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Ramsey Wouldn't Mind Company at QB

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 22, 2005; Page D14

Patrick Ramsey said yesterday he would have no problems with the Washington Redskins using one of their first-round draft picks on a quarterback, considered a possibility after Coach Joe Gibbs's visit with Auburn's Jason Campbell Tuesday, but as the draft approaches tomorrow little is known about the Redskins' intentions.

The Redskins, who have the ninth and 25th picks, are exploring the possibility of moving up in the draft order. A source close to Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards said Washington is interested in him. But so are many teams. The Redskins likely would have to part with at least both first-round picks to get Edwards, which might make it impossible to draft Campbell since the Redskins don't have a second-round pick.

Coach Joe Gibbs visited Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell on Tuesday as part of NFL draft preparations. He may be a first-round pick. (AP)

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Ramsey, 26, replaced veteran quarterback Mark Brunell midway through last season and later was declared the starter for 2005. Washington's top pick in 2002, Ramsey has made just 23 NFL starts over three seasons and hopes this will be a breakout season.

"I'm the starter here," Ramsey said. "And I plan to go out there and start and play and win games. It doesn't matter to me [if they draft a quarterback]. Absolutely not."

Like almost all of his teammates, Ramsey has been spending four days a week at Redskins Park since late March, lifting weights and working on his conditioning. He also is working with his receivers twice a week, trying to improve his timing and develop chemistry. That process will continue through minicamp in June.

"Everything out here is going really well," Ramsey said. "I feel really good physically and I feel like I'm really getting into good shape now and I'm throwing the ball well. I'm just kind of learning some more details of the offense and it's going well."

Gibbs said Wednesday that should Washington select a quarterback, it would not be a reflection on Ramsey. Many scouts believe it would take several years for Campbell to be ready to start at this level.

Edwards is expected to make an immediate impact wherever he goes. He is atop Washington's draft board, multiple sources said, and the Redskins have long identified the position as a priority; they brought most of the top prospects to Redskins Park for pre-draft workouts.

Edwards has the combination of size (6 feet 3) and speed that teams covet, and the Redskins have only one wide receiver taller than 6 feet (excluding Rod Gardner, who is on the trading block and is not working out with the team).

Washington has contacted all of the teams picking above them about trading up and those behind them about trading down, team officials said during a news conference Wednesday, and several sources believe Miami could be the best fit for the trade.

League sources said the Dolphins are eager to trade down from the second overall pick, and will continue talking to several teams as the start of tomorrow's draft approaches. The Redskins could offer their two picks and Gardner, which may be enough to get a deal done.

Two league sources who have spoken to teams at the top of the draft suggested the biggest challenge to the Redskins might be Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers, who hold pick No. 5, are looking to move up to take Auburn running back Ronnie Brown, sources said, and hold 12 total picks and four in the first three rounds, giving them ample trade ammunition.

There is some speculation that Minnesota could use its top picks (Nos. 7 and 18) to move up and select Edwards or Southern California wide receiver Mike Williams to replace the departed Randy Moss, while numerous teams are exploring options to trade down, with specialists saying this draft is not particularly deep at many positions.

Washington's front office has said it is leaving all options open ahead of the draft and would be comfortable moving up, moving back or using its top two picks. While Gibbs's visit with Campbell has garnered much attention, if the Redskins do not trade up they could also use the 25th pick on a receiver.

Arkansas' Matt Jones, a converted quarterback, is unlikely to be available with that pick, sources said. The Redskins also brought in Roddy White (Alabama Birmingham), who could still be around. Troy Williamson (South Carolina) and Mark Clayton (Oklahoma), who also met with team officials, are projected by many to be selected before the 25th pick.

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