Redskin General Manager Bobby Beathard knows precisely what to look for in the draft after watching the Winter Olympics on television.

"We want to get players just like those on the U.S. hockey team, with the same attitude. That's how we won games last year," he said.

"We'll get good players in the draft. This may be a lean year, but if you draft right you can come up with some players, even in the late rounds."

Redskins have a No. 1 pick for the first time since 1968, when defensive back Jim (Yazoo) Smith was drafted, although it will be the 18th choice in the first round.

Washington also has the Los Angeles Rams' No. 2 selection, the 25th choice in the second round. They will have picks in all rounds except the third, fifth and eighth.

"Our priorities will be a defensive lineman, a running back and a wide receiver," Beathard said.

"I'll have to use the old saying -- we'll select the best athlete available.

We look at all-Americas like we do all other players: they're just labels."

In four years as director of player personnel at Miami, Beathard drafted 23 athletes in the first six rounds who made the roster.

As to the caliber of this year's prospects, Beathard said, "All drafts are good when you haven't been having any choices to speak of in a couple years. We're excited. I'm more concerned with when the draft is being held than with what some people say the quality of it is.

"I liked it when it was in late January, instead of late April or May. If you can draft in January, you can get the players in your program from February to July. If you get the draft out of the way in January, you can concentrate in the spring on scouting next year's seniors. This way (on April 29-30) gives other teams a chance to catch up in their scouting."