Day 3 All Draft Selections

 

April 25, 2020

 

T Saahdiq Charles

 

On the pre-draft process:

“Just taking it one step at a time and one day at a time and constantly working. You move forward from there. As far as going where I thought I would go, I wasn’t exactly sure where I would go. That’s the only thing. They believe in me; they’ve given me a chance. And for that, I feel like I’m going to give the Redskins organization everything I’ve got.”

 

On what he communicated to the Redskins during his pre-draft process:

“I mean, I just know that, of course, I made mistakes at school. They were dumb, ball-headed selfish mistakes, but I know that moving forward I learned from my mistakes and I improved when I was at LSU. I was just truthful with the organization and they ended up trusting me and picking me.”

 

On the emotions he’s felt during draft night:

“I mean, last night was just a little long. Anxious, just waiting on the call. But at least it wasn’t long this morning.”

 

On being a potential replacement for T Trent Williams:

“Growing up an offensive lineman, I watched Trent plenty of times. I have a lot of respect for his game. Just to see that they traded him and they picked me, just shows what they might have in mind for me. I’m going to come in there and work hard and just do my thing, man.”

 

On what the moment meant to him and what the team told him to expect coming in:

“The moment was amazing, a dream come true, a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid. [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera called me and told me I’m going to be a Redskin, I was just thanking him.”

 

On whether he has spoken to RB Derrius Guice:

“No. We’ll talk very soon, I’m sure. But I haven’t talked to him about Washington, or the Redskins, or how the organization is, but I’ll find out soon and give him a call.”

 

On protecting QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:

“The same thing I did in college – find where his launch point is in the pocket and communicate with him. Of course, I take a lot of pride in that and it’s one thing we took a lot of pride at as an offensive line at LSU is keeping your quarterback clean. Two seconds of strain and an extra two seconds of pain and finish and the quarterback clean.”

 

On whether there’s anything he can take from his work with Bengals QB Joe Burrow to the NFL:

“Honestly, it wasn’t just me working with Joe Burrow. I’d say it was all of the guys on the field working as a team. I feel like that’s how it was.”

 

On his decision to forego his senior season:

“Coming into the year, I never really thought much about coming out or doing anything of that, going into the draft. I kind of just let the season play out and I just knew that we had goals, which was to win a national championship, SEC championship and for our position to win the Joe Moore award, which we did. In college, it’s all about goals and routines and I just felt comfortable coming out. I feel like that was the best decision for me.”

 

On who was with him to celebrate with him when he got drafted:

“I’ve got my cousin, my mom, friends. I’ve got my family out here.”

 

On where he is:

“I’m from Jackson, Mississippi. I’m in Jackson at the moment.”

 

On what it’s like to celebrate during the pandemic:

“I mean, honestly, I’ve never been to a draft party besides the watch party that I had. I didn’t know whether to expect, if it was supposed to be big or small. I just knew when my phone got called, that was the most important moment of the day.”

 

WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

 

On waiting for a call during the draft:

“The process was pretty easy, just chilling with some family and friends and things like that. But you know, it’s a long, long process. It’s kind of hard waiting so long, but I’m super excited the Redskins got me and I’m ready to go.”

 

On his senior season:

“I think it just opened me up to a lot more teams, allowed a lot more teams to see that I was capable of doing more than the previous years. I overall just improved my stock.”

 

On the difference in his game from 2018 to 2019:

“Of course, I got more yards this year and I really attribute that to my coaches. Just the different techniques they taught me and just allowed me to open up more in the past year.”

 

On having fewer drops in 2019:

“Honestly, we got a new receiver coach. He came in and really emphasized the jugs machine with us every day. We had a lot of great catching drills we would do. Honestly, just paying attention to the small things [and] being on the jugs machine helped a lot.”

 

On what he’ll add to the current wide receiver group on the roster:

“For sure. I think I can take the roof off, but also just being able to be physical in the run game and also in the pass game with my blocking, being able to high-point the ball and bringing my secure hands with me.”

 

On when he knew the Redskins were interested in him:

“I honestly had not talked to them too much. I think it was more my agent, but they had showed interest early. I’m a local guy, technically, so I feel like I was always kind of on their radar. They reached out to me early and there was kind of a pause from there, and today they picked me up.”

 

On whether the team had given him any indication on how he’d be used:

“Nope, not really. Not really.”

 

C Keith Ismael

 

On coming from a football family:

“It’s influenced me hugely. My dad played football. He played football at Florida A&M in college. My uncle, he played defensive end at Oregon. Another one of my uncles, he played quarterback at Stanford, now he’s offensive coordinator. And another one of my uncles, he was drafted in the first round by the [Atlanta] Falcons back in the 70s. So, football is in my blood. It definitely drove my passion. It wasn’t the determining factor in me playing the sport when I was young, but it definitely helps to come from a football family. It’s just given me a lot of insight, you know. I have a lot of resources, a lot of family that have played that have given me knowledge over the years, just how to play the game and the right way to approach it.”

 

On going to football games as a kid:

“No, I mean we went to games every year with my uncle, Tavita Pritchard. He used to play quarterback at Stanford. We used to go to his games every year, but, I mean, that’s just football. I’ve watched it since I was young with my dad – NFL, college. We used to watch tape, watch his old games. So, football is in me.”

 

On when he thought he had a shot of getting drafted:

“It wasn’t really until towards the middle of my college career. I went into college just trying to be the best collegiate player, best teammate that I could be for the San Diego State Aztecs and also get my degree. But it was after my Sophomore season – my redshirt Sophomore season, I got my accolades, first-team all non-West. I think it was really at that point, my dreams kind of started to look more like a reality with more reach. It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid. Obviously, all kids playing football growing up want to go play in the National Football League, but I think it was probably towards the middle of my college career that I really saw that it was in arms reach and I could really go out and get it.”

 

On if there was a particular game that showed him that:

“I think it was just my consistent play. I was going out there and I was beating the competition week-in and week-out. I was showing signs of professional level play and ability that could put me in a position to compete for a starting job and starting at the next level. I was just doing things ‒ my body was developing, my mental approach to the game was developing. Then, I saw that I could really turn this into something special and into a career and be professional.”

 

On if he sees himself as a center or guard:

“I think I have the ability to play both. I played all three interiors [positions] at San Diego State. My offensive line coach, [San Diego State Offensive Line] Coach [Mike] Schmidt, he put a lot of responsibility on me to lead the line. Wherever he needed me week-in and week-out, I was ready to play. He rotated me in over my years at right guard and at center, so I feel comfortable playing all positions. Wherever they need me, I’m willing to put the work in to contribute.”

 

On what his draft party was like:

“It was a small gathering. We tried to adhere to the rules with the pandemic going on today. We want to keep people safe. I come from a really big family on my dad’s side and on my mom’s side, and I have a lot of close friends. A lot of people wanted to be here, but we tried to keep it safe and play our part in fighting this pandemic, so I kept it really close. My agents are here, my mom, my dad, my close and immediate family and best friends came down from the Bay area. They’re down here. Beautiful day out, beautiful weather. God came through and blessed me with this opportunity, so I’m just really happy right now.”

 

On whether it was tough to turn people away from his draft party:

“It was. It was definitely tough because I’m really close with a lot of people. I have a lot of good people in my life that have supported me and loved me through this entire process, starting in high school all the way through college and even before that. There are a lot of people that wanted to be a part of this day. Obviously, a lot of people couldn’t make it like I said because of the virus. But those that felt comfortable that we extended the invite, came and showed their love and support.”

 

On how big his dad’s family is:

“My dad’s family? I couldn’t even put a number on it. We span across multiple states. Like I said, in L.A. I’m from the Bay Area – there are hundreds of us up there – Seattle-area, Portland-area, Las Vegas, American Samoa – so they go back all the way to the islands. I have a huge family and I’ll probably be hearing from a large majority that are going to come in the next day or so.”

 

On what it was like to finally hear his name called:

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s a dream come true. Heart dropped a little bit, some tears were shed, but out of happiness, pure joy. This has been a goal of mine since I was a kid. So for it to finally come into fruition, I couldn’t be happier. Another person I want to thank besides my parents is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He guided me and he brought me along this path, stood by my side when I felt down and lifted me up. I just want to thank him and give him all the glory and praise.”

 

LB Khaleke Hudson

 

On how he views himself as a player:

“I see myself doing the same thing in college in the NFL, being lined up in the linebacker area at times and also being lined up at defensive safety. They just told me that I’m a real versatile player. They’re going to use me in many ways. That’s like music to my ears, and I can’t wait to get there and show them what I can do.”

 

On his ability to block punts:

“Yes sir. I just give a lot of props to my special teams coaches. They put me in a great position to be able to utilize my strengths to be able to block punts, even just disrupt the punter and have me shake the punts. I just give a lot of credit to my coaches and my teammates. They helped me get there, helped me get as best as I can on special teams, utilize my skills.”

 

On playing with DE Chase Young:

“I feel like young guys, big guys on the front, just make it easier for me. My job is to make it easier for them and for the secondary guys. I just can’t wait to get there and play with those guys, man. It’s just a dream come true for me. I just can’t wait to get there.”

 

On what his draft party was like:

“I just had some of my family members, some of my friends with me. I rented out a little house and stuff so we’re just here, just celebrating and stuff. It’s only a couple of us. But the way they scream, it sounds like there’s like a hundred people. So, I’m just happy now I was able to celebrate with my family and friends and they were able to take in the moment with me because that’s what matters the most.”

 

On whether it was a long wait for him:

“No, I just went about it as I would go to the right place, the right team is going to get me. I feel like that happened because I know [Running Back Derrius] Guice. Like I said, I really just can’t wait to get there.”

 

On how many people he had at his draft party:

“I don’t know, I’d say roughly 10-15 people. I don’t know.”

 

On how comfortable he is in coverage:

“I’m really comfortable in coverage. I did it a lot at Michigan. I’m comfortable playing deep safety. I’m comfortable just being on the field and being a difference-maker. I’m comfortable making plays, I feel like that’s what I do. I feel like sometimes you get caught up in what a guy who doesn’t have a true position. Sometimes that really doesn’t matter because once he’s on the field he’s a playmaker and that’s how I see myself. I’m just a playmaker every time I’m out there, and I’m going to do whatever I can, put the team on my back if I’ve got to if it’s going to help my team come out with the win.”

 

S Kamren Curl

 

On what he believes he will bring to the team:

“I would say I don’t know who exactly I model after. I just like to play fast around the ball. I’ve got a good football IQ. I learn defenses really fast. I like taking the ball away, being the fastest guy on the defense and going for the ball.”

 

On how he views his position:

“Yeah, I feel like I’m one of the versatile safeties that can play corner, so I came here and started as a freshman in the SEC at corner. I feel like I am versatile, I can play both.”

 

On how playing cornerback has helped him at safety:

“I feel like it helped my coverage skills a lot, being on the island one-on-one. It helped me to be able to sell myself because I’m one of the more versatile DBs [defensive backs] in the draft.”

 

On communicating with the Redskins:

“[Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera called me. He was just telling me he was happy to have me. I was telling him I was excited to come put the work in. He didn’t really tell me what to expect, really. I’m just ready to get the work in and help the team as much as I can.”

 

On what he did to celebrate the draft:

“It was just my family. We just chilled, watching the draft. I tweeted because I had players I wanted to see drafted. So, we were just chilling hoping to see my name called and we did.”

 

On if he would have wanted a bigger party:

“No, it didn’t matter what was going on, really. I didn’t want anything big, I just wanted it to be my family.”

 

On if had talked to the Redskins leading up to the draft:

“I talked to the special teams coordinator [Nate Kaczor] at the Combine and the DBs coach a little bit at the Combine. It wasn’t that much, but we had some conversations, so I knew they had interest in me.”

 

On working alongside S Landon Collins:

“It’s going to be crazy; it’s going to be surreal. I was watching highlights since he was at Alabama and when he was with the [New York] Giants. I’ve been watching highlights really my whole life, so it’s going to be pretty surreal.”

 

On his interaction with Mississippi State cheerleaders:

“That was just a little misunderstanding. They asked for a picture. I just wanted to take a picture with them, but it doesn’t have nothing to do with the on the field stuff.”

 

On whether he’s proud of any game in particular from his 2019 seasons:

“I want to say the LSU game. I had a pretty good pass breakup. I had a forced fumble in that game and a fumble recovery. I feel like I held my own against the number one team, the national champions, so I feel like I’m very proud of that game.”

 

DE James Smith-Williams

 

On how he views himself as a player:

“So, definitely a traditional 4-3 defensive end. I was a little out of position last year in college with the head-up technique. But now I’ll be back to the edges, so I’m excited for that.”

 

On how his positions in college fit him:

“For me, it gives me a chance to attack. I’m a guy used to getting up the field, using my speed on tackles, speed-to-power hand usage, stuff like that. Just giving me a chance to attack the edge, be head-up, taking on a lot more double teams to kind of beat you up a little bit more.”

 

On what led him to stick with football after completing a prestigious internship with IBM:

“Yeah, I mean I just love it. I think that’s the easiest explanation I can give you. I just really love playing football. I love the competitiveness of it. Obviously, I’m thankful for IBM and what they offered me off the field, in that regard. My true love is football, so it’s a blessing to be able to keep playing.”

 

On what his focus is for training camp:

“So, I’d say the biggest thing is just being in shape with everything going on right now, the craziness. So without a doubt, I just look forward to competing. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I know there are a lot of talented guys, a lot of great athletes, so it’s exciting to throw my name in that mix. We’ll hopefully win some games, a lot of games.”

 

On what stands out about his game:

“In terms of on the field? Pass rushing and definitely setting edges is something I do well at.”

 

On whether his college injury changed him in any way:

“You know, I had the one major ankle surgery in 2016. For me, it just allowed me to get the appreciation for the game. You kind of understand taking care of your body and what that entails.”