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NFL Draft Day 3 Transcripts - Marty Hurney, Matt Rhule, Troy Pride, Bravvion Roy, Stantley Thomas-Oliver


GM Marty Hurney

How he's feeling

Sorry to keep you guys waiting. It's been a long day. We feel good about it, we feel good about the process and that's really the only thing you can judge right now, is how the process went. We had a plan coming in and we stuck to our groups on our board and for the most part it fell the right way. There were a couple rounds obviously, that there was a player that went two or three picks ahead of us that we were planning to take if he was there, but we always went to the next option.

If he was aware no other team (in the modern era) had drafted all defensive players

I wasn't, and we really didn't come in with that plan. As I said, there were a couple picks that if they would have fell a little differently we would've taken an offensive player. We basically did stick to the board and the groupings, and it just happens that it was all seven defense. We knew coming in that we wanted to help boast our defense, we knew that. But we didn't come in planning that all seven picks were going to be defense. It just fell that way.

What offensive positions they were considering drafting

I think obviously offensive linemen were one a couple of times and maybe a tight ends. Tight end and offensive line would probably be the two instances. You know, we had a player right there that was right in that same breath that we felt very good about. That's just how every draft goes.

Trades and differences in the draft process with everything being virtual

We met my goal, at least we made one trade. I hate going through a draft and not making a trade. I think everything went very smoothly. I think it starts...I mean we've had great communication. Matt Rhule and his coaching staff, our scouts. We've worked together through this whole process and this was just a continuation of it. There's great communication. Matt and I talk constantly. I would meet with the scouts before each day's draft started and Matt would do the same. Matt and I would talk, we came in with a plan that we felt good about and I think we executed, things fell pretty well for us.

If there are still holes to be filled by veteran free agents

There's always work to be done. I always kiddingly say, we don't play until September, but I mean everyday we're going to be looking to improve our team. We're working hard on the undrafted free agent part of it, but you're constantly looking at the wire for veterans who are out there. All avenues. There's still work to be done, there's definitely still work to be done.

If the change in coaching staff can change the evaluation of a player

My philosophy I don't think has changed. I always believe in corners, they've got to cover first. Now you want them to be able to be physical and come up and tackle, but I think we're looking for corners who can play both man and zone coverage. You're looking for the skillset that guys can run, I think that's very important. I wouldn't say really what we were looking for in corners changed much, but I think length is important to us, especially in this division. So you're always looking for some corners with some length, corners that are fluid, can flip their hips, turn and mirror, and corners who can run. I think we're all on the same page for what we were looking for, not only at corner but at every position.

What he learned after the team drafted Josh Norman in the 5th round a few years ago

I think every player is different and where he's picked. You look for a skillset and I think whether it's Josh Norman, whether it's Troy Pride, you're looking for a certain skill set and I think there are good players in every round. I really do believe that. So I think with Josh, you learn that it takes time for every player that comes in. You need to learn, get your technique refined and continue to improve, but that's kind of what you're looking, that mindset that guys come and they love ball but they also have that passion to get better every day. That's what we look for, again, not just at corner but every position.

Kenny Robinson's draft stock and draft eligibility after playing in the XFL

He was eligible because I guess he had left school and I really don't have the particulars why he was able to be in the draft but I just knew he was. We saw him, we watched him, in college and you watched him in the XFL and he's an athlete and he has ball skills. We just thought he was a player who really has a chance to come in here and continue to grow and help us. He's got a lot of athletic traits and I think those are the kind of guys that Matt and his staff get really excited to coach.

Kenny Robinson's situation of being dismissed from West Virginia University

We went through it all. We did our research and I felt at the end of the day, he's a young man that made a mistake but I think that you talk to the people that he's been around after that in the XFL, and people that know him, and we got all positive reports.

First draft working alongside head coach Matt Rhule

I think Matt Rhule and I have been on the same page since the first time I met him and went in and interviewed him. We really do look at things very similarly. We're both very honest and straightforward and have only one agenda, and that is to do what's best to make our football team better. He's a blast to work with and I think that this process went the same as free agency did, the same as everything really has gone since he came in and became our head coach. I can't tell you how much of a pleasure it is to work with him.

I think for me, I have like six laptops on my desk. I was preoccupied with making sure that I was working all those right. I learn from Matt everyday. I think that he learns from just how the process goes. This was his first time. I think it was very exciting for him. I think it was also - it's hard work. He has put in - he and his coaching staff and our scouts - have put in so much work as far as getting the information, having these virtual interviews and doing things differently than we have ever done it before. I think the fact that we communicate so well and we are on the same page - I think it really helped the whole process over these last three days. I just think that his attention to detail - he just works, he works extremely hard and he just knows what he wants and he just gets it. I think it's just to say it's been a pleasure working with him.

Whether he sees Roy strictly as a one-technique on the defensive line

I saw Bravvion. Bravvion is a big man that has really good feet. I saw him at the East-West practice. I was there for one day and then watched tape and I think that he can play some (three-technique). He's very light on his feet for a man his size. I was impressed with his skill set.

How much he factored in utilizing players in combinations on the defensive line when he selected Roy

Whether its offensive line or defensive line, versatility is so important. I'm a big believer in a defensive line wave as far as having seven or eight guys that an rotate in and keep each other fresh. I think that depth on the defensive line and offensive line is critical to your success as a football team. I think the more flexibility guys have within their position group is extremely important.

The team's current construction compared to the end of the season

I think we've come a long way. Obviously, we've had a lot of change. As I've said, it never ends. Every day, you're looking at how you can improve your team. Right now, you're excited. You've made all these moves and you've made these changes and you're really excited to get everybody together whenever that will be and just see it comes together. It's exciting. We have a saying here. We try to make one good decision at a time and I think we've done that but it's with a big plan in place. It hasn't been easy at times. We've had to make some very difficult decisions. But I think that every decision we make, Matt and I, there is one reason we make it – that is to try and get better as a football team.

Whether the plan is for Efe Obada to play more inside

I think there is flexibility there in his versatility. I think that Efe has a very good knack inside as a three-technique as far as getting penetration so not only can he play outside at end but he can move inside in sub (situations) and he's done that and done it well. And Efe is a guy that every day, he comes in and you get his full effort every day – 100 miles an hour. He wants to get better. He improves steadily every week and I think he's ready to make another jump here. He has versatility up and down the defensive line.

Whether given the uncertainty, he would keep a smaller roster size than normal

No, I don't think so. I think you go to 90 (players) because you want to get guys trained whether it's through virtual meetings or whatever we're allowed to do up to that point. It doesn't mean we'll be at 90 on Monday or Tuesday but I think you're always looking to try to find players who will help you. You don't just sign players to sign them to try to get to 90 but I think it would be the same philosophy as normal as far as roster size goes. I think you want to try to get as much depth and as much competition on the roster and you really do shoot to try to maximize that 90-player limit.

On whether there is anything he's used during the virtual draft process that he would utilize moving forward for future drafts

It was a different experience because you're talking to people in pockets. And I think it really does make you more aware of that you have to talk to this group to see what their opinions are and I think our communication was fairly smooth. I think we were able to get everybody's input in the critical decisions. It really went smoothly. It wasn't hard. I've always said, when in doubt, keep it simple. It was a very easy process, really. And I will say our IT people, there were so many people that put in so much work to help pull this off that you never hear about but there were a lot of people that worked very hard to make this happen.

HC Matt Rhule

Did he think he would not draft an offense player

No, we did not go in…We knew it was going to be defense heavy, but we didn't go in with that. I think there were two times where we had an offensive guy as the next guy up as we got within three or four picks, that offensive player went away so we went back to a defensive player. I think we thought we would draft one or two defensive players, but knowing we really truly thought we addressed the offense in free agency. Defensively knew we needed to do something similar to this. The way it played out, it played out, and we are good with it.

Defensive coordinator Phil Snow's reaction to getting seven new defensive players

We had a couple different video conferences so I had one with the staff and I was talking with them as they went. I think he was pleased with it obviously. It means he is going to be depending on some rookies in some positions, you know, so that's always a challenge, but I think we felt really good about the guys that we took. And I think that is one of the really good things about our staff is that (offensive coordinator) Joe Brady and the offensive side, even you know Evan Cooper's our corners coach, we waited until the fourth round to take a corner knowing that we had a need. Guys were all in understanding that this was a special draft where we had to, weren't not in a position to take the best player at a position, we had to take the best available player. I think Phil felt really good about it. All the guys we got we feel really good about their athleticism. When I say developmental I don't mean, hey they are not where they need to be, as I said last night, it just means these guys all have tremendous upside moving forward

Relationship with Bravvion Roy and what he brings to the team with regards to his versatility

When I first took the job, (general manager) Marty (Hurney) was out at the East‐West (Shrine Bowl game) and he called me and said, "Man, your kid is killing it out here," because Bravvion was playing in the East‐West game. Bravvion is such a big man and people don't realize how athletic he is and he did not get invited to the Combine. He got invited to an all‐star game, but not the Combine. Had he gone to the Combine you know at 330 you probably would have run 4.8 and jumped really high. He's just a really good athlete. I think as a result, canceled pro days, he never got a chance to show what he can do. But obviously we've all seen it, not just his play, but we've all seen his athleticism and I think that we felt really good about his versatility. He's also a tough guy. He played the Big‐12 Championship game, he had knee surgery the following Monday and then played in the bowl game which, you know, a lot of guys wont do. He's just a really powerful guy. I think he gives us versatility on the defensive front. Like I said you can't fix everything. You can't replace every position where you lost a guy, but you can have a strength. With the guys we have coming back and the guys we signed in Stephen Weatherly and last year the commitment to Brian Burns and (Marquis) Haynes and Efe Obada, who I'm really, really high on, signed Chris Smith, KK (Short) comes back, signed Zach Kerr. Now bringing these guys in we just want to have a really healthy room and a room where we can play a lot of guys and I think that is going to be one of keys to our success. Bravvion is a young player, but he fits the mold with Derrick (Brown). He's not as tall, but really big and really, really athletic.

Research to feel comfortable with picking Kenny Robinson

We talked to his high school coach. We talked to the Director of Football Operations at West Virginia under the previous staff. We talked to his XFL coaches and to me that was probably the biggest predictor of who he is. He's out on his own, He's playing pro football. How is he to coach? How is he to deal with? How is he to live with day in and day out? And they raved about him. He was the only XFL player, I believe, that was draft eligible. Most of them you could just sign. Really nice job by our scouts…[inaudible]…Evan Cooper is one of those guys who's always looking for more and more players. Along the same lines, (defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach) Jason Simmons, he did all this research, watched all the games on him. He's just got unique ball skills. I'm sure if you were watching the draft like me you could see on ESPN. He's made plays, and he's made plays at the pro level now which is really cool. We talked to a lot of people and feel really good about him. I always draw a line, when people start being disrespectful to other people, when they hurt people that's one thing. Obviously what he did, I don't even know what he did, academic something or other. We all grow up, we get better, we age, we mature and it sounds like he's done that.

What went into selecting Troy Pride Jr. and if he was someone high on the draft board

I'm going to be really direct with you. I think when people always say "best player available," I think it's within reason. We don't just want to collect talent. We want to build a team. What you won't do, and I think what people mean when they say best player available, is we're not going to reach for somebody. We're not going to say hey we need a corner, but we're going to draft a round later and I think that's why we didn't take one in the third. We saw the opportunity to go up and get (Jeremy) Chinn and said hey its not a corner, but it's really the best player available. As we got into the fourth we felt really good about Troy and here's a guy that he's from right down the road. He's a track athlete. Which means usually when you're a track athlete you're a little bit of a perfectionist technique‐wise. You're into training. I had a great video conference with him the one day and my wife was actually cooking on the other side where I was doing the video conference and afterwards she said "who was that? That's a professional." Just a really, really mature guy and he's played a lot of football. So in a year where there is no off‐season program, no OTAs as of right now, I think he has the maturity to come in and help us in training camp.

Thoughts on making history by drafting all defensive players

It's unique. But you know every situation's unique. I think the biggest thing and one of the reasons why I'm excited about being here, I'm excited about working with (Panthers owner) David Tepper and excited about working with Marty is, I think so many people make bad decisions because they are so worried of how things are going to be viewed. They are so worried about how people are going to view them. I think we just went out here and said listen let's go take the best guys, let's try to fix, I don't want to say fix, but reinvigorate the offense with some guys you know because we lost some guys in free agency and lets go get an infusion of unique talent on defense. It worked out that way. The offensive guys, I kept teasing Joe Brady and those guys like are we even paying you guys for today? Are you guys even doing anything? But you know, it's a unique situation. There's been so much sort of turnover this year. But I think the great thing is I think you have this young cohort of defensive guys that are going to grow together and fill the system over the next couple of years.

Thoughts on players' commitment to training during quarantine even in unique ways

I think for all of us, no matter what job we do, this is a tremendous opportunity for us all to work on ourselves. If we can be great at what we do under these conditions, then we really should be even greater when we go back and have all the luxuries and the necessities and things as we move forward. I love guys that are grateful. I love guys that don't make excuses and don't let other people make excuses for them. If you have to train and get ready to go be a pro football player or if you are one the guys on our team right now and you are training for the season, figure it out and find a way. That's what all great people do. I think we got a bunch of guys that are really committed to football and love the game. Some people love being a football player, some people love playing football. When I watch these guys play, when I met with these guys, when you see them overcoming the obstacles that coronavirus that has brought to this process you say hey these guys love football and they are committed to it. I think once they get in with us they'll do even better.

On the importance of undrafted free agent signings

The undrafted free agent process to me is unbelievably important. You're going to find starters for every team. You are going to find guys who are going to help your team. As we went through the free agent process this year and we're talking about who we're going to pay millions and millions of dollars to, a lot of those guys, not just us but other places, started in the NFL as undrafted free agents. I think over half of the players in the NFL were undrafted free agents. I believe that's true. I don't look at it as first round player versus eight round player, seventh round player. I look at it as players. Everyone gets here differently and it's about what you do when you get here. That's really why Marty is not on the phone because he's still negotiating contracts and making this process work. This is really important to us, it's important to the fabric of our team. Just a couple years ago Robby Anderson who's a significant free agent for us this year, he was an undrafted free agent calling me saying, "Hey, should I go to this team or should I go to that team." Here he is three years later signing a great deal. Someone that we sign tonight will be a starter in this league and help us win.

Philosophy on playing rookies and if it is similar to playing college freshman

I think with the situation this year for us, in terms of where our roster is, the guys we have coming back, we are going to have to depend on rookies. Even if you don't depend on them early, typically with injuries you're going to depend on them late. Obviously I'd love to go out there with all veterans, guys who have been through it for a long time that are battle tested. But that isn't always the case. I always look at it like my job's to make sure that whoever we have is prepared and ready to go. This year especially with the circumstances we're under right now, our veterans are going to have to do a great job of making sure these guys understand what it means to truly be a pro. We want to have standards of our professionalism that our young guys walk into. I think we were very meticulous on who we drafted to make sure they had that standard. I hope that comes across even as you talk to the guys, that these guys understand what it means to be a pro and they're going to find a way to make it happen.

Skillset priorities at the cornerback position

We wanted to find guys that were 5‐11, 6‐foot, 6‐foot‐1 to match up with the big receivers that we'll face. We wanted to find guys with elite speed. That might go without saying, but some people look for other things. We wanted elite speed because if you have that we can develop you. We wanted guys that had quickness. So size, speed, quickness ratio and that they love football. We're not taking a first‐round corner or second‐round corner, we're taking guys a bit little later in the draft but these guys have talents that mean they can be starters in the league. We're going to do our best to develop them, but we feel really good about them. These are guys that we kind of picked early and said hey that's someone that can maybe make this happen. I think it was a real benefit that we went to the Senior Bowl. We really had a chance to see a lot of these guys at all the positions. To see them up close not knowing that pro days and all that would be canceled at some point.

How long guys like that have been on radar especially Stan Thomas‐Oliver

The defensive coaches probably longer than me. When you're the head coach at the Combine you're sitting through four or five hours of interviews every night then four or five hours of workouts. He (Stan Thomas‐Oliver) ran a fast time early and Evan Cooper who is my corners coach, been with my a long time, kind of in college was always my personnel guy, he said to me, "That kid's got size, he's got speed, he's got quickness, he has all the skills and he's somebody that we can develop." It put him on our radar early. Troy (Pride, Jr.) was someone that the scouts brought to us. Again, a track guy, and both these guys are really really fast. Troy ran 4.42 and probably could've ran 4.32. I'd say the Combine was when I first dove into them. I saw Troy at the Senior Bowl. But our scouts have done a great job of getting these guys' names to us early on.

Rhule's college experience helping with the draft process

I don't know if it helped a ton. It was kind of cool for me today. I sat there, and obviously my job and my priority today was watching the Carolina Panthers and navigating our process, but watching four Baylor kids get drafted was really cool for me. Kent Johnston, who's our director of wellness, his son got drafted to the L.A. Rams in the seventh round. That was fun. I watched four Temple players that I recruited and coached for a year get drafted. So eight of my former players I got a chance to see that. Saw a bunch of our free agents, like six or seven of our kids at Baylor all signed as free agents. You realize, coming from college, what programs, what skill sets, what characteristics carry over. I've seen a lot of my players in college go off to the NFL and have success or not, and I think that really helped me in the evaluation process. Saying, hey this can be developed. I've seen my guys develop this and develop that. And then I think the background. We were able to pick up the phone and call a lot of people that we know, coaches that we've known a long time and say hey, tell me about this guy, tell me about that guy. I don't ever want our coaches to think that the fifth, sixth, seventh‐round, the free agency is a throwaway. It's not a throwaway. It's a great opportunity to build our roster. We worked really hard as a coaching staff finding those guys. I think you'll see some of these undrafted free agents, we recruited in high school. We know them, we know who they are, and I hopefully felt good about that.

Positions that need to be built a little bit more

On the offensive line, we feel really good about our nucleus, but we need some depth in undrafted free agency. Marty always says we don't play until September. We've got a lot of time and he's always working on the roster so we'll keep trying to improve that. I think that's one area. I want to be great on special teams. (Special teams coordinator) Chase (Blackburn) said something to me the other day like "18 games in the last two years were eight points or less, one score or less," so to me how do you correct that? One way you can do that early on is special teams. That's not just the punter and the kicker, who we have great ones, it's all the guys covering and all those things. We've been out in the undrafted free agent process trying to find guys who we think can help us on special teams, who can help us in those areas. We've done a nice job in the draft and free agency. We're just always going to be looking for depth. That'll be part of that process.

Virtual offseason and workouts

We are not doing virtual workouts. It just wasn't right for us. The guys have a workout plan. They're on their own for that. We're not watching them virtually. We are doing the virtual meetings and I thought it was excellent. At first you think it's going to be really weird, but the one thing were finding out is that you can get everyone's focus and have great interaction. The coaches are working really hard to make sure these presentations they do are really professional. I've been really pleased with it. I've been pleased with the feedback from players and coaches. As we get more and more used to it, until we finally get back in the building, hopefully we'll continue to improve as coaches teaching virtually.

Troy Pride Jr.

As a Greer, S.C. native, If he was a Panthers fan growing up or attended training camp or games at Bank of America

So truly, just to begin, I wasn't necessarily a Panthers fan. Now, I rooted for them in their Super Bowl runs with Jake Delhomme and Cam Newton. But for the most part I really wasn't. Now being a little leaguer there was a time where I was awarded tickets to a game actually for one of my plays so I as a youth went to a game before. And I have been to Wofford, not for the training camp, but I've been there just for 7-on-7, stuff like that. I went to Charlotte for the Panthers 7-on-7 with my high school. I've done a lot of different stuff with the Panthers.

His best attribute, besides speed, on the field

I think I'm a competitive beast. I think that my will to win is higher than a lot of individuals and I think just my competitive edge is always going to keep me with any athlete that I play against and in any system I play in. So, pairing that with elite athleticism, the speed you talked about, and then honing in on my technique, I think it's just going to be a recipe for success.

Mel Kiper saying that "on a different day he could've run a 4.3 at the Combine" and what his fastest 40 times are

A different day, absolutely I think that I would've – nine out of 10 days I would've run a 4.3. It was just the one day that I went 4.40, and that happens. My fastest time recorded at Notre Dame was a 4.28. So I'm pretty well versed with speed especially. Track, I ran the 60, the hundred, 200 – indoor and outdoor – so in that my fastest 60 was a 6.7, my fastest hundred was a 10.42. So I'm absolutely ready to run with anybody.

If the prospect of facing some of the NFL's top quarterbacks and wide receivers in the NFC South has sunk in

Absolutely. I've already envisioned that. I'm already setting myself up for that. I've always been working for the best and to have the best in our division – Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and all those guys, Matt Ryan – it's going to be wonderful. You relish those opportunities, you relish that moment to compete against the best because, shoot, the cream's going to rise to the top.

Why he chose to major in film studies and if he has an affinity for being creative

I do. I chose to go into that because, moreover I'm interested in the broadcast realm of TV. But just having the opportunity to kind of create some movies, act in some, doing a lot of different stuff with that, helped me to be a lot more well-versed and really helped me to enjoy my college experience.

Why he chose to go to Notre Dame and not attend an in-state school like South Carolina or Clemson

At the time Clemson was kind of on the up-and-up and they were recruiting other states. Then the University of South Carolina had a coaching change when Coach (Steve) Spurrier announced he was retiring. So truly those were my last two offers and I was just recruited heavier by Notre Dame. I took a visit up there and loved it and just knew that was the place that I could excel the most at the time.

Being a two-sport athlete and how track helped him on the football field and prepared him to enter the NFL

I think track is interesting because it's just you. You're not relying on anyone else to help you unless you're on a relay team. If you don't perform you're not going to do well that day. So I think it really upped my competitive nature, running and doing football workouts. It also made me more mentally tough, fighting adversity. Doing both basically my whole life has always been a benefit to me. And I think especially in college running against guys that are training all year for ACCs and big-time track meets, to go out there to compete and win was one of the best moments I could've had, and then it helped me to get on the football field and see everybody and know that I can do it. 

Interactions with the Panthers leading up to the draft 

I talked to (cornerbacks) Coach (Evan) Cooper at the Senior Bowl. We sat down and had a little discussion. They were a little harder on me at the Combine. I got drilled by (defensive pass game coordinator/secondary) Coach (Jason) Simmons a little bit. Truly, getting on the FaceTime interview with them, with Coach (Matt) Rhule, Marty (Hurney), Coach Cooper and just seeing everybody really was one of the things that kind of showed they were really interested. To have the GM, the head coach, the position coach, the special teams coach all on there was amazing to see, just showed their true interest. Now, you never know with the draft. People can blow smoke all the time but they seemed genuine and they were, obviously. 

*Whether he is familiar with Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson from track and field *

 Not personally. We played their team and I always saw him at the top as one of college football's fastest individuals. Other than that, I've obviously seen him play and seen what he can do but we're going to meet personally obviously with the Panthers so it should be fun. 

Whether teams made a mistake by waiting to the fourth round to select him

Absolutely. Absolutely. No question. I think that the potential I have and the way that I work is going to set me up for success and the Carolina Panthers will see that success. Everyone else will just have to watch from afar. I'm not mad at anybody. I'm not bitter. But I know how I work, I know what I'm capable of and I'm going to get to it. 

Reason he believes fell in the draft and whether he plans to be a Day One starter

You never know why you drop in the draft. I'm never in control of those kind of things. I'm OK with it. I didn't drop. I fell into the right place. (Starting on Day One) is what you work for. I don't work to be just somebody in the facility. I want to be the best in the facility. If that's a Day One starter, that's a Day One starter. If that's a special teams role, that's a special teams role. If that's a nickel role, that's a nickel role. Whatever the team needs me to do to be the best player that I can be, that' what I'll do.  

On where he thinks he would place in a race on the practice field with his teammates

I think if I get that first step, it's up for grabs. The day I walked onto Notre Dame's campus, I was the fastest guy. I believe it again. If we run, I want to see what happens.  

On things that he enjoys off the field 

I'm an avid Netflix watcher. (There are) multiple shows that I could recommend. Geez, I have a whole list. But truly, just being with my family and relaxing with them. Playing spades. If you know how to play spades, I'm an avid spades player as well. I can play some cards. Not much into video games but I can do it. For sure, just watching Netflix. 

On last couple of Netflix shows he's binged

Money Heist obviously. You've got to binge that one. It's not on Netflix but Power. Quick. Whenever I have time, I've got to watch The Office.  

Favorite character in The Office

I love Dwight. The dude just acts differently than everybody else. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. But the end, him being himself was the best part. 

Who is with for the draft today 

I'm in Greer, S.C. with my family. My mom, my dad, some of my aunties and uncles and just the family. My brother, sisters. The people that are closest to me. The nine people that are closest to me because of social distancing. 

Whether he's met Josh Norman

I didn't meet him but I know of him. Obviously, I've watched a lot of his film, especially in Carolina. He was an All-Pro during his years in Carolina so hopefully I can take something from him but I haven't got a chance to meet him but I know of him.  

On where he has been running during the quarantine 

Usually, I just run around my house but for the most part I'll go up to our middle school. I'll go up there, run, get on the field a couple of times, run some hills and do some workouts so I'm staying sharp. I'm ready to go anywhere. You stay ready so you don't have to get ready.

DT Bravvion Roy

His relationship with Head Coach Matt Rhule and if he thought he'd be drafted by Carolina

I knew it was a possibility. He knows what I'm about, I know what he's about. We all want the same thing. I stayed in contact with Carolina a lot. That was probably top three that I stayed in contact with and once we got close to the fifth, sixth round I knew, "Okay, now it's a real possibility."

Playing alongside Derrick Brown

It's going to be some trouble for some people, I can tell you that now. It's just a blessing to play alongside a guy like that. I mean, his film doesn't lie. You see how disruptive he is and I just love the way he plays and we've got a lot in common. I just can't wait to get to work with him.

What Panthers fans can expect from Matt Rhule defensively

You're going to see guys flying around. You're going to see a hard-nose defense. You're going to see toughness. You're going to see responsibilities, people doing what they've got to do. You're going to see no miscommunication and nothing like that. That's just the way Snow and Rhule run it over there. It's just hard-nosed football. It's real football.

Being part of what seems like a defensive "re-vamp"

It's just a blessing, man. Once again, I know what these guys are about and I know what they're trying to achieve over there and I'm just blessed to be a part of it. They're a great group of guys, they're real people, they actually care about you outside of football. It's just a blessing, I'm grateful to be in the position I'm in.

What is Matt Rhule going to bring to the Panthers

You are going to see guys flying around. You are going to see hard-nose defense. You are going to see toughness. You are going to see responsibility. People doing what they got to do. You are going to see no miscommunication or nothing like that. That is just the way Snow and Rhule run it over there. It is just hard nose football. It's real football.

Thoughts on being a part of the defensive rebuild

It's just a blessing man. Once again, I know what these guys are about and I know what they are trying to achieve over there and I'm just blessed to be a part of it. Man, they are just a great group of guys. They are real people that actually care about you outside of football so it's just a blessing. I'm just grateful to be in the position that I'm in.

What it is like being able to reunite with your former coaching staff

Oh yeah, I'm very comfortable, they are like a second family with me. I have been with them the past two or three years. I tell everybody that Coach Rhule is like a second father to me. The stuff that he teaches and the knowledge and the wisdom that he speaks with you just can't take it for granted. You've got to soak everything in that he talks about. You've got to listen because most of the times when he tells you something, he means it. He doesn't just tell you because he is trying to kiss up or nothing like that. He is a real dude. He's an authentic dude.

What it means to have the draft class be defense heavy

That gets me real excited because I already knew from the get-go that defense wins championships and Snow and Rhule - they believe that. They want to make sure that first thing's first, the defense is on lockdown and that they're good. I'm not surprised by that.

What can defensive youth bring to the game

I mean we can bring a lot of heat, to put it that way. We bring a lot of heat. We can keep going. We can keep running around the field because there will be fresh bodies coming on and off the field. I know Coach Rhule and them. They like to rotate a lot. Well, that is how they were in college. I don't know what they're going to do now, but they like to rotate a lot and keep guys fresh.

Who he is looking forward to playing the most

Most definitely Derrick Brown. I'm ready to work with him and compete with him because that's what I do. I'm a competitor. I just can't wait to work with him, man, just to see.

Keeping in shape during the quarantine

Actually, just like Tom Brady I went to go work out at the park last week and got kicked out. There was the police there waiting on me. I got a field outside of my house and I got a little setup in my garage with a treadmill, punching bag, jump ropes, resistance bands and stuff of that sort.

Unique twists on staying in shape

For weights we get trash bags and fill it up with water. We just use that as weights for curls and anything like that. There's always different kinds of ways you can use it. Once again, I got the resistance bands, jump rope, and thankfully I got a treadmill here and a little 35-yard field on top of my house.

Playing style and personality

My playing style is 100% authentic. I get after the ball. I'm a straight penetrator. I can pass rush. I can stop the run. I can go chase down the running back and quarterback.

How him and Derrick Brown will compliment each other

That's something I really don't know yet. I don't know what they're doing with us right now. I can tell you either way it's going to be real tough for the opponent.

Stantley Thomas-Oliver

Transitioning from a WR to CB and being drafted as a defensive player

It was kind of a funny situation. I was pretty much playing around playing DB. I was still a receiver at the time and I was doing kind of good. I didn't know Coach Davis, the defensive backs coach, was in the background watching. Afterwards he was like, "How'd you like to make that switch?" I was like, "Yeah, of course." It kind of took off from there. Being drafted, man, that's a lifelong dream for me and it's a blessing to be here. I'm happy to be here and get to work.

Learning curve transitioning to CB

Process has been smooth. It's just about buying into it. Trying to learn and grasp as much as you can. As the coaches and the teammates bring you along, just trust in them that they are leading you the right way and just keep pushing.

Why he changed his surname at 18

Growing up my father wasn't in my life. My stepfather came in my life around the age of eight or nine and he's pretty much been there from the jump. He is an actual father. He has just been there through everything. He actually got me into football so without him I wouldn't be who I am today.

Relationship with his father and his influence

Growing up, he has just always been there for me. He put the football in hands. Brought me in the backyard to do drills. Pretty much put me in that receiver lane and then as I switched over he was there for me with that switch and that process.

What is his first name

It's Stantley, but I like to be called Stan for short.

What it is like being a part of a historic draft class and remaking the defense

It's a great feeling. We picked seven defensive players. Coach wants to go defensive strong, so we know we have to come in with that mindset. As a defense, we need to be prepared for anything and be ready. I'm just ready to work and just ready for the process to start beginning.

Funny stories from when he made the switch from WR to CB

Every day was a funny story just because I used to play the same position. I was in the same meeting room with those guys so whenever I made a play or caught a pick, it was like, "Oh, he knows the plays, he's cheating." It was never like pretty much giving me credit, it was like, "Oh you remember the plays we used to run," type of deal.

Finding ways to work out

I've been getting kind of creative in that kind of situation. I've been working out in my garage pretty much getting dumbbells, holding them, doing squats with them, stuff like that. I got a treadmill so I'm able to run. Gotta get creative. Gotta do stuff running around the neighborhood.

Where he fits into the Panthers defense

I just want to find a role. That's pretty much what I want to do. Find a role and grow into it. I know the first thing I would like to do is impact special teams. That would be the first thing I'm headed to just to make sure I put in special team's work.

Why special teams is important

Special teams is one of the most important parts of the game. One good or bad play on special teams can determine a lot of the games. I know that's a real critical part so that's what I do it for.

The day he switched from WR to CB

That was a fun day. It was Shemar Thornton. He called me out there to come out and help. I was locking guys up so I was talking a little bit of trash. At that point, I understood why the trash talking, the loud mouthing, and why DBs are DBs. It's kind of fun. I was like, "I probably could do this." That's how that happened.

Level of the Conference USA

It's a good conference with a lot of talent. Coming to the NFL level it just proves that we can play with pretty much anybody. Guys from our conference come in with a chip on their shoulder ready to play for whoever and very hard for our coaches.

Waiting to get the call

It was stressful, just having to wait that long and see where you're going to end up. Praying that you were going to get drafted. Finally getting that call was a dream come true. I broke down crying, hugging my mom, hugging my family. It was just a great moment. A special moment to me that I'll never forget.

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