By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, April 20, 2008
With their preparation for the NFL draft completed, the Washington Redskins are among the teams considering making trades to change their draft position.
The Redskins hold the 21st pick in the April 26-27 draft, and they are expected to discuss trading down if the top players on their draft board have been selected when they are scheduled to pick. How the draft unfolds will help to determine the Redskins' plan, and Vinny Cerrato, executive vice president of football operations, said he is always interested in making a good deal.
"You never rule anything out," Cerrato said recently. "When you're trying to improve, you explore all your options to make the team better. If someone comes to you with something that makes sense, you think about it."
The Redskins have nine picks, including three compensatory picks -- an extra one in the third round and two additional seventh-round picks. They do not have a fourth-round selection. Washington has needs along the offensive and defensive lines, at wide receiver, cornerback and safety. The Redskins also plan to select a No. 3 quarterback behind starter Jason Campbell and backup Todd Collins.
After focusing on defensive players when their draft meetings began April 7, the Redskins shifted to offense last week. During the last two weeks, new head coach Jim Zorn, Cerrato and their staffs met for about 16 hours a day at Redskins Park, reviewing videotapes and setting their internal draft board.
"The first couple of weeks, you do all of the offensive and defensive film work," Cerrato said. "You get that done and you talk about how guys can fit in with what you're trying to accomplish as an organization.
"Then the week prior to the draft, after all the other work is done, we get into a lot of the medical and psychological evaluations. All of that gets added to the mix as well, and it's a big part of it."
Under NFL rules, the Redskins can host 30 draft-eligible players. Many players already have visited the complex, including former Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly.
In their mock drafts, some prognosticators have the Redskins selecting Kelly -- 6 feet 4, 224 pounds -- with the 21st pick. The Redskins hope to provide Campbell with a bigger target (Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are each listed at 5-10) as they transition to Zorn's version of the West Coast offense.
Kelly, who declared for the draft after his junior season, is second on the Sooners' all-time list with 2,285 receiving yards and fifth with 144 receptions.
At an April 9 workout for NFL scouts at Oklahoma, Kelly had a disappointing 40-yard dash. And after being clocked at 4.68 seconds, Kelly criticized the surface and how Oklahoma's staff conducted the workout.
Kelly ran for scouts again last week at Oklahoma City and posted times of 4.69 and 4.63 seconds, according to Oklahoma's media relations department. After that workout, Kelly had a brief visit with the Redskins and then continued his tour of NFL teams.
Kelly's agent, Chad Speck, said his client acknowledged he acted immaturely after the initial workout "and he knows he made a mistake. He was just frustrated, but he was the first one to say he didn't handle it in the right manner. It's not something that's going to happen again."
The age and the health of the Redskins' offensive line is also a pressing concerns. Washington wants to add a versatile lineman who could challenge for time at guard immediately and potentially could start at tackle soon, said sources involved with Washington's draft process.
Virginia guard-tackle Branden Albert (6-7, 315) is highly regarded by the Redskins. Vanderbilt tackle Chris Williams (6-6, 315) is expected to be selected before the Redskins pick, and it could be difficult to trade up in this draft.
"It just depends on where the players go," Cerrato said. "Certain teams at the top will have certain guys targeted. If that guy's not there, then they may want to move out. But there's got to be somebody that wants to move up."