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WATCH: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, GM Les Snead discuss 2019 NFL Draft Day 2

Here’s what the Rams’ head duo had to say after a wild Day 2 in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay & GM Les Snead

(Opening Remarks)

Snead: “Slightly fun day (smiles). Again, I know we did some trades earlier. The entire intention was, as we prepared for this draft, if we could get as many shots at the basket as possible in the top 100, we felt like it would benefit the Rams, not only in the short term but in the long term as well. I think the interesting thing about being in year three of the program, (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) and his staff’s schemes have evolved and we evolve with them. But, also as we’ve gone through the build, the break-through – we’re kind of in this moment where we need to sustain it. But, because we have a lot of experienced players on our team, some of the things that we need and actually want are more specific than they were a few years back. So, that was the intent of the plan. From there, you had to wait and see who was there when you went to pick. Then, you rely on the board that was set from our collaborative effort – scouts working with coaches, trainers, athletic performance and everybody who’s involved in the process.”

(On what went into the decision to draft a running back in the third round)

Snead: “If you go back to when we signed (former Rams RB) Lance Dunbar – Sean’s always felt like his offense would be, let’s call it, slightly more explosive when you have a change-of-pace type running back. We attempted with Lance Dunbar a couple of years ago, you know, his knee didn’t work out. We thought about doing it in last year’s draft. A couple of enemies chose a few of those change-of-pace backs ahead of us. It’s always been something we’ve been trying to do, obviously, since Sean walked in and felt like it would be a nice complement. Sean can explain how (RB) Darrell (Henderson) will fit in and complement (RB) Todd (Gurley II), Malcolm (Brown) and the rest of our weapons.”

McVay: “Kind of like what we’ve talked about and you’ve heard us say it a bunch – being able to add a playmaker is the biggest thing. You’ve got five eligibles. The way that you can attack people offensively and being able to add a playmaker like Darrell was something that, we’d identified him as a guy that has a specific skillset that really can do some unique things offensively. As far as our running back room in general, what you feel really good about with Todd is he’s demonstrated that he can play on all three downs. We felt, really, the same way about Malcolm. And then Darrell provides a little bit different, you know, that change of pace. Very similar, like (General Manager) Les (Snead) mentioned, to when we had brought Lance Dunbar in a couple years ago and what he had done that had enabled us to feel like he had a skillset that we could utilize in a certain way. And that’s exactly what we’ll do. I think, when you get a player like that too, it enables you to activate some different personnel groupings where you have so much confidence in the guys, especially our receivers when you’re a heavy 11 personnel team. One of the things that we’ve talked about is being able to provide some different personnel groupings so that you still focus on making sure that (WR) Robert (Woods), (WR) Brandin (Cooks), (WR) Cooper (Kupp) and (WR) Josh (Reynolds) are big parts of our offense. But, you don’t want to ask them to play almost every single snap over the course of a 16-game season and then hopefully after that. Being able to give somebody a chance to come in and provide a different threat is exactly what we identified. He was kind of one of those guys that stood out for us, so we’re excited about getting him here.”

Snead: “What’s interesting too is over the last couple of years because Sean…we were looking for a very specific human being to go out; Sean will split him out and let him run some routes. Even this week, we sent (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Shane (Waldron) and (Assistant Wide Receivers) Liam (Coen) and they go privately work out a few of these change-of-pace backs. Because you can run the ball as a change of pace guy, but to be able to split out – a little bit like (RB) James White with New England and be able to run some routes similar to a slot receiver. We’ve stealthily gone and privately worked out a few guys because it does take a specific skillset.”

(On if selecting a running back was more about Henderson’s skill set than Todd Gurley’s knee)

McVay: “Yes. This had to do with his skillset. He was a player that we identified as a unique playmaker. He can obviously so some things as a runner, but the versatility that he provides and some of the things that he can do are what was so enticing about him for us. You see the explosiveness – over eight yards a carry. There’s a lot of good things that you’d seen with what he’s done and his résumé at Memphis. We’re excited to get him in here and get to work and really learn under Todd and Malcolm.”

(On how they ended up only using one of today’s four selections on an offensive lineman)

Snead: “So, big picture – as you go through the board, as an example, let’s call it a player in another position is maybe significantly – I wouldn’t say better, but we have him rated higher – but it’s also a position that’s beneficial to us. That’s a little bit how you have to navigate, let’s call it the second and third round. But what we did do is, we were well aware that last year, when we drafted (C) Brian Allen and (T) Joe Noteboom that those two guys could slide in. But, we still needed depth, so that’s where we added (OL Bobby) Evans tonight. And he’s the guy who’s played right and left tackle for Oklahoma, and as you know, (Run Game Coordinator) Aaron Kromer – he’s going to slide him in at left guard and right guard, too. So, there’s some versatility there. He’s a really smart and intelligent player there that can learn all four. Defensive line – the good thing for us is we have (OLB) Dante Fowler, we do have (DT) Aaron Donald, we do have (DL) Mike Brockers, we’ve got (LB) Clay Matthews, we have (OLB Samson) Ebukam coming back. We have some young depth. So, we’ll go through the draft tomorrow and see if there’s some guys that fit. But, you’ll always take really good defensive linemen, but we felt like this was the best path tonight.”

(On if they were originally eyeing S Taylor Rapp at No. 31 overall and what about his game fits with the team)

Snead: “Well, I think he’s been one of our favorite football players in this draft, and I’ll let Sean (McVay) explain the fit. We didn’t feel like we would get him, but through it all we’re always like, ‘Wow, Taylor Rapp,’ because of his rare instincts, short area quickness. What we intentionally talked about this morning – Sean (McVay) and I – how he fit. And I’ll let Sean (McVay) get into how he fits in today’s NFL with both (S) Eric (Weddle) and ‘JJ’ (S John Johnson III). That’d be better than me.”

McVay: “I think when you watch the tape, obviously, Les had been a huge fan. He and his group had really looked at him, and he’s one of the top-rated players that we had in terms of just a guy who’s showing up, making a lot of different plays, showing a versatile skillset. And then once the coaches started to really look at him, he’s one of the guys that jumps off the screen. He’s got unbelievable instincts – talk about a guy that has a feel for navigating traffic and being able to make knife tackles as a blitzer. He’s playing in the box – extremely instinctual. And that’s where you just look at the tape, you talk about the short-space quickness. A lot of the things that you love so much about Eric (Weddle) and ‘JJ’ (John Johnson III) – we feel like Taylor (Rapp) has a lot of those similar traits and characteristics. And I think to be able to get him in a group where you’re playing and you’re learning behind those two guys, and then based on personnel groupings that we want to activate defensively. When you’ve got three players that have a versatile skillset you can really put yourself in an advantage situation defensively with guys that can do a lot of different things, and some of the disguises, and different amount of coverages that you can activate, or all these guys have the ability to blitz as well. So, we feel like he fits really well with some of the things that we’re looking for. But, most importantly – you guys hear us talk about it all the time – we’re looking for guys who love football, that are instinctual, and when you flip the tape on that’s exactly what you see from Taylor Rapp.”

(On Rapp’s 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine)

McVay: “I don’t know, but if you watch the tape that guy sure plays fast, so that is the biggest thing. Very rarely do you ask a safety to straight-line run 40 yards. You are seeing redirect and reactionary skills. I know this, he sure plays fast and that is what is important. We are playing football. The 40 time? We see a great football player that plays fast and that is what’s most important to us.”

Snead: “I was going to say that (NFL Network Analyst) Daniel Jeremiah said that if he ran a certain subset of speed, he would have been a first-rounder. So, similarly to Cooper Kupp, you probably should evaluate the football, especially the play speed before you run. And I can say that history tells you that if you run a little slower, you might not get drafted as high. But, he missed a bowl game with a hip flexor – he might have produced a faster time, but he is so competitive, he was going to go run. If I was probably advising him and he was a little injured I would say don’t do it. But he is one of those guys that if you advise him to not do it, he is probably going to look at you and say no I’m doing it. So, play speed is more important.”

(On managing Gurley and if the pick of Darrell Henderson is to aide in that)

McVay: “Those things are really things that we will continue to evaluate as we get closer to the season. The biggest thing is, initially you feel really good about Malcolm Brown provides behind Todd, where you feel really good about Malcolm playing in all three downs like Todd has done the last couple of years. The biggest thing that Darrell does for us, he provides us a skillset and the ability to make plays, whether it’s detached or whether it’s in the backfield, whether it’s taking an offset-gun run handoff or whether it is lining up in the dot. He adds to that room, that is the most important thing. We expect to continue to monitor the situation as we progress to Carolina (Panthers in Week 1). Like we have said all along, we anticipate Todd being a huge part of this like he has been the last couple of years. As far as managing the workload, those are things that we talk about with Todd and as you continue to get educated on, is that something that we should do for the long haul or something that is or isn’t going to affect Todd most importantly and how does that affect our team. But we added a really good playmaker was a big thing.”

(On Les Snead’s relationship with David Long)

Snead: “If I told you the story of the first time I met David Long – we had relocated to Los Angeles and I was taking, at the time, my freshman son to his first day of school at Loyola. We were probably in some administrative office and the assistant principal introduced me to this kid named David Long and said he was heading to Michigan. He had a really good, firm handshake and I told him, ‘Hey, Ann Arbor is a great place and Jim (Harbaugh) is a great coach and you are going to really enjoy it.’ I remember the Loyola people – and I get a lot texts at night from old friends from Loyola – and they said very impressive kid and they did tell me that they might not win a lot of games after he leaves and that was a actually true statement, unfortunately for Loyola.”

(On looking ahead to the final day of the draft and anything in particular that they are looking at)

Snead: “We got a few things that we would like to take care. I know Sean and I will regroup in the morning and strategize if we can get that done. At this point in the draft, we’ve got some capital if we have to move around to take care of, or maybe pick someone that we really think can help us we will do that. If not, we will sit back and see how the draft plays out and see who is the best available on the board. There are definitely some things that at this point in the draft that we can still take care of.”

(On a quick summary of each player picked up today in the draft)

McVay: “Taylor Rapp: instinctual player, has the ability to play safety, drop down and can play in that linebacker location as well on some of the nickel packages. Unbelievable instincts and awareness and short quicks. He is playmaker on defense and plays really fast. He is a guy that loves football and great above the neck, all the things that we really like. When you look at Darrell Henderson, he is a guy that can do a variety of different things, explosive playmaker and has great hands. You watch him be able to catch the ball away from his body, whether it be in his workouts or some of the different opportunities that he had at Memphis. Then the long speed shows up, and if you give him a crease, he has a chance to take it the distance every time he touches it and another guy that loves football. When you get into David Long, the character is off the charts and he is a guy that has a skillset, the ability to come off and play man coverage, be able to play physical and be able to stay in guys’ back hips and mirror. You can see he is able cancel routes out as he goes and he just shows up and in a really, really productive defense over the last couple years. This was one of the best corners based off a production standpoint and another guy that loves football. When you wrap up with Evans, a tackle that has some versatility, some athleticism. Playing the left tackle position, think you saw him do a lot of really good things on an excellent offense this past year and we have full confidence that he is a guy that really can play across the line both the left and the right side, he might be able to play in that guard spot as well. When you look at where we are at offensively, we feel really good about Brian Allen and Joe Noteboom stepping up into big-time roles this year and we feel like Bobby is going to provide some depth and continue to learn and develop under the leadership. You talk about what an Andrew Whitworth will do to be able to mentor him, like what he has done with Noteboom. Those are four really good football players that I think that if you said that is how day two ended, we’d feel really good about it right now.”

S Taylor Rapp

(On his reaction to getting picked by the Rams)

“Yeah, I mean – it was an unbelievable moment. I’ve dreamed of this moment my whole life, ever since I could walk. An unbelievable moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

(On visiting with the Rams during the draft process, what his impression was of the team and if he had any inkling if they were interested in him)

“Yeah, I mean – I think any team that brings in a player on a top-30 visit after the combine has to have some interest in a player. But, when I first got there, I could tell right away that it’s the perfect place for me. The culture is just so unique and the way things are done around there is just so unique and so great. I just knew I would be a perfect fit.”

(On what he thinks about joining safeties Eric Weddle and John Johnson)

“Yeah, to me it’s the perfect scenario. I get to come in and learn under those – you know – obviously (S) Eric Weddle, a vet, and then (S) John Johnson as well – he’s an incredible player. To come in there and learn under them – it’s an incredible opportunity and I think it’s the perfect scenario for me. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

(On talk over the last day that he potentially had a hip issue)

“Yeah, I’m completely healthy. At the end of the season my last game, I injured it in the Pac-12 Championship and didn’t end up playing the Rose Bowl because of it. But, I mean, it’s completely healthy. I went through the whole pre-combine, pre-draft process. Got everyone all the medical, checked it. Obviously, got it checked out by the Rams’ doctors and physical stuff there, so it’s completely healthy. I’m ready to play ball now. I’m ready to get to work.”

(On how well he knows LB Cory Littleton & CB Marcus Peters)

“Yeah, those guys I didn’t get a chance to play with them at ‘UW’ (University of Washington). I think I came in after them, a year after they left. But, I’ve only heard great things about those guys. I can’t wait to join them and start playing with them.”

(On his impression of the Rams over the last couple of years, watching them over the last few years under Head Coach Sean McVay)

“Yeah, I mean Coach McVay and the whole coaching staff – they know what they’re doing. These past three/four seasons, you know it’s completely turned around. They definitely got something going on there, and they obviously know what they’re doing. I couldn’t thank the whole organization and the whole coaching staff enough for the opportunity to join them and obviously to get the opportunity to play under them. It’s a dream come true.”

(On staying on the West Coast near family and friends)

“Right, I mean right. During the draft so many things can happen, but being able to stay on the West Coast and to be able to go to California, and obviously to play under a first-class organization like the Los Angeles Rams is like I said before is a dream come true. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

(On if his hip injury affected his 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day)

“Yeah, I mean I think it was a bizarre situation. Even after I got hurt and was training before the Combine, I never hit any times as slow as I did at the Pro Day. I mean, it is what it is. I can’t make an excuse about it. But I’m just ready to get to work and to get to play football.”

RB Darrell Henderson

(On coming into a situation with RB Todd Gurley and his initial reaction on stepping into the backfield with him)

“I’m just going to go in there and do what I’m supposed to do and work hard. It’s always good to have somebody to learn from. I’m going to learn from Todd Gurley and make sure that I’m doing my job and doing my…”

(On if there are any running backs that he models his game after and he looks up to)

“Growing up, I always used to watch Chris Johnson. But as I got older, I was more of a (inaudible) Kareem Hunt kind of guy.”

(On if there are any skills in particular that he brings to the Rams)

“I’m able to catch out of the backfield. I’m able to return kicks. I’m able to run the ball, run hard and do a lot of things that some backs in this draft, they couldn’t do and I did better than them. I think we’re going to be something special in L.A.”

(On if he expected to be drafted higher than where he was because a lot of people had him as the number one running back)

“Yeah, I thought I was going to go higher. There were teams calling, talking about I was their guy, and as the draft went, they were taking other guys. But, I just kept my faith. When the time comes to pass, I’m going to make everybody that passed over me, regret it.”

(On his experience with the Rams throughout the draft process)

“I talked to the Rams maybe four times throughout the whole process.”

(On if he came out to visit)

“Yes.”

(On how that visit went)

“It went pretty good. Me and the coaches, we sat down, we had a good talk and everything felt right. They told me they were going to try to trade up and get me, and everything turned out perfect.”

(On how familiar he is with Rams and their run last season)

“I watched of a lot of Todd Gurley, and the way he runs and the way he plays.”

(On the Rams’ recent re-signing of RB Malcom Brown and their young RBs Justin Davis and John Kelly, and if he believes he can earn a roster spot among that group)

“I’m going to come in and work hard and give it all I’ve got, and make sure that I’m on the 53-man roster and do what it takes to help this team keep winning. We’re going to do something special in L.A.”

CB David Long

(On how it feels to be drafted by his hometown team)

“It feels great. It feels great. It’s a blessing. I went to school in Los Angeles, so to be able to really come back and play at home, it’s a blessing. Just to be able to come back home, play football and get another opportunity to play. I’m just really happy and grateful for the coaches and staff for believing in my talent and I’m really just ready to get to work.”

(On what his first impression is of the Rams defense)

“There’s (CB) Aqib Talib, you got (CB Nickell) Robey(-Coleman), (CB) Marcus Peters and you got a good group of guys in the defensive backfield. (Cornerbacks) Coach (Aubrey) Pleasant, I had really good meetings with him, interactions with him as far as what they would like me to do. It was a great meeting, a great visit with the Rams.”

(On what particular Coach Pleasant told him)

“It was mainly just helping me for the process. They expressed their interest in me as a prospect, thought I could do a lot of things, but it was mainly just getting me ready to take advantage of whatever opportunity that came. It was just a blessing that I get to be able to come back home and play in California.”

(On what the draft process was like with the Rams and how many times he met with them)

“I only met with them once and then I really didn’t speak with them afterwards. But, I knew that they liked me a lot and had a lot of interest. So, it was just a blessing that I was able to get this opportunity when the time came.”

(On if the meeting with Coach Pleasant was at the Combine)

“No. They brought me in for a top-30 (visit).”

(On what stood out from the visit with the Rams)

“It was my first time being at the facility and meeting everybody – the coaches, (General Manager Les) Snead and the rest of the gang. It felt so familiar being in there with, (Wide Receivers) Coach (Eric) Yarber and (Assistant Coordinator/Offense Jedd) Coach Fisch, he was there when I was at Michigan. So just seeing some familiar faces, it was really cool.”

(On having the opportunity to play with Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters and what that offers him as a young player)

“A lot of experience. To be able to pick up from those guys and do whatever they’ve been doing to stay in the league. A lot of those guys have had successful careers. Aqib Talib played a really long time – a lengthy career, so he knows what it takes. Marcus Peters and Robey (-Coleman), those guys have made plays at that level. So, just anything. Those guys know a lot and just pick-up and keep the ball rolling.”

(On why he chose Michigan as opposed to staying local and what it means to get to play back in L.A., a city that didn’t have any NFL teams when he left and now to play professionally here)

“(Inaudible).”

OT Bobby Evans

(On what he thinks about being drafted by the Rams)

“Man, it’s overwhelming. Words can’t even describe how happy and excited I am right now.”

(On if he had any contact with the Rams before the draft)

“Yeah, I went on a (Top) 30 visit there.”

(On what his impression of the Rams was during his visit)

“I knew – I fell in love. Coach Kromer (Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer) – I know he’s a great coach. I know his son pretty well. I was good friends with him when he was at OU (University of Oklahoma), and I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

(On if he prefers to play a particular position or if he’s content wherever he’s assigned to play)

“I’m just ready to play, ready to work my butt off. Wherever coach wants me, that’s where I’m going to be at.”

(On if he played primarily tackle at Oklahoma)

“Yes, I did.”

(On where he is right now and if he’s with family)

“I’m at my parents’ house. I’m with both my parents, my younger brother. My older brother’s actually in London right now, so he couldn’t be here. He’ll be back Monday. But yeah, I’m at my parents’ house.”

(On if it’s an emotional scene where he is with his family)

“Yeah, I haven’t seen my dad cry in a long time.”

(On if the Rams outlined a plan for what his role would be, and if they cited Joseph Noteboom as an example who came in as a backup and learned several positions before earning a bigger role)

“I mean, I haven’t really talked to anybody about anything like that. But like I said, wherever they want to put me, that’s where I’m willing to work my butt off to play.”

(On what it means to land with the Rams and being a part of a winning organization)

“It means a lot to me, and then especially I’ve got two of my former teammates on the team already. I’m really excited to just be there.”

(On the opportunity to learn from Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein as tackles)

“I’m excited, really great players. I admire their game a lot, and you know with their experience I know they can teach me a lot.”