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NFL Draft

Kenny Randall: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview Series

  • The Draft Network
  • April 18, 2021
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Every year, the NFL draft produces a handful of small-school studs who prove they belong among the best players the sport has to offer. One of this year’s top candidates to earn that title is former Charleston defensive lineman Kenny Randall.

Randall did his draft stock a favor by putting up some impressive numbers at West Virginia’s Pro Day, where he was invited to participate in by NFL personnel members.

Randall spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his unique draft journey, smashing the small-school competition narrative, and why an NFL team should use one of its draft picks on him.

JM: The NFL draft is quickly approaching. How have you found this process?

KR: I’ve enjoyed it. Growing up, you dream of going through this process. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to my entire life. I’ve always wanted to speak with NFL coaches and scouts. This process has given me that opportunity. I’ve been going through all the psychological testing and whatnot. The whole process has been fun for me.

JM: You had a big opportunity a few weeks ago to go down and perform at West Virginia’s Pro Day. That was huge for your draft stock. What was that experience like for you? Let our readers know some of the numbers you put up.

KR: I had been training for Pro Day since January 3. I felt well prepared for it. I went there with a good idea of what my numbers were going to be. I just had to perform. I was a little nervous going in. I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. I’ve been training for this opportunity my entire life. I was nervous but after that first workout, I felt a lot better. Everything else started falling into place. I hit the numbers I was supposed to hit.

I did 29 reps on the bench press. I had a 34-inch vertical. I hit a 9-foot-9 on the broad jump. I ran the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds. I hit a 4.64 in the short shuttle. My three-cone was a 7.45.

JM: You put up some great numbers in front of a ton of NFL scouts in West Virginia. How would you describe the way you like to play the game as a defensive lineman?

KR: I like to play physical. I get off the ball in a hurry. I’m a big-time run stopper. I love to showcase my dominance off the ball.

JM: You said that you’re a run stopper, but you have some solid sack production to your name as well. You had seven sacks in 2019. What can you tell me about your pass rush arsenal?

KR: I’m still working on it. I’ve been working on improving my arsenal for the past three months. I’ve been working in Florida with Brandon Cox Sr. and Brandon Jordan. Coach Cox played in this league and coach Jordan is a great teacher. I have some solid traits as a pass rusher but I’m trying to take that next step in the NFL. I’m polishing my secondary moves right now. I want to make more plays in the backfield.

JM: So would you say that you’re more refined as a run stopper right now?

KR: Yeah, I definitely would. I’m a better run defender currently. There’s no doubt about that. I hold my gaps at a high level. I can handle double teams. I get a great push into the backfield. I don’t get moved around the line of scrimmage. I’m very difficult to move. I can split double teams and take on blocks. I do my job.

JM: We love that. You’ve spent the last few months meeting with NFL teams via Zoom. What’s that process been like?

KR: I’ve enjoyed speaking with every single team that’s shown interest in me. I’m answering all of their questions. We’ve had some great conversations. Like I said earlier, I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life. The fact that I’m getting this opportunity is crazy to me. It’s everything I’ve ever worked for.

My first call with a scout, I kinda got the chills (laughs). I froze while looking at the number. This is really happening right now. This is my life now. It was a surreal moment for me.

JM: We love hearing that. As you continue speaking with NFL teams, somebody is going to ask you about playing your college football at Charleston. It happened to your former teammate John Cominsky a few years ago. How do you answer the “small school” question?

KR: I’m trying to follow the path that John Cominsky laid out for us Charleston guys. You know what you’re getting in me. It’s the same way with Cominsky. He’s a dog on the field. That’s what I am too. I’m trying to get to the same place he’s at. My work ethic is top-notch. I give this game everything I have. That small school stuff doesn’t mean anything to me. I can play with the best of them.

JM: That’s the right way to answer that question. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of its draft picks on Kenny Randall?

KR: I’m a mature player and athlete. I’m going to give it 110% every time I step onto the field. You’re getting a passionate player. 

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