Panthers introduce Donte Jackson, Rashann Gaulden to the media

Panthers introduce Donte Jackson, Rashann Gaulden to the media
(Jackson and Gaulden)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday with Carolina making their fourth through seventh round picks.

In the midst of all that, the Panthers had their second round pick cornerback Donte Jackson and their third round pick safety Rashaan Gaulden in town to introduce to the media.

Donte Jackson on draft, family, and adversity

"It's been a lot of mixed emotions. It's been a lot of nervousness. A lot of just overwhelmed, just overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. You have your whole family there to keep you calm, but they can only do so much. But it's been a good 24 hours, man. It's been a great experience," Jackson explained.

Jackson described himself as a New Orleans kid, which means his family are all Saints fans.

"They are excited that I am in the NFC South and get to go home and play home once a year. So they're excited about that, but they're Panthers fans now so that's the only thing that matters," Jackson said.

Being born and raised in New Orleans also means his family was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"Lost my house, the house that we were staying in at the time. Lost that house. My auntie lost her house. It was just a lot of damage, you know. My family, we made to come through adversity and stayed together because that's what we normally do. We never really had much, but we always had each other," Jackson said.

"So that's kind of the thing that keeps my family together - the love and the genuine passion to be around each other. That's kind of what made the moment of last night even more worth it. So I'm just happy to have those people in my life, for real."

Jackson also shared that his father has been incarcerated for the majority of his life.

"I still have a great relationship with my father. We talk every other day. He's still supporting me from where he is at right now. He is still supporting me to this day," Jackson said. "He still makes sure that I am making the best decisions and the best choices just to not end up on the same path he did."

He is also expecting his first child in June, a girl, which he's already named Demi Dalia Jackson.

"I just don't want to let my baby girl down. My father wasn't there my whole life due to prison. Taking care of her is one of my top priorities and just not letting her down," Jackson said.

Rashaan Gaulden on draft

Gaulden started out his introduction by letting the media know how excited he was to be in town.

"Blessed to be here, great city, great fans, great players and coaches," Gaulden said.

Gaulden described himself as a hybrid defensive back,which is one of the qualities head coach Ron Rivera and GM Marty Hurney liked.

"I'm a big big team guy. When you turn on the tape and whatever role I'm given I'm going to excel in that role," Gaulden said.

"I think it's just a natural thing. Some people posses that trait and for me it's just all about how can I influence others around me and I like to do that with my play. I know I'm going to be a rookie so I can't wait to show the veterans I'm a player that will do anything for the team," Gaulden said on being a leader on the team.

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