Eric Stokes, senior director of player personnel for the Washington Commanders, spoke with the media Wednesday.
“I’ve been assistant director. I’ve been college director. I’ve been assistant GM. Obviously working day to day with Coach [Rivera], I get a better sense of our overall coaching staff. You just kind of get a better sense of how everything kind of comes together and operates.”
Stokes was asked what he got from the Front Office Accelerator program.
“I’m really excited about where the direction of that program’s headed. It really gave us some really good insight in terms of having some of the one-on-one communication and dialogue with the owners around the league.”
Stokes spoke highly of others in the Commanders organization with whom he has had the privilege of working.
“Tim Gribble’s done an outstanding job as our director of college scouting. Always excited to work with him. I really kind of joke to both Marty [Hurney] and Martin [Mayhew] that he’s really kind of one of the glue guys of our group. I’ve been with five different organizations, nine GMs, seven different head coaches.”
When asked about rookie tight end Armani Rogers who is converting from a college quarterback, Stokes said, “You’re gonna laugh, but this is almost a three-year process because both Marty [Hurney] and I actually saw him initially at UNLV when he was a quarterback. But you could see that he, necessarily, wasn’t gonna be a quarterback. It was too far away to see what he could actually evolve into. To predict that he would end up being a tight end, I can’t tell you that I would’ve saw that because really you have to give that to Armani. I mean, what he did is quite frankly remarkable. I can’t say that I’ve really ever seen anything move at this type of pace and that’s why I’m so excited about where he’s going.”
“I mean, that’s the beauty of the situation every day I have an opportunity to sit back and learn from two guys (Mayhew and Hurney) that have been there and have done it. I just appreciate both those men so much. They’re so humble. They’re so transparent.”
He talked of how he has been learning the last 24 hours with cuts, signings, and practice squad matters.
“Look, there’s a lot of moving parts to what’s taking place. There’s a lot of unknowns or a lot of things that we may not have answers to right away. Chris [Polian] our director of pro personnel’s done a great job of leading our pro personnel department and really getting everything prepared in terms of all the different possibilities.”
When asked what Stokes is responsible to do during the week, he responded, “When I get back on Monday after the games, it’s all about evaluating from within and just kind of seeing where we are seeing injuries, just kind of checking to see if there’s anything that we need to do in terms of transaction, bringing guys in for workouts. I’m working collaboratively with Chris [Polian] just kind of getting an idea of an emergency list.”
Stokes was drafted out of Nebraska by the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th round (142) in the 1997 NFL Draft. He relayed how he received a call from his agent informing him Seattle had included Stokes on the expansion draft list. Consequently, he was drafted by the Browns. Stokes said he loved Seattle, and his girlfriend at the time said to him, ‘Well, we’re gonna have to get married here if you’re gonna send me off to Cleveland’.”