Washington used one of five extra draft picks obtained yesterday in a trade with New Orleans to select kicker Dan Miller, who will provide Mark Moseley with his first real competition since becoming a Redskin eight years ago.
Miller, a standout at Miami (Fla.), where he kicked 57- and 55-yard field goals, was taken in the 11th round and became the first kicker drafted by the Redskins since Charlie Gogolak, chosen No. 1 in 1966.
"Dan has the best chance of any kicker I tried out to beat out Mark, although that will be tough for anyone," said Wayne Sevier, the special teams coach. "We weren't as happy with Mark's year last year as with some in the past . . . We need for Mark Moseley to kick better. Either he will or this guy will win the job."
Miller was one of 10 players taken yesterday by the Redskins, who started the second day with only five picks left. But General Manager Bobby Beathard traded a fourth-round choice in 1983 to New Orleans for the Saints' eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th selections in this draft. As a result, Washington had 15 picks in two days after beginning with only nine. The Redskins had not drafted so many players since they selected 16 in 17 rounds in 1968.
The Redskins, who wanted to help out their defense, chose 10 defensive players, including four linemen, three linebackers and three secondary backs.
The players taken yesterday were: in the seventh, linebacker John Schachtner (6-foot-5, 234 pounds) of Northern Arizona; in the eighth, defensive tackle Ralph Warthen (6-5, 268) of Gardner-Webb; in the ninth, safety Ken Coffey (5-11, 188) of Southwest Texas and defensive tackle Randy Trautman (6-1, 250) of Boise State; in the 10th, defensive end Harold Smith (6-4, 245) of Kentucky State and defensive back Terry Daniels (5-11, 177) of Tennessee; in the 11th, Miller (5-10, 172) and quarterback Bob Holly (6-2, 195) of Princeton; and in the 12th, tackle Donald Laster (6-6, 272) of Tennessee State and linebacker Jeff Goff (6-1, 218) of Arkansas.
Although both Beathard and Coach Joe Gibbs said they were satisfied with the draft's results, this could turn out to be one of those "what-if" events for the Redskins, especially in regard to their early selections.
In those first rounds, they came away with players they wanted, but just missed getting some athletes that stood even higher in their ratings. For example, they came within six picks of selecting cornerback Bobby Watkins in the second round instead of cornerback Vernon Dean. They wanted receiver Mike Duper but Miami made him a surprise second-round pick, so Washington went with receiver Carl Powell in the third. They were sold on cornerback Dennis DeVaughan, but Philadelphia made him the 132nd player taken, one selection ahead of Washington in the fifth round.
Still, Gibbs said the draft could produce as many as four starters, as he had hoped before the 12 rounds began on Tuesday. "We certainly have provided the team with a lot of competition," he said. "I'm excited, I'm ready to go."
But the level of optimism is not the same as last season, when Beathard was convinced that No. 1 Mark May, No. 3 Russ Grimm and No. 5 Dexter Manley would be starters almost immediately. One reason is the lack of a first-round choice; another is that this talent pool was much weaker than 1981's.
Dean, even if he can't beat out Jeris White or Joe Lavender, could become a nickel back as a rookie. Powell, who is projected as a much-needed deep threat, will be given every chance to become a starter. Tight end Michael Williams (No. 5) ran patterns in college after being sent in motion, which is how Washington employs its second tight end in a two tight-end offense, so he also could become a starter. Defensive end Todd Liebenstein (No. 4) is walking into an unsettled situation but will have to get much stronger to make an immediate impact.
Beathard used the draft to try to fill his team's greatest needs, concentrating on defensive line, wide receiver, tight end and the secondary. He came away without a top defensive lineman, but he said "that problem could be alleviated if some of our young players--(Darryl Grant, Mat Mendendhall, Manley, Mike Clark) and the people we picked in the draft--develop as we hope. I think overall we did pretty well in this draft."
With the addition of these 15 players and another five 1981 draft picks who didn't play last year, the Redskins will go to training camp with the most significant injection of young talent in the team's history, which Gibbs said may turn out to be the most telling development resulting from the draft.
The Redskins spent most of yesterday selecting players that Beathard and his scouting staff had strong hunches about despite certain negative attributes, such as lack of size or history of injury. For example, Schachtner hardly has played the last two years after being shot in the stomach in 1980. And Daniels was a running back his first three years at Tennessee before being switched to cornerback, where he was never a starter.
But to justify surrendering a No. 4 choice next year, in what is projected as a quality draft, probably two or three of the late-round choices will have to make the roster.
The most intriguing choice was Miller, who learned to kick by using banana trees in Florida as goal posts. His selection is a message to Moseley, who was hindered last season by a thigh pull but came back after a slow start to make 19 of 30 field-goal attempts. Moseley maintains that the bad leg was the only reason for his problems.
Beathard said the team also wanted to draft a punter to challenge Mike Connell. That quest failed, but Sevier said the Redskins probably will have at least six punters in training camp "because we need to punt better, especially near the goal line. Mike is consistent and solid but not spectacular. He needs to get better, too, or someone else will replace him."
Nationally, the biggest news on the second day involved trades of former standout players for lower-round draft choices, including running back Greg Pruitt and defensive end Lyle Alzado from Cleveland to Oakland; defensive back Luther Bradley from Detroit to Houston, and linebacker Rod Shoate from New England to Chicago.
San Diego had only five choices, including none in the first six rounds. The five choices were the fewest since the 1979 Redskins had five picks. The last team that made its first pick as late as San Diego was Washington in 1972, when it chose Moses Denson, a running back, in the eighth round.
At least one basketball player was drafted, former Pitt star Sam Clancy, in the 11th round by Seattle, which plans to try him as a defensive lineman. Clancy was drafted last year by the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, but was cut.
Texas had the most players taken, 12, followed by Penn State (10), Michigan and Arizona State (seven each) and national champion Clemson (six). The Pacific-10 Conference had the most players chosen (35), followed by the Big Ten (32), Southwest (29) and the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern (22 each).
Washington-area players chosen in rounds seven through 12 were linebacker Darnell Dailey of Maryland, by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round; and wide receiver Greg Taylor from Virginia, by the New England Patriots in the 12th round.