defensive staff can do.”


On if the Browns have a starter at both DE spots as of right now:

Stefanski: “When are we playing our next game (laughter)? I think we have a bunch of players there. We are going to constantly add and constantly churn this roster like we always do, but I think we have a lot of players who we like. How it all shakes out for Week 1, I do not know that for right now, but I think we are adding players who we like.”


On Wright’s length and how that factors into versatility:

Cook: “I think that is one component of it. You can’t buy the size and the length. He was born with that and gifted with that. What we will try to do and what the coaching staff will try to do is develop some of his other skills to maximize it, but you definitely can’t buy that.”


On if the trade back in the second round to gain more draft capital was impacted at all by the selections sent to Houston to acquire QB Deshaun Watson:

Cook: “No, I think you know Andrew – he is always trying to maximize our on-field and off-field value so that was not a factor.”


On if Wright could still grow more into his body:

Cook: “He came into UAB at 210 pounds. He is 270 pounds now. Yeah, he still has room to grow. There is a lot of clay to work with there. We are going to get him with our sports science group and with the coaching staff and see what his best weight is and go from there. We are excited about what he could be.”


On if the Browns talked about Wright playing in the band:

Cook: “No, I did not personally have that discussion.”


On if it is rare for a team to only meet with a player at the NFL Combine and then not have much discussions with him or a 30 visit prior to selecting the player:

Cook: “I think it is on a player by player basis. We utilize the different opportunities to spend time with these young men as we see fit. Meeting at the combine was sufficient for us in this instance.”


Stefanski: “I think it happens a lot. I think you bring guys in for different reasons, and you only get so many of them – 30. For us, you have the combine meeting, but there is so much that goes on prior to that meeting with the intel that you are gathering from the scouts, and then from that meeting, different zoom calls you may have with coaches to understand the guys.”


On if it is challenging to evaluate a CB like Emerson who was not targeted often and had one interception during his collegiate career:

Cook: “I think Coach said it earlier, we do not strictly look at how many interceptions he had or how many pass breakups he had only, but you look at the full body of work, how he goes about covering, utilizing his instincts and all of the different components to being a DB. Yeah, I think you are onto something with that.”


Stefanski: “You can watch the target tape, and you can pull up just the targets, but as you spend time with these guys, you want to see in the course of the game how often teams go away from his side because he covered his guy. You can still watch him on the ball goes or to the right side and you can watch the left side and still evaluate his cover skills.”


On if the Browns saw opponents frequently playing away from Emerson:

Stefanski: “Obviously, it is going to happen, but more than anything, I think we are just talking about the body of work.”


On if the CBs selected earlier in the second round of Vikings CB Andrew Booth Jr. and Bears CB Kyler Gordon impacted the Browns decision to trade back and how Emerson compares to those two players:

Cook: “We are not going to compare, but I think they are both good players and wish them the best. We really like Martin and what he can provide for us.”


On if the Browns entered the day feeling that there was more value in the later rounds or if that is how the day played out:

Cook: “Like I said, we prepared for a ton of different scenarios so I would not say it is one or the other. We were ready for however it played out the first 10 or so picks.”


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