General Manager John Dorsey and Head Coach Freddie Kitchens on CB Greedy Williams:
Dorsey: "First off, we want to start off and apologize to you all for making you wait so long last night and not making a pick so that is why today we were trying to race up here and speed this thing up a little bit (laughter). We said we would try to move up and be a little aggressive on players we thought could help us."
Kitchens: "We are really excited about who we got. Watching John work in there is something else. I have never seen that side of things. To see him and his staff work like they did, it was something. If you guys could ever be a part of that, I would strongly suggest it (laughter)."
On what the Browns liked about CB Greedy Williams:
Dorsey: "I will start out by saying in all of the evaluations, he has played some of the top-caliber receivers in the SEC. If you really go watch him play the game of football, he is fluid; he is easy; he is a smooth-moving corner; and he does it effortlessly. He was a four-star recruit coming out of Shreveport (Louisiana). Very highly-talented. They speak very highly of him there (at LSU), the position coaches. Corners in the National Football League have to cover. This guy has all the skillsets to cover players in the National Football League."
Kitchens: "You guys saw all of the premium of the passing game last year in the National Football League and the direction it is going. You need more than one guy who can cover man to man. We feel like we have a couple of guys here, but I think he offers an elite level from that standpoint and skillset that enables him to cover. Just like John said, there are some guys that are going to get drafted in the next couple of days that he covered and covered well. That is apples to apples there."
On Williams' size:
Kitchens: "He is 6-1. This guy is 6-1. He will be 190. This is the prototypical corner that you look for in the National Football League. I believe he has 31 5/8 arm length. These are really good traits to have."
On Williams being a taller corner to complement CB Denzel Ward:
Dorsey: "I like big corners."
Kitchens: "I like them bigger rather than smaller. The fact that he can cover… A 'complement [in size]' to Denzel, I don't really know what that means. You have cover on one side and cover on the other. As long as we have two guys who can cover, I feel good about that."
On how excited the Browns are to draft Williams as a CB with their first pick after selecting Ward No. 4 overall last year:
Kitchens: "From a team perspective, this is a pass-oriented league. You need to be able to throw the ball and you need to be able to stop people from throwing the ball. Anytime you can cover them, your chances of diminishing their success of throwing the football increases. I think it is a benefit to us."
On an NFL.com scouting report citing Williams as a below-average tackler:
Dorsey: "How would I respond to that? He is playing in the hardest conferences there are in college football, and I think he holds up really well. I have no problem with his tackling. He will get you down. Corners are paid to cover. The tackling aspect, just get the guy down."
On if the Browns sensed Williams would be selected prior to their original slot of No. 49:
Dorsey: "You are watching the trends fall of the board. You guys saw it. You saw the corners and the defensive backs start to peel off there. It was inevitable that this guy was going to be peeled off within the next three to four spots of where we selected him. We were trying to move up there like six spots before that, too."
On if Williams is a candidate to start or if he has potential to play nickel corner:
Kitchens: "I don't think we are that far down the road yet. We just took him two minutes ago. He is definitely going to come in and compete. Our whole team is going to be competing on a day-in and day-out basis. There is no spot given to him. We have some other guys who can cover, too. He is going to come in, and we will see where it falls at the end."
On how important it was to add another CB and watching the run on CBs in the second round:
Dorsey: "We had said last night that the first run was going to be on the defensive backs. We all knew that. You could see that unfolding. You can see it came true. In the National Football League today because of the way the game has changed, you realistically have to have five corners on your team. This just gives you another extra guy who can cover and play the game of football. You can't have enough of those guys. That is a really important position in the National Football League today."
On if the Browns were targeting Williams when referencing potentially moving up six spots higher:
Dorsey: "Yeah, that is how much – I like the guy. I think the guy is a heck of a football player."
Kitchens: "To piggy back on what John said, 70 percent of the game is played in sub (packages). Sub is when five DBs are on the field. If you have five that can play, of course, your chances of being successful increases. If you have six that can play, it is even better than that. Now, you can play the pass at an elite level, and then you get your pass rush going and those guys don't have to cover quite as long. It is a passing league. It was evident last year."
On Williams' qualities and personality:
Dorsey: "If you talk to certain people at LSU, immensely talented. He is a younger guy. He is immensely talented. I think he is a third-year sophomore so he is young. From his talent perspective, he has everything that I like about it – he has hip, he has feet and he has length. He can play press, and he can play off. Now, you just want to see him mature moving forward. I think this is a really good pick."
On defending the pass by adding depth at CB:
Dorsey: "It just adds depth. Freddie and I both preach that one thing – we are going to make this roster as competitive as we can and as deep as we can. By no means, like Freddie said, has this been given to him. He has to earn this position. That is from once he walks in here he has to earn the respect of everybody in this organization. That is how it works."
On if the Browns anticipated selecting a CB when today started:
Dorsey: "I was intent on getting the best available player."
On if the Browns considered other players today:
Dorsey: "At the time where he was picked, he was the best available player."
On Williams' best attributes, including ability to track the football:
Dorsey: "One of the coaches at LSU said he is one of the most gifted corners ever to come through LSU. That speaks volumes. What is that? That is a learned trait from a young age. That is an instinctive trait and following from the eyes. He has played the position to the point where he has a nice intuitive feel about the game of football."
On how defensive coordinator Steve Wilks' preferences and scheme impacted the selection:
Dorsey: "I have the world of respect for Steve Wilks, and I will go above and beyond. If he knows there are some players he needs or if there are some positions that he needs to be filled, this organization is going to fill those positional needs."
On if the Browns were surprised Williams was available at No. 46:
Dorsey: "I was. I thought he would be one of the first five guys picked off the board (in Round 2)."
On if the Browns discussed ability to shift veteran DBs positions if the team acquired another CB:
Dorsey: "This guy has to come in and prove it. We have had discussions. We have had discussions."
Kitchens: "A lot. 60,000 hours.
[Laughter in room]
Kitchens: "That is no exaggeration. Why are y'all laughing (laughter)? [Dorsey's staff] have had 60,000 hours. Just to answer John's question for him…(laughter)."
Dorsey: "I passed the buck to you."
Kitchens: "Oh, did you? Well, hell. We do a great job of communicating. This is really a great collaborative effort – coaching staff, personnel. Hell, we have four days of discussions on just possibilities. There are no secrets, there is no anything. Ultimately, somebody has to make a decision. That is John's paygrade. Everybody voices their opinion. Everybody gets a voice at the table. Some people we agree on. Some people we don't. Coaching understands we have to coach them, and personnel understands that they have to pick them. That is the way it is, and I think we have done a great job of that."
Dorsey: "At the end of the day, though, this is the Cleveland Browns pick. This is a heck of a pick."
On reports that Williams did not make any 30 visits or work out for any teams:
Dorsey: "I don't pay attention to stuff like that. When I talk to the person, I make my own judgment with regards to the person. Then I turn on the film, and I use my own eyes to see how he plays the game of football. That doesn't bother me. Not everybody is going to advertise certain visits. In today's world, you don't do stuff like that. Some people like to keep things a little bit secretive."
On a potential case that Williams wasn't invited for 30 visits because his ability and personality were well known:
Dorsey: "I don't know."
On if Williams was one of the team's 30 pre-draft visitors:
Dorsey: "No sir."
On if the Browns felt comfortable enough about Williams to select him without taking a pre-draft visit:
Dorsey: "We have a file about that thick on him. I think we have him pretty covered."
Kitchens: "Did you bring it? I thought you were going to pass it out."
Dorsey: "No, I would not pass that out (laughter)."
On Williams' biggest adjustment at the next level:
Kitchens: "I do not really know. Once he gets to the practice field, you are going to see the level of ability that everybody around him has on an everyday basis. That is probably it. It is not going to be too big for this kid. You are going to watch these SEC receivers now start going off the board and he has covered every damn one of them. That is the type of athlete he has to cover when he gets into the National Football League. It is not going to be too big for him, but he is not a finished product either. I do not know how much of an adjustment. There is always an adjustment for any rookie. He has to figure out where he is going to live in Cleveland, Ohio. There are all kinds of adjustments, but as far as once he is on the field, it is just about getting him better. I am sure he is going to feel the same thing."
On the Browns' level of confidence CB Denzel Ward can remain healthy in 2019:
Kitchens: "I do not know that. I hope he does. We are planning on him staying healthy. We are planning everybody staying healthy, but that is not going to happen. You always have to plan. You always have to have a plan. I know this, the more corners that you can have, the more you have if something does happen. Same with running back..."
Dorsey: "I am sorry, are you inferring that this was made because there is a possibility that Denzel is... Is that what you are inferring?"
On referencing Ward's concussions last season:
Dorsey: "I respect the question, but I think Denzel is one hell of a football player, too, now. Anytime that you can acquire a corner like this player, it adds depth to that position where you need in the National Football League four or five like really talented corners to compete at a high level. That is why you make a move like this."
On if the Browns can 'brush aside' Ward missing games in 2018:
Dorsey: "No, no. You can't brush aside concussions. Not in today's football. There is no way that you can do that. I am sure knowing Denzel and the type of person he is that he has done everything in his power to make sure that he will be out on that field for all 16 games."
On the process of connecting with Williams this evening after the pick:
Kitchens: "Before the pick actually. He was excited. Greedy was giddy (laughter). He was excited to come to Cleveland."
On if the Browns met with Williams at the NFL Combine:
Kitchens: "Yes sir. We did. We had a good conversation. Our whole staff did. We spent a lot of time with him."
On if the Browns were bothered that Williams did not play in LSU's bowl game:
Kitchens: "It did not bother me. It may have bothered LSU, but it did not bother me."
On takeaways from Williams' NFL Combine interview:
Kitchens: "I think he likes to play the game of football. That is one characteristic that all of John's research and his crew's research is that is one prerequisite from everybody in our building that we want to do is to make sure that the people we bring into the Cleveland Browns organization enjoy the game of football. He enjoys playing the game of football."