Redskins begin picking tonight after surprising first round of NFL draft

The Washington Redskins have yet to pick in the NFL draft, which began Thursday night. The team has seven picks, beginning in the second round on Friday. Jason Reid writes that coach Mike Shanahan could get talented players late in the draft:

The Redskins must find those guys who slip into the later rounds because they fail to impress at the scouting combine or fall short in some measurable — but have what it takes to shine in actual NFL games. Those players are out there. They always are.

Throughout NFL history, there’s a long list of late-round picks who proved the so-called draft experts wrong. And it’s not just quarterbacks like Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Pick a position, and you’ll find effective players who missed out on the draft hype . (Read the rest of the column here.)

In a press conference on Wednesday, Shanahan described how he picks players:

“Go back to high school. Go back to the college. Go back to the equipment man, the trainer. Not just the coaches that usually give you the standard line, ‘Yeah, this guy’s great.’ Teachers in college. There’s a lot of different people that you can find out about the true character of a guy and usually it’s the people that aren’t your coach or aren’t the people that are talking to the scouts. We try to do that and if you do it enough and you’ve got scouts that work hard enough, you start eliminating mistakes and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”

Professional teams passed over some of the more celebrated athletes in college football Thirsday night, notably Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. (Read more about the night’s winners and losers here.) Te’o and quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib will be available in Friday night’s round, in which the Jacksonville Jaguars have the first pick. Keith McMillan says that the Redskins need to acquire a safety. (Here’s a complete list of who is still available, by position. Track the second round of the draft here.)

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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