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    • Doug Williams Presser: Post-Draft 2018


      April 30, 2018

      Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams

      Opening statement:
      “Well, one thing, I’m glad it’s over with and now we can watch the guys get in shape for the upcoming year. We do feel good about our draft, but as you know, we still have got to put the pads on and we have got to watch them play. It takes a little time to really evaluate where they really are and that’s what we’re going to do.”

      On the team’s mission for the draft and if they accomplished that mission:
      “There are still some guys out there that we would have loved to have had, but because of the situation we were in, the place that we were in, the guys that we wanted and where we wanted them were either gone or weren’t there when we got there. So, really that’s what the draft is all about. We put a value on a guy and you don’t draft him, because if he’s not where you want to draft him, you don’t go down to get a guy if he’s not there when your time comes.”

      On what qualities this draft class brings:
      “When you look at our draft class, we got pretty much everything that can help this football team. It’s like I said all along, we do like our football team. I think what these guys are going to do is fit in with what we already have and it’s going to make us a better football team. At every position, whether or not it’s at the safety position, defensive back, whether or not it’s a wide receiver with [Trey] Quinn. We know from a defensive line standpoint we’ve helped ourselves. With [Troy] Apke at safety that can be that third guy, that special team guy, and even at the middle linebacker slot with [Shaun Dion] Hamilton. You know, we feel like we’ve helped ourselves to make this football team as a whole a better football team.”

      On the process of trading out of the No. 44 overall pick to select RB Derrius Guice at No. 59:
      “13th, we got our guy [Payne]. He was there. But at 44, the scary part about No. 44 was the fact that the guy that we had targeted out of the guys that we had on the board, he still was there, and we took a chance because at that time the running backs were moving pretty good. We took a chance moving down to 59, but what 59 afforded us was another draft pick in the third round to get another good player and we had some players on the board. Guice wasn’t the only guy on the board. We had about six or seven other player’s names on this board and usually when you sit there, when you see one go, you pull that one down, the next one goes, you pull him down. It just so happened at 59, Guice and a couple more guys were on the board and we chose Guice out of those guys.”

      On if outside rumors and influences affected their decisions on Guice:
      “Well, the good thing about that is I like the way you put that – the ‘outside influences.’ We do have some inside information and some influences that helped us along the way. And, plus, we had met with the kid, we went to dinner with the kid, we brought the kid up here. Where Guice is from, I’m from the same area basically. I knew Guice. I know who he is. I know where he comes from and when you talk about a kid who has produced on the field the way he has, other than what was out there, and you look at this kid, man, he’s just a happy-go [lucky] kid who likes to play football and I think we were fortunate enough to get a guy like that.”

      On if need factors into the draft process:
      “If we think he’s the best available player at that need. And when you look at this whole situation and the names, and I know a lot of people were throwing off some names, but at the same time, I’m a firm believer whether or not it’s offensive line, whether or not it’s defensive line, the big boys make the little boys better. I don’t care how you cut it up; little boys don’t make big boys look better. You know, the offensive line can make the running backs, the quarterbacks and the receivers look pretty good, and the D-line can makes the defensive backs look pretty good, but I haven’t seen any defensive backs that made the big boys up front look better. So, when you get there and you get in those discussions of whose there or who fits in with your football team, not so much a need but who fits in with what you’re looking for. Fortunately enough, Payne was there, fortunately enough Guice was there. I think the football Gods were looking after us this past weekend.”

      On how he feels about the offensive line after not selecting a guard:
      “I still feel good about our offensive line, but going back to what I said, JP, the guard that we targeted wasn’t there. So, you don’t do a reach. You don’t go down to get a guy because you need that guy. You know, so you’ve got to go on and pass on. There [were] some guys on the board, but at our pick, those guys weren’t on the board, but we wanted to pick those guys. They were down further, and because it wasn’t about the need as much as it was the value of picking at that particular time, so, when it’s our time to pick and you look over at the guards, you look over at the centers or what have you, if they weren’t there during the time we were picking, you know, we didn’t go down. If there had been a guy up high, we would’ve picked that guy, but everything that was down, you know, you don’t go down to get a guy or reach because of need.”

      On his comfort with the team’s current tight ends and outside linebackers:
      “We feel pretty good at tight end, because Jordan Reed is progressing with his injury and like we’ve talked about Vernon Davis before, we’ve got a young guy in [Jeremy] Sprinkle. We feel pretty good there. As far as pass rusher, I think we had a guy – I don’t know how many sacks he had, 13, how many did Kerrigan have? – he’s still full go. I think Preston Smith… What can help those guys is what these guys – a healthy Jonathan Allen and a healthy Payne and [Matt] Ioannidis and [Stacy] McGee – can do. If they push the pocket, which I think they could, he can flush those guys to all the pass rushers. So, that makes the pass rushers. You know, if you remember back in the day when Tampa was going, Warren Sapp was a beast up front and Simeon Rice was killing people because he was flushing the quarterback. That’s what we’ve got to do and I think what we’ve done to stabilize the middle of that defensive line is going to give those guys a little opportunity. That’s why I say we like our football team as a whole.”

      On selecting T Geron Christian and if that could allow Ty Nsekhe to move to guard:
      “Well, the question came up about the guard situation. In the second half, he [Nsekhe] played a little guard. If we get to that point that we feel like we’re comfortable with moving him and drafting Geron, it’s certainly a plus for us, but at the same time, we’ve got a young tackle. If you look around this league, one of the most valuable players on the football team is offensive tackles and the rushers on the end and quarterbacks and defensive backs. So we [were] fortunate enough to get Christian, who I think is going to develop into a pretty good football player.”

      On his thoughts when selecting DL Da’Ron Payne at No. 13 overall:
      “Wow. The same thing about Jonathan [Allen] last year that made him that guy at [No.] 17. Pretty good football player. I think his career speaks for [itself]. If you watch the tape like we did, we probably looked at every football game that Payne played this year. And you’re talking about on a pretty good football team, but you’re talking about a very consistent football player, and one game that stands out, he completely dominated the National Championship Game. And that’s what you’re looking for in a football player up front.”

      On why the team has selected so many players from Alabama in recent years:
      “Well, number one, it’s about good players. One thing we can’t deny, Alabama has had some pretty good players over the last few years. If there’s a guy that’s sitting there that you feel like the best player for your team, whether or not he’s from Alabama or Grambling or Southern, you’ve got to go get that guy. And it just so happened Payne was sitting there, who played on a real good football team over the last few years. So it wasn’t about Alabama. It was about the position, the guy there and his ability to play the game the way we want it to be played, and that’s why we went there.”

      On if there is a common thread among the players selected from Alabama:
      “No, but I think it was a good thing that [Payne] and Jonathan played together. You get a chance to play together, and Ryan [Anderson] on the end, then you’ve got a middle linebacker. All those guys, you think about you’ve got to really go into the room and listen to the interview and listen to these guys on the board when you put them on the board and you talk about certain things: the defense, how well they prepare. And this game in the National Football League is more of a mental game sometimes than it is a physical game. It’s being in the right place at the right time, and these guys know how to do it.”

      On Christian:
      “I can’t say what the guy is going to be, but all we saw is what he has and that’s athletic ability. He was able to swing from the right side to the left side. He’s got great feet. If there’s a knock on the kid – and I think with some of these gurus, they said that he’s not strong enough – that’s to be debatable. And he’s coming here. Fortunately enough, we’ve got two pretty good tackles. If we can keep those guys healthy, he’ll get a chance to develop into a pretty good tackle and learn from one of the best coaches and the players that are going to be in front of him.”

      On if CB Greg Stroman or WR Trey Quinn could contribute as a punt returner:
      “At this point, Jamison [Crowder] is still our punt returner. But at the same time, if you’ve got one of those guys that is going to be active on game day, you certainly want to take a load off of Jamison if you can. You don’t want to just put a guy back there because he can catch a punt, but you want to get a guy that can do some things with it. If Jamison can just play the slot and play football, I think it would take a lot off him and the other guy could do those jobs if we had to.”

      On how much discussion there was about why other teams opted against drafting Guice:
      “Well, the good thing about that, what other teams thought doesn’t necessarily mean what we thought. There were some players that went in this draft that we probably didn’t have on the board. At the same time, it all depends on the team. We’re talking about a guy that we had in the first round on the draft board. When you talk about a value pick, you’ve got to say that Derrius Guice is a value pick that will fit in perfectly with this football team. When he’s there at your pick, you’ve got to take advantage of it and pick that guy. And we did that. We didn’t let what other people say influence us. What influenced us is the information that we had gotten from him and the people around him. We had a lot of sources that we talked to.”

      On if the rumors concerning Guice weren’t a concern:
      “No, you and I both know the way social media and the media and a lot of other things happen out there when it comes to players. Most of them take one thing and they run with it. Unfortunately they don’t know the kid. I think you’ve got to give the kid some credit to say that from where he comes from and what he’s accomplished and what he’s done, let me take it from that standpoint.”

      On if the team was approached for a potential trade with the No. 13 selection:
      “I’m not going to say exactly who called, but we had about two or three calls. We had to look at it and we talked about the guys. Like I said, we had guys on the board. You tell them we don’t know yet. We’d have to see. If we’re on the clock, if the guy that we wanted is not there, then you call them back and see if you want to make the deal. But you don’t make the deal unless all the guys that you have in front of you are not on the board anymore. So, yeah, we got some calls, but at the same time, fortunately we didn’t make them. We got the guy that we wanted.”

      On other rumored targets being selected prior to No. 13:
      “All I can say is we had some names on the board, a lot of names on the board. I’m not going to call their names because they’re not here. I do know Payne was on the board. And when we got to that pick, that’s who we picked. I think that’s the way the draft unfolded.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Doug Williams Presser: Post-Draft 2018 started by Boone View original post
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