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Transcript - Tom Telesco NFL Draft Day Two


Friday, April 26, 2019 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


On S Nasir Adderley:

"He probably fits at free safety, but he played corner earlier in his career. He played some corner at the Senior Bowl as well as far as kind of a nickel corner. So, nickel corner, free safety. He just has a lot of range, a lot of ball skills, instincts, he runs well. He's very athletic. He really, really stood out at Delaware. He stood out at the Senior Bowl. He's a player that we really coveted."

On accounting for Adderley pulling his hamstring while running the 40-yard dash:

"He ended up not having a timeline and you just have to kind of go by your eyes because he did pull on that one. Speed is not an issue with him. If you watch, he could be on the college hash — college hashes are wider than the NFL hash — he could be at one hash and make the play on the other sideline. You can see that, really, his range is excellent. It's a combination of both his foot speed and his instincts. He's a very good tackler and very athletic — kind of a quick-twitch athlete. I think he'll fit in whether it's free safety or nickel corner — but probably more free safety."

On if he expected Adderley to be available at No. 60:

"It's hard. The school he's coming — from Delaware — you just don't really know. He could have gone earlier. We're happy that we got him where we did. We did have to sweat it out. This was a player that we really had targeted in a couple of different scenarios, so we did sweat it out at the end. It probably helped a little bit that he pulled his hamstring at the pro day so no one had a true time on him, so you had to use your eyes. That's what you have to do, too."

On T Trey Pipkins:

"He was a known prospect. Our scouts, every year, they go to a lot of schools that you guys probably haven't heard of before. They're just not on the radar for most people, but he's a known prospect at Sioux Falls. He did what he had to do at that level and he dominated his level of Division-II. He's 6-6, 305 or 310, but has really good feet. He has long arms, good feet, change of direction and he's very smart. He's another player that went to an all-star game with Division-I players and really stood out there. Tackles are really hard to find. It's hard to find tackles that are tall, long and have really good feet that can work and are smart and have awareness. He has a lot of traits that we can develop. It's going to take some time. We have a good group for him to learn from, too."

On the traits of Pipkins as compared to his level of competition in college:

"There are some players at Division-II and Division-III who can dominate, but still don't have athletic traits — or not athletic traits that play at this level. With Trey [Pipkins], he has NFL size, NFL feet, athletic ability. He has to get a little bit stronger and just get used to playing against the type and caliber of player that he'll play against every day here. There's just a lot to work with and his make up is excellent. We think he's a guy that's really going to work at it. It'll probably take a little bit of time, but tackles are so hard to find and he has NFL-type traits — and that's really what you have to scout. [Area Scout Patrick] Pat Ryan, one of our area scouts who has the Midwest, saw a good amount of Trey — both at his school and at the all-star game, as did [National Crosschecker] Justin Sheridan, one of our other scouts. We had a lot of eyes on him because it's hard projecting players from that level to here. It's a little easier at Delaware. Delaware played a really good schedule. [Nasir] Nas [Adderley] played in the Senior Bowl, so a little easier there. Projecting a smaller school player is hard, but [Pipkins] has NFL talent in our eyes. He did show it at the East-West Shrine game, which is a very good all-star game."

On if Pipkins will play left tackle or right tackle:

"Left or right, but he's got left tackle ability, so that's another reason why he was of interest to us. They're hard to find."

On the team's free safety situation:

"It's just wide open. It's wide open. The starter is no longer here. [Former S] Jahleel Addae is not here, so it's wide open."

On what stood out from Pipkins in NFL Draft Combine interview:

"He is very sharp, squared away, accountable — everything we're looking for. That offensive line room, it's a tough room. You've got to have some grit, some toughness. You have to be smart. You also have to be 6-5, 6-6, 300 pounds and have good feet. You need a lot. He's very mature for a college player. What was great to see — even just our interactions with him on a smaller scale at the Combine and our scouts' interactions with him at the all-star game, this isn't going be too big for him."

On Adderley and S Derwin James Jr. falling to the team in consecutive drafts:

"I mean, as far as falling, it's hard to tell who really falls. Nas [Adderley] has a lot of traits we like, and we also have some other safeties we like, too. We think Nas is versatile. The ball skills he has and the range really stood out to us. The fact that he may be able to play a couple different spots for us helps too.

On potentially trading up in the second or third rounds:

"Yeah, thought about it long and hard. When you pick at the end of the round — especially in rounds one, two, and three — it's hard to sit there and be patient. You really have to do some work. We investigated in round two about trading up. Our pro scouting staff does a great job of kind of setting a table for each team of what they have, where they could look in the draft, who they've had in for visits. So, it's all this intel. You look at this and try to make educated decisions on taking a player that you want — in this case, Nas. Will he get to us at our pick or should we go up and trade up? You go back and forth. Just the way it looked like it lined up, we felt we could just sit and wait. Like everything else, we had another group of players there. If he goes off, we felt comfortable with some other guys. Sometimes, the board will tell you that you have to trade up. Say you've got one player that's very high and everyone else is a bit lower and you're like, 'Look, if we don't get him, our option B and C are not as appetizing.' Nasir Adderley, he was a player our scouts really liked. Our coaches liked him. He just fit everything we were looking for, so that was the kind of guy we were looking to get."

On assessment of the team's draft after two days:

"You know, it's kind of gone as advertised. [In the] third round, it's hard to tell where you're going to be, but the first two rounds, we thought there was a chance we could come out with a defensive tackle and a safety and we got those two guys. I'm not saying we were trying to get those two positions in the first two rounds, but I thought there was a good chance we'd get [DT] Jerry [Tillery] in the first round. Nasir Adderley — I wasn't really sure — but we wanted him in the second round. That worked out. The third round is a little bit [of] you don't know what's going to happen, but I can't complain. You can't get everybody you want all the time. It just doesn't work like that, but we've been pretty good so far."

On the outlook for tomorrow:

"Tomorrow, the picks are going to come from all over the board, so we'll just kind of see who's there at each round and go from there. There are eventual starters on that board somewhere still right now. We just have to see if we can find them."

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