Redskins Pre-draft Presser: Sr. VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams

Redskins Pre-draft Presser: Sr. VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams


Redskins Pre-draft Presser: Sr. VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams


Opening remarks:

“Good afternoon, that time of the year again, huh? As you know a lot of work goes in the last two and a half weeks. The scouts have been in town spending a lot of time going over players and fixing the board and getting ready for this week. The board is up but I’m sure there is going to be some tweaking over the next couple days. Once you sit in the room and look at more tape and look at it from the standpoint of wondering do we have it right.  I think we got it as close to right as the way we see it, as it’s going to be. There is not a whole lot that can be done that hasn’t been done already. That is where we are at this point.”

On if acquiring QB Case Keenum affects drafting a quarterback in the first round:

“Well, the National Football League is a quarterback league. Case has done a good job over the last couple of years where he has been. We needed a quarterback and we were able to trade for Case but that does not put us out of the realm of picking a quarterback if there is one there that we like at 15 (overall draft pick). We don’t know who is going to be there at 15. We got some guys that we do like, and if those guys are there, then that is a discussion that has to be had. And I’m sure it will come up, there is a possibility that it will happen. With a lot of the players in this draft that can help us, we will look at it from that standpoint too. It all depends on the board. Who is highest on the board at that particular time? That quarterback is the highest and we got a pick, nine out of 10 it’s going to be a quarterback but if not, than that is a discussion.”

On grading the 2019 NFL Draft quarterback class:

“It is no different than last year. When the four guys came out they all was… I think everybody’s board was probably different from the next teams’ board. I think it is the same thing here, you got some guys at the top and then you got guys you move down that you don’t think is at the top. And we have done the same thing with the guys that we feel are top quarterbacks coming out this year. Everybody is not on the same page all the time and that is where talking it out and discussions come in at and we are still at that point. Talking about the guys and where you feel, where you feel. When you have got 18 to 20 guys in the room the chance of 18 to 20 guys feeling the same way is slim to none and we had those discussions.”

On how many scouts and personnel will be in the room during the draft:

“No, I have been here going on five years now. We have not kicked the scouts out yet. We have not done that. I can say this. The scouts will be back in town tonight and I am sure between tomorrow and Wednesday we are still going to clean up stuff. They just left on Friday and they will be back tonight. The thing about here, I think the process, everybody wants to hear what everybody says in that room. On draft day everybody is not in there talking about it, but before we get to that point, everybody got the opportunity to voice their opinion and I think that is what makes it so much better.”

On if the starting left guard is on the roster and if the team is looking to use the draft to fill the position:

“It wouldn’t be fair to say that he is not on the team. We did sign Ereck Flowers to give him the opportunity to play left guard. If he can do that, we have a left guard, but other than that I am not going to stand here and say he is not on the team or if we draft one that is going to be the starting guy because we don’t know yet. We have got to get him here first. And there is a possibility that we will draft a guy, whether or not he plays guard or tackle, you never know. It all depends; it all goes back to the board.”

On if inside linebacker is a position of need:

“I think when you look at this football team every position on our team is up. It all depends on that player. No matter what position you play. So I think it will be unfair to label one position that we set. I think I can go out on a limb. There is one position that we say we feel pretty good – but that doesn’t mean we won’t draft one – and that is the boys up front on the defensive side of the ball. If there is a defensive lineman in the draft in the right place for the right price there is a possibility to add to the young guys that’s already on the team.”

On the discussions during the first day of the draft:

“We got the 15th pick at this time, and there are 14 teams in front of us, and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Things happen that you don’t expect. I go all the way back to the Jonathan Allen draft (2017 NFL Draft). You know everybody was talking about Jonathan going in the top 10 picks, where in our mind going into the draft Jonathan Allen was not on our mind. But, when we got to that point, it was an easy task to pick Jonathan Allen because we didn’t expect him there and we’re in the same position here. You don’t know what’s going to happen and we’re in that position that after about the 10th pick you know now you look at the board and you look at about eight, to nine, to 10 guys on that board that you really like. You put them on the board and you see how they fall or where they go or what have you and leave you with every time one go (drafted), you put another guy up there and try to fill that position. When you get to your two minutes out on your position you start to eliminate the guys you have up there and decide where you want to go.”

On evaluating players based on position:

“Well the thing about players is you know we all know from a media standpoint we see the guys and we rate them from a different standpoint, I’m talking about the media. But when you spend a lot of time in there, you know you look at every game they play, not only this year, but you look at some of the tape from last year, and you try to grade them from that standpoint. Some guys that look good on the hoof, did good at the Combine, you put the tape on, might not say the same thing and you got to be cautious of what you draft. And you want a guy that plays football; that plays every play and makes plays. You’re talking about outside rusher that’s what you want that guy to do, and be able to do but in our scheme he also has to be able to drop in coverage too, so you kind of mix it up both ways.”

 On evaluating players based on position:

“If he’s an edge rusher you give him a little more credit for getting to the quarterback. That’s the whole objective. That goes back to you know when I was in college Coach [Grambling State Head Coach Eddie] Robinson always used to tell us ‘every man is born equal to become un-equal,’ and the same thing with guys, you know when you put on that board, they all don’t grade out the same, you kind of put them in a different class, a different area.”

On the possibility of trading up:

“Well, I’ve said all along, the chance of trading up is a lot slimmer than trading back. I think where we are and what we’re trying to do here with this football team, you know, we don’t make a move either way we got to work with what we have. I feel pretty good about that, but if we got a chance to trade back it all depends on who’s there and if that trade back comes and whether not you really like that guy and you want him on your football team or you put yourself in a position to get a couple more draft picks or some other players that are out there. I’m going to go on the record and say that’s a possibility that we won’t trade up, but there’s a great possibility we’ll trade back if that opportunity came.”

On evaluating a wide receiver:

“I think when you look across this league at this particular time when you talk about a receiver basically what I think what we need and what we’ve talked about is what you call a ‘go-to-guy’. And that guy you know in tough times, no matter the situation. He’s going to be able to make plays for you – a tough guy who will go across the middle, a guy that will block for you, the guys that wants the football. I mean you don’t want to be all the way divas, but you want somebody who wants the football. If they don’t get it you don’t want them in the press saying they didn’t throw me the football and you want them to be team players. I think we are looking for a guy that we know that when crunch times come he’s going to be in the thick of it. I think that’s the most important thing.”

On comparing the draft board to external draft boards and predictions:

“We all sit there and do that. The possibility who might be there, you know, who won’t be there. I think all in our mind we sit in there and kind of pick who we’ll pick and who’s going to be there for us in the first round, who’ll be there second round, third round, in the fifth round and so on. At the same time you have to be real with yourself, what if they’re not there then what do you do, and I think that’s what we do more than anything when we’re just sitting in the room. After we’ve probably been talking for four hours you sit there and you lean and you look at the board and the board not changing but we all know it’s not changing, seems like it starts waving at you and you just get tired because it’s the same board you left yesterday and you’re back at it today.”

On if the defense is progressing ahead of the offense going into the 2019 season:

“It’s our strength. I mean I think when you’re talking about defense you got to put all the strength on the front line, that’s number one. We don’t know, we still don’t know at linebacker, we don’t know at secondary, we don’t know offense so I think at the end of the day if you want to pick just one position, you pick the D-line. Other than that, you can’t say the defense is ahead of offense, offense is ahead of defense at this time.”

On if he conducts mock drafts:

“We play around a little bit as a group. We give guys an opportunity to pick their first – like this year we have the first four picks in the third round. We sit around and give them the opportunity to make their choices, the first four picks, and see what everybody’s thinking is. It gives you an idea of where the discussion over the last few weeks has gone and what that scout thinks and what the other scout thinks and see who is on the same page, who is thinking alike and what have you. We do that.”

On if LB Ryan Anderson and S Montae Nicholson will affect any draft decisions:

“Well I think when you look at it; Ryan Anderson right now is a starting linebacker on our team if we had to play today. I think that’s the only way you look at it. If you look at the time Ryan played last year, the number of times he played and the impact. If you sit down from a percentage standpoint, the number of plays that he played, he was pretty impactful when he played. We feel pretty good about where Ryan is today. Montae Nicholson has some things he needs to clean up and we don’t know. It’s unfair to put him in anywhere right now until he can take care of himself.”

On Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown and evaluating players with an injury:

“You know, the thing about it is we look at all players. We get information on all the players and not on one individual. We look at all of them and judge them all the same as far as what the doctors and what the reports come out.”

On the effects of evaluating a player in the draft with an injury:

“You and I both know that injury plays a major role — character and injuries play a major role for the players that you pick. I’ll take my hat off to the scouts that are on the road and the information that they come back with and what they find out. It makes you cringe and makes the young players understand that no matter what you do, somebody knows what you do and somebody’s going to tell on what you do and how you do it. We find out a lot of information that they probably don’t know we know about them, not only from a standpoint of character but also the medical standing. And that’s what the Combine is all about. We get all the medical stuff from the Combine.”

On taking a defensive lineman in the first round:

“We have one on our team that we picked in the fifth round last year. He was there in the fifth round and we had him up on the board. It’s one of the same scenarios. A guy like that, you don’t pass them up. We’re in the same boat. We’re in the fifth round and we look up on the board and that’s a player that we had up here. Obviously, we thought a lot of the player and you want him on your football team.”

On using draft picks to fill position groups with deficiencies:

“There are a bunch of positions at this time, JP [NBC Sports Washington Reporter, JP Finlay], that we have to get better at. I think it would be unfair to just name one, but I think it’s also fair to give the defensive line a little credit for where they are. I’m not going to sit here and say we got to get better at any position, which we know we have to get better overall as a football team.”

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