Bears general manager Phil Emery touted Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic's versatility on Friday after taking him in the second round (50th overall) in the draft. Here's his full transcript:
On drafting Jonathan Bostic: "Very pleased that we were able to get Jon Bostic. I've got to say that I have a preference overall towards SEC football players, so my feet were just a little bit off the ground. I like that conference, a lot of great players come out of there. The competition they face daily in practice and weekly in the league is at the highest level, so to get a linebacker out of there that is a very dynamic and fast athlete is a good-feeling.
"The reason we like Jon - he's a three-position player, three-position linebacker. Felt that it was very important that if we were going to take a linebacker in the second round that we get somebody who could immediately fill in in all three spots if one of our starters - our current starters - was not available due to injury that he could fill-in immediately and we would have a good football player in-place right now. Obviously, he'll be given an opportunity to earn a starting job. We see him as a future starter. Again a very dynamic player, another player that was very high in our athletic ratings and is also a very productive player."
On if he sees Bostic contributing mainly on special teams in his rookie year: "We certainly expect him to be a core special-teams player and I expect him to contribute on the field in some fashion."
On what differentiated Bostic form the other linebackers chosen in the second round: "Three factors I would say. One is intelligence; he's a guy that can line-up others. We brought him in for a visit, we felt very good about his football aptitude and his ability to line everybody else up on the field. Two; he's fast, he's one of the fastest linebackers in the class. And three was his positional flexibility and I'll go four, special teams. He fit the bill."
On what position Bostic may play: "I would anticipate - and again I will defer to the coaches, so don't hold us to this that, that's their decision - but I would anticipate he would come in starting out learning the MIKE (middle linebacker) first."
On what he expects of Bostic in the future: "Expect him to be a starter in the future, whether that's WILL, MIKE or SAM. Whatever works for us in that given situation at that time."
On any trade-down possibilities: "We had a couple teams make offers. We didn't see the value in their offers."
On not taking a cornerback and the depth at cornerback in the draft: "We still feel there will be a couple players there. Obviously we'll see what happens. There is a lot of picks between the time that we got off the clock until that four, 117 (Round 4, Pick 117). So there will still be a couple players there that we'll feel good about but we'll also look at them against the other players available in the draft."
On the importance of Bostic's ability to call plays: "I would say it's extremely important at the end of the day because it separated him from some others and obviously the more football-smart the players we bring in, the better we're going to be. That lends him towards flexibility as a football player and being able to 'Hey, I've been practicing the MIKE back but I'm a smart individual, I understand the other two positions. SAM goes down for 10 plays, they can plug me right in because I have a very good football aptitude and know how to adjust."
On if the Bears will be looking at best athlete available in the later rounds: "Best player available, always the best player available that's going to fit and help us win - now the one that's going to present the best opportunity for that player to help us win championships. I know I'm being repetitive with it but it's really how we look at them. That is our philosophy; find the one that makes the difference between the players available that possibly fills a need or fits for our team or offers something the other one doesn't that puts us closer into contention to winning a championship."
On addressing the defense and considering cornerbacks with the second round pick: "We've had great discussions. Those have been among the best discussions I've ever had, everybody in the room involved early today. We went over the list as we had it stacked and talked about each and every individual against one and other to make sure we had it lined-up exactly the way we felt about it. It fell in our favor. Between the corner and the linebackers the majority of the players that we had were out there. They were corners or linebackers and we worked one against another until we felt we had the right order among that position group. We had some other positions involved but obviously we felt our strongest need - as long as the grades matched the value of the pick - were at corner and linebacker at that time."
On if Bostic seems to be in line with Kyle Long as an athlete: "I wouldn't say this guy lacks instincts. Those would be your words not mine. This guy is very dynamic. He is No. 1 among the mike [middle] backers, our A score which we talked about yesterday, he was No. 1. He was clearly No. 1."
On if Bostic's bloodlines (his father John played for the Detroit Lions): "You know I was cognitive of the fact that his father had played for the Lions coming out of Bethune-Cookman. He has a great family. I can't undersell the type of young man this is. He is very easy to be around. He is another guy that will bring others in. He is very invested in football and he is a very good person. It comes from his upbringing. His parents are great people. I wasn't cognitive of it in our discussions. Maybe the first round in December and maybe a little bit in February but this most (recent) round it really wasn't in the forefront but our national scout for the East Mark Sadowkski said, 'Hey, just remember this guy played for the Lions. His dad played for the Lions, he's got a terrific family.' Thanks for bringing that up."
On if there is a way to trade back into the third round this year: "It would be awfully expensive. We don't have enough value in the current picks that we still have to get into that round. The only way we could do it would be to give up a next year's 2 (second round pick) and that right now does not make sense to us."
On if he said Bostic was the highest rated middle linebacker on their board: "In terms of athletic score, yes. He was at the top of our stack for where we were in the draft."
On if he was surprised Bostic fell to them at that point in the draft: "There was a grouping of players - we had about seven players that we really felt strongly with coming at the top that we would anticipate would go between say 42 and 55. And when we came to that pick there were about three left and out of that grouping that we put together, Jon was No. 1, so we felt real good that he was available. So when the trades did come in and they were offered, what they were offering us, it didn't match up to the value of the player that was on the board. "
On if there was any thought of trading up due to the run on linebackers prior to their pick: "We're not in position with the picks that we have to do that. And we felt as the thing was falling, seeing the different positional players that weren't corners or linebackers that were coming off the board, that we would be in good shape. That we were going to get one of those seven players and feel real good about them."
On if some of the trades on Thursday came up short when looking at draft trade point value charts: "There has been a number of trades where teams didn't get equal value. So, I don't have any explanation for that. I will tell you the Chicago Bears are probably not ever going to be one of those teams. If you're going to trade with us, you are going to come up with equal value, especially if you are coming up to get our pick."
On if there was any discussion from other teams about making trades for picks involving current players: "Yeah, we've gotten some calls on people wanting veteran players that maybe don't work for the new staff and they're ready to move on. And they still have some value and they have asked for some late-round picks but obviously we do our homework year round on the current players in the National Football League and we're able to tell them rather rapidly whether we have any interest in that and we haven't found anything that matches up value-wise."