Redskins Coach Jay Gruden met with reporters following the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday night. Here are some highlights from his news conference:
- On Mississippi State pass rusher Preston Smith, who was picked 38th overall, Gruden said: “He’s lined up all over the defensive front. He’s been a nose guard, he’s been a five technique, he’s stood up, he can drop in coverage. …We feel like he’s a young kid growing and there’s still a lot we can build upon with his body frame the way it is. Very long arms, explosive player and there are a lot of spots that he can play.”
- Gruden confirmed that Smith will play outside linebacker in the Redskins base 3-4 defense. But, he added, “There’s so much nickel nowadays that he can be a defensive end, he can stand up, he can be a three technique."
- Gruden says both Smith and Trent Murphy, last year's second rounder, figure to play a lot in 2015. “Both those guys are very similar—Trent and Preston,” Gruden said. “They are both very versatile players. Trent has put on some weight; he might be able to play defensive end. Both of those guys will play a lot of football, I can promise you that.”
- On Florida RB Matt Jones, Gruden said: “Matt’s a physical runner. He’s a downhill type runner. We had him in for a visit a couple of weeks ago and we liked his attitude. We liked what he knew about football, his passion for the game and his running style. He’s a little bit different than what we’ve had around here. He’s a downhill, smashmouth type runner. A physical kid.”
- Gruden said the addition of Jones won’t have an immediate impact on Alfred Morris, who is entering the final year of his contract. “Alfred won’t be affected,” Gruden said. “He’s still the running back here. He’s had three great seasons and that won’t change. To add another guy that can come in here and pound the rock a little bit doesn’t hurt anything. It will help Alfred in that regard, taking some carries off of him.”
- Gruden also said he envisions Jones as a core special teamer due to his toughness.
- On picking up three additional picks in a trade with Seattle, Gruden said: “There’s still a lot of players that can help us, a lot of different positions. We’ll take all of that into consideration and make a good Redskins decision. …I think there’s good quality there in the later rounds, and to have a couple more [picks] is good.”