Redskins will have plenty of offensive linemen from which to choose

Friday, February 26, 2010

Offensive line crop looks impressive

With two to three potential vacancies on their offensive line, it would seem the Washington Redskins should have particular interest in studying the linemen who are at the scouting combine in Indianapolis this week, each challenging the durability of the NFL's scales and trying to impress scouts with their fundamentals.

On Thursday, the offensive-line prospects were made available to the media. It's a group you'll hear a lot about during the first round of the draft, and Washington fans in particular might want to familiarize themselves with some of the names.

With the fourth overall pick, most of the speculation has centered on the Redskins chasing a quarterback. But there are several scenarios in which you could see Washington going with an offensive lineman instead.

(The Rams select Sam Bradford . . . The Redskins trade down . . . Management realizes what dire straits the offensive line appears to be in . . . )

If the Redskins opt for an offensive lineman at the No. 4 slot, the most likely target would be Oklahoma State's Russell Okung, who might not slip past Kansas City at No. 5.

"I don't know. It's not my decision to make," Okung said of his draft-day landing spot. "It's not my place to talk about it. I'm grateful wherever I go, whether I'm in the seventh round or undrafted. It's a huge blessing to even be standing in front of you guys right now."

There could be as many as six offensive linemen who are selected in the first round, which would match last year's first-round haul. Mock drafts agree that there are several good tackles, but they don't necessarily agree on the order in which they'll go.

"Personally, I like to think I'm the best tackle in the draft," said Iowa's Bryan Bulaga. "Obviously this is a very deep class. There's a lot of great players in it. Everybody is going to jumping each other, going under each other all the way until draft day. It's going to be exciting to see. This weekend will tell a lot. It's going to be a moving process this entire thing."

Rumor mill

One of the rumors of late concerns a trade that would send quarterback Jason Campbell, a restricted free agent, to the Buffalo Bills for safety Donte Whitner and a draft pick. The Campbell-Whitner talk has been out there a while and really got rolling on a Bills message board recently.

People familiar with the situation said they did not envision the Redskins completing a deal with Buffalo involving Campbell. At some point during the combine, Campbell's agent, Joel Segal, is expected to speak with Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen about a contract extension for Campbell.

Whether the Redskins are willing to commit money to Campbell beyond the 2010 season -- or for the upcoming season, for that matter -- remains to be seen. It would be surprising, however, if the team decided not to tender Campbell a contract, league sources said.

The Redskins would have to tender Campbell to receive draft compensation if he signed elsewhere. Campbell's minimum tender amount would be $3.14 million, according to a league source.

If the Redskins increased the offer to $3.268 million, they would receive first- and third-round compensation. Last season, Campbell had a salary of a little more than $2.857 million.

Although multiple team sources have said they believe the Redskins plan to bring back Campbell, it would not be a surprise if he is not with the team next season. Allen and Coach Mike Shanahan have a lot of work ahead of them as they try to rebuild the Redskins into a championship-caliber team, and they could determine that trading Campbell soon makes the most sense for their long-term goals. . . .

The Redskins recently opened contract talks with the agent for center Casey Rabach, who could become an unrestricted free agent March 5, a league source said. Although it appears a deal is not imminent, both sides hope to reach an agreement before Rabach could test the open market. Negotiations are expected to continue during the combine.

-- Rick Maese and Jason Reid

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