Teammates thrilled by Trent Williams pick
While there was some debate among Redskins fans about whether Russell Okung or Trent Williams would have been a better pick at No. 4 in the first round, virtually all of them were convinced that left tackle was the way to go.
Well, likewise for the actual players on the Redskins. Many of them cycled through FedEx Field on Sunday for the team's draft day party, which was attended by thousands of fans. I had a chance to speak with a few of them about the first pick (Saturday's picks were being made during the event, and most were made after the players had left). They approved. Loudly and happily. This wasn't sound bite approval; this was energetic excitement.
"Coming into this draft, I think everybody on the team player-wise felt like we needed some offensive line help," DeAngelo Hall said. "I felt like top 5 pick, we needed to go tackle, and to see them execute that was huge....I think just knowing we got it right in the first round, that top 5 pick, made my day. It made my day. I loved it."
"I think he's gonna be a cornerstone of that left side for a long time," Lorenzo Alexander said. "I know the Redskins in the past have gotten a lot of slack as far as who they draft, but I think this new regime, they've got a plan and have kind of been orchestrating it through this whole offseason. This pick kind of solidifies what they've been doing."
Some of the players were more familiar with Williams. Brian Orakpo had competed against him in the Red River Shootout, and said that Williams was a major focus in gameplanning.
"We had to do a lot as far as getting our best guys on him and really trying to compete, because we knew what he brought to that blocking scheme," said Orakpo, who announced to the crowd that Williams was "a beast" who would "be a great player for us this season."
"He went to one of the biggest schools and played in the biggest games," Orakpo later added. "For a guy who played at the level I played at, at a similar school, it kind of makes the transition to the NFL a lot easier. I'm excited for him, because I know once he steps out on the field he's just gonna continue to do his thing."
Safety Lendy Holmes was a college teammate of Williams's; he said that the tackle could be a franchise cornerstone.
"I feel like he don't have no weakness," Holmes said. "Anything he put his mind to, he can do."
And Devin Thomas's former junior college roommate, Brandon Walker, played on the line with Williams at Oklahoma. He talked to Thomas this week, and called Williams a "can't-miss" NFL guy.
"I think that's exactly what we need, a young guy on the offensive line, taking over for Big Pro, Chris Samuels, and giving us the chance to give Donovan time to get us the ball," Thomas said.
Guard Edwin Williams is also a Redskins fan, and he approved of the pick in both capacities.
"I think it was a quality pick," he said. "I wouldn't have done it any different. Losing somebody like Chris Samuels man, c'mon. You've got to get another franchise guy like that, and I think Trent Williams was the best pick."
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