The Redskins bolstered their secondary by adding strong safety Kamren Curl in the seventh round (No. 216 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are five things to know about Curl:
1. Curl was a three-year starter at Arkansas.
Curl, a three-star recruit from Muskogee, Oklahoma, committed to Arkansas in January of 2017 and immediately became a starter that fall.
He started 12 games as a freshman and broke up a career-high eight passes. Over the next two seasons, Curl started a combined 22 contests and stuffed the stat sheet with 129 total tackles, seven pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two sacks. He also hauled in two interceptions, both of which came in 2019.
Instead of returning to the Razorbacks for his senior season, Curl bet on himself and declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. And with the 216th overall pick, the Redskins reaped the benefits of that decision.
2. He played one of his best games against national champion LSU.
Arkansas was no match for LSU when the two programs met Nov. 23, 2019. The top-ranked Tigers stormed out to an early advantage and cruised to a 56-20 victory. It was yet another blowout during their perfect 15-0 campaign that ended with the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Despite the lopsided result, Curl played one of his best games that day. He only managed one tackle, but he broke up a pass, forced a fumble and recovered another against arguably the best offense in college football history.
"I feel like I held my own against the No. 1 team, the national champions, so I feel like I'm very proud of that game."
3. He led all defensive backs in bench press repetitions at the NFL Combine.
At 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, Curl certainty has the size to play defensive back in the NFL. And after his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, not many people will be questioning his strength, either.
Curl put up 24 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, which was tied for first among all defensive backs. During the past five combines, only two defensive backs have put up more.
In addition to his strength, Curl prides himself on playing fast, having a high football IQ and forcing turnovers.
"I learn defenses really fast. I like taking the ball away, being the fastest guy on the defense and going for the ball."
4. He offers position flexibility.
Curl has played strong safety the past two seasons, and that's his listed position as he begins his NFL career.
But when Curl was a freshman, he started every game at cornerback. He believes that experience will be especially valuable during his quest to earn playing time as a rookie.
"I feel like it helped my coverage skills a lot, being on the island 1-on-1," Curl said. "It helped me to be able to sell myself because I'm one of the more versatile [defensive backs] in the draft."
Head coach Ron Rivera has preached "position flexibility" repeatedly over the past few months, and Curl fits that description.
"Kamren [Curl] is a safety that started at corner so he's got cover skills, so he may be able to come down into the slot and cover receivers," Rivera said. "That's something that we have to find out."
5. His father dislikes the Dallas Cowboys.
Growing up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Curl's father, Greg, was surrounded by Dallas Cowboys fans. His whole family rooted for the Redskins' division rival, while he liked the Houston Oilers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
But as Curl became an NFL prospect, his father knew and accepted the possibility of the Cowboys drafting him.
As it turns out, Curl's father now has even more reason to root against the Cowboys.