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Top Quotes | Telesco, Staley on Day 3 of the Draft

Tom Draft TQ

Take a look at top quotes from Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco and Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley's Day 3 post-draft media availability:

Day 3

General Manager Tom Telesco

On Derius Davis' qualities as a returner:

"He's got good vision, good instincts, burst, acceleration and then home-run speed."

On drafting TCU QB Max Duggan in the seventh round:

"Down there at that point in the draft, the seventh round, we thought he had some traits to work with. Dual-threat quarterback, tough, strong, physical, fast. Not typically the first four traits you say for a quarterback but he has them at such a high level, and really good arm strength. He has some skills to work with, so give him a chance to come in and compete. To see him play through the course of his career, he has that toughness that is hard to find. We'll take it and go from there."

On what the team liked about fifth-round pick Jordan McFadden:

"Really solid, consistent player in college. Played left and right tackle, which is nice, but we also think he can play guard so there's some versatility there. Strong, powerful, long arms. Had a really nice college career. What's big with him, and similar to Jamaree [Salyer], is being able to play different positions as a depth offensive lineman. We'll get him in there and kind of take it from there."

On drafting three players from TCU:

"It was a really good football team this year and you saw how far they went. They had a lot of NFL players this year."

The scene is set!! Check out where the Chargers front office will be based for night one of the 2023 NFL Draft!

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On 'if there's a common thread' on selecting three TCU players:

"Yeah, that they've got a really outstanding team. I think it's the same as the University of Georgia or the University of Alabama, one of the top college programs. You saw how many players were drafted from their football team. I think it's no surprise why. [TCU Head Coach] Sonny [Dykes] and obviously [former TCU Head Coach] Gary Patterson recruited a lot of those players. A lot of pro players on that team and that's why they made it so far. Really excited about all three of those guys."

On draft approach:

"What I liked about this draft is that I felt like going into the draft, we've got a really good team. So, I thought we were able to just draft players that we felt like fit what we were trying to join up with, create depth and competition at other positions. I thought what we were able to do is, we didn't take any projections. These guys that we drafted, all seven of them, have proven college production. The production was there, the intangibles were there and I think from a culture standpoint they all have toughness. I think these guys are all football players and it's going to create a lot within our locker room that I think is going to be really healthy in terms of competition and fitting into a team that's already really good."

On potential post-draft free agency plans:

"After today, take a deep breath and then you're going to evaluate the landscape of pro football. As you know, last year was a productive period for us. There's going to be a lot of players like that that are available, we just need to make sure that it's the right fit for us and again, there's a long time between now and our first game. There's going to be as window here now but then training camp and before we play there's a big window too. That's going to be all part of the process of filling out our team."

Check out some photos of first-round pick Quentin Johnston touching down in LA, heading to Chargers HQ, and more!

Day 2

General Manager Tom Telesco

On selecting OLB Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round:

"It's a player that we had seen a lot of, obviously. I guess one of the big things that we really like about him is his versatility between playing some edge and then even how [Southern California Defensive Coordinator] Alex Grinch used him at USC sometimes as an inside, interior pass rusher. He's really quick, great hand use. Just has a great ability to get off blocks one way or another, whether it's instincts, slipperiness, hand use, power. He just is an active, active player. He has big size, is powerful. He can play on the outside. We'll probably use him a lot of different ways."

On selecting LB Dayian Henley in the third round:

"Interesting story — I'm sure you guys kind of know. His journey has been pretty interesting from high school to Washington State. He's really instinctive. He's extremely fast. He's a violent hitter when he gets there. He's played a lot of special teams snaps in his career. That really was a big part of the equation, too. Adding depth, adding special teams players. He still played a lot of special teams even this past year at Washington State. We got an increase of depth there at linebacker, but potentially a really good special teams player, as well."

On the growth potential for Tuipulotu:

"He's only 20 years old. It's a huge positive. You're talking about a 20-year-old player that's going to walk into a room with [OLBs] Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. That's pretty good, and [OLB] Chris Rumph [II]. I like those four guys. There will be a lot of career growth coming with Tuli, just with where he is age-wise and what he's going to learn when he gets here."

On the long-term view factoring into draft picks:

"It's funny because when we talk about these players in the draft room and meetings, we're talking long-term with all of them. Then, I come in here and everybody wants to know where they're going to play opening day. It's always long-term with these players when we're drafting them, from the first round to the sixth or seventh round. Obviously, there will be a short-term outlook on how they may fit a role early, but after that, as you know, where do we project them three or four years down the road? That's a big part of it."

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On the selection of OLB Tuli Tuipulotu and LB Daiyan Henley:

"Tuli [Tuipulotu], he was one of the most productive players in college football. He has 13.5 sacks and second in tackles for loss in the NCAA. One of the top players in the country on defense. He has a lot of the characteristics that we think translate to playing championship defense. He's really tough and rugged at the point of attack. He's versatile. He can rush from the outside and from the inside. He has versatility that way. He has the play style that we're really attracted to. He was here at our local pro day, got to know him a little bit even better. He's a guy that just really grew on us in the process. I'm very excited to add him to our group."

On Henley learning from LB Eric Kendricks:

"What a wealth of knowledge. I think the same for Tuli [Tuipulotu]. They are two of the type of guys that will be able to soak all of that up from [OLB] Joey Bosa and [OLB] Khalil Mack, and in Daiyan's case, from an Eric Kendricks. Kenneth Murray is going into his fourth year playing, so there's a lot of wisdom there. I know that they'll take full advantage of it. I think that they're going to fit really well with our football team."

On Henley's versatility:

"The special teams value, too. To be a dynamic playmaker, a four-core player, and then a guy that we think eventually at linebacker — if you take a look at his last year at Washington State, I think, in the run game and pass coverage, and then he was an outstanding rusher, had five sacks his last year there — any time that you can get a three-down linebacker that can really run, we feel like that's a really tough thing to find nowadays. We're very excited about the pick."

On drafting two players that participated in the club's local pro day and the quality of football in Southern California:

"I know that Southern California is one of the premier places in the country to play football. I know that the top two players in the Draft are from California. Being here three years — I'm from Northeast Ohio, one of the special places in the country for football — but Southern California, that's taking it to a different level. Since I've been the head coach here, the local pro day has been really good to us. Last year, [DL] Otito [Obonnia] was here. That was something that was really impressive to us, was spending time with him. It's one of those things that's part of the process. These two guys really, I thought, took advantage of their opportunity in that setting."

On the plan for Tuipulotu's usage in pass rush:

"He played everywhere for S.C., inside and outside. He's kind of in that mold of a [Vikings OLB] Za'Darius Smith where he can play outside on early downs and then go inside and rush the passer. He played inside for S.C., as well. He's just a rugged, tough player. He's a lot of this, he's a lot of that, and that's what makes him a really unique player. He's a natural player. That's why he makes so many plays, because he's not just doing it on the edge and he's not just doing it inside, he's doing it from everywhere. When you're winning like that consistently, that means you're a damn good football player, and that's what he is."

On reconnecting in-person with WR Quentin Johnston today:

"It was exciting to see him in-person. It had been since February. Then, to see him be the same guy — you know, you go through a process, you get drafted in the first round, to see that that's the same guy that we met, that's the same guy that we've heard about, as I told you guys, this guy has real size, and that stands out in person. More than anything, it's just who he is as a person. His makeup is off the charts. We're so excited to join up with someone like him. He's been working hard. I'm just excited for him to get here with the group and start working."

Check out some photos of first-round pick Quentin Johnston touching down in LA, heading to Chargers HQ, and more!

Day 1

General Manager Tom Telesco

On selecting WR Quentin Johnston:

"He's big, strong and fast. That's a good way to start it off as a player. Great work ethic that we love. We know all of these players that are drafted. They're all talented, but once they get in this league, it takes a lot of work to get to where you want to go and keep improving. He has some physical characteristics that we think he can add to our offense in a different role. We're trying to give [QB] Justin [Herbert], our whole offense and [Offensive Coordinator] Kellen Moore a lot of different styles of players to use in different situations. We think he can fit that."

On what Johnston does differently:

"We love his run-after-catch skills. He's a big receiver, but he has really quick feet to change directions — so he can not only try and make somebody miss to make yards but also, he's big and strong to pull through some tackles. I think that's one element to our offense that he can add that would really help us. Skillful receivers on the outside — this is a passing league. The more receivers we can have, the better for our quarterback. We're happy to have him."

On Johnston's work ethic:

"It went well beyond the combine interview, but when you meet him, his work ethic just really stands out. You can tell he was raised the right way. He was a big recruit out of high school in the state of Texas, which means a lot. He was a three-sport player in high school, which you don't see very often, especially for such a high-level player. Then, he played right away at TCU. We like guys that can come in and have a desire and drive to be great. He has that and he knows that. When you're coming in as a young player, especially him coming into our receiver room — I told him on the phone, 'It's a stacked group as it is right now. You're doing to add to it.' We just love the makeup that he brings, his intangibles as well as his talent."

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2023 first-round Draft pick, wide receiver Quentin Johnston from Texas Christian University.

On the excitement in the draft room:

"Pretty good. I know our offensive coaches were really, really happy. They were ecstatic. On the opposite side of that, you have the defensive coaches waiting for tomorrow. There was a lot of excitement there, especially from the offensive coaches."

On Johnston joining the wide receivers room:

"It's going to be tremendous [for his development]. He can watch what [WR Joshua] Josh [Palmer] went through. I think that's a really good comparison, what Josh went through from college to his first year as a pro. To walk in the room with Mike Williams and [WR] Keenan Allen, it can't get much better than that. He's 21-years-old. He's a young player with just three years in college. He isn't one of these kids that played five or six years with the COVID rule. He's still really young. He has a lot of learning to do, especially at that position. To step in and watch guys who have done it and done it at a high level that are really masters of their craft, I think is really going to help them."

Head Coach Brandon Staley

On the selection of WR Quentin Johnston and Johnston's outlook:

"We're very excited that we drafted Quentin Johnston. As for his forecasting and where he is going to fit in, I know that we are really excited to have him. He comes into a wide receiver room that as is as good as any in the NFL. There are so many good mentors for him in that room with two of the best receivers in the game with [WR] Mike Williams and [WR] Keenan Allen. Then, a young receiver, [WR] Joshua Palmer, who we think is fantastic. All Quentin needs to do is come be himself, that's why we drafted him. We're excited to have him. The big thing is just getting him in our building and having him be a part of the team. How that takes shape, there is a lot of time between now and when we play to define all of that. But, we're super excited to have him."

On if Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore was in the draft room tonight for Johnston's selection:

"Yeah, all of our coaches were. Our entire coaching staff is involved in that process. Our defensive coaches watch offensive players, too, to kind of cross-check it. This is a guy that we had really strong grades on. There's a really high opinion of him. I know that our defensive coaches thought this guy was fantastic, a tough cover. When we were evaluating the defensive players in the draft, Quentin just kept showing up, and that wasn't just this year, it was in years prior, too. This guy was fantastic. I think that he is going to be a great fit for our team. He really adds a dimension that, I think, can make us really exciting on offense."

On Johnston's traits that 'stood out' in the evaluation process:

"The production on the film. In every game, this guy is scoring the football. He's a threat to go from anywhere. For a big guy, he's not a build-speed player. This guy can catch a hitch, he can catch a hinge outside. When he catches it, he is very sudden. I think he surprises people because he is a bigger guy and they're thinking, maybe, 'Hey, maybe I have a chance at this.' But, then, he moves like a much smaller player with the ball in his hands. He's pulling away from guys. Against Michigan, [Michigan DB] DJ Turner, he was 4.2-something DB and [Quentin] catches a shallow-cross and goes 70-plus yards for a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl. You're seeing that all over the movie. I think that's really exciting. We're excited to add him to our group."

On Johnston's ability to gain yardage after the catch:

"His ability to play outside the red line and play above the rim outside, and then inside, being able to really take it a long way — when you can throw something short, whether it's a speed sweep, something short, whether it's a hitch, shall-cross, slant, and then being able to take it a long way, we felt like that was a winning edge for him. You've heard me talk about scoring the football and how that's something that I think really separates Mike [Williams] from a lot of the rest of the receivers in the NFL is that he can score it, and I think that this guy can do the same thing."

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