The National Football League draft still is two days away, yet the Washington Redskins' top "draft pick" already has given his first news conference.
Welcome to the NFL draft, Redskin style, where the best surprise usually is no surprise and the surest thing is a first round with no Washington selection.
For most NFL teams, the draft still is filled with variables.
For the Redskins, it already is a success.
They gave away their first pick (24th overall) for running back George Rogers, the kind of player they wanted, but figured they would never get, in Tuesday's relatively shallow draft.
"I'll sleep better," Coach Joe Gibbs said of the next couple of days. "A lot better."
This leaves the Redskins with just two picks in the first five rounds: their second-round pick, the 51st overall, and the New Orleans Saints' fifth-round pick, the 123rd overall.
The draft then gets bottom heavy. After what could be a 4-5 hour wait between those first two picks -- "a long wait for people in the scouting business," said General Manager Bobby Beathard -- the Redskins will have nine selections in rounds six through 12.
With priority No. 1, running back, now amply filled, Beathard plans to rummage through a lengthy list of offensive linemen and defensive backs. He is still not totally convinced the Redskins already have made their best move of this draft.
"We certainly have to do a lot more than trading for George Rogers to have a good draft," Beathard said. "Our priorities remain the same. We're looking for offensive linemen and defensive backs."
Let's take the big guys first. It's very likely that several of the linemen Beathard might have taken with a first-round selection will be long gone by the time the 51st pick rolls around. They include Indiana offensive tackle Kevin Allen, Maryland center Kevin Glover and Ohio State offensive guard Jim Lachey.
But if Cal State-Fullerton's Daren Gilbert is available, the Redskins may well draft him. Gilbert, 6 feet 6 and 285 pounds, was a three-year starter at offensive tackle for the Titans. He was named to UPI's all-West Coast first team and also played in the East-West Shrine game last January.
"There's a chance a guy like Daren could be there," Beathard said.
There are several top defensive-back prospects on Beathard's list. Cornerback Wayne Davis, 5 feet 11 and 175 pounds, was a first-team I-AA all-America from Indiana State. Safety Issiac Holt, 6-1 and 184 pounds, broke Alcorn State's career interception record with 24. And cornerback Richard Johnson, 6-0 and 195, a Football Writer's Association all-America from Wisconsin, is an outside shot if he's still available.
Two other possibilities, somewhere down the line, could be Central Michigan safeties Mike Kenealy and Jim Bowman.
Before the Rogers trade, Sports Illustrated speculated the Redskins would draft Brigham Young safety Kyle Morrell in the first round. If Morrell is available later, say in the fifth round, they might do so.
Defensive end Richard Byrd of Southern Mississippi, who is 6-4 and 255 pounds, could be a darkhorse second-round choice for the Redskins.
The running back situation will be interesting to watch, if only to see who is available when the Saints draft 24th.
The Redskins originally wanted a running back out of this draft. The three Beathard particularly liked -- North Carolina's Ethan Horton, Kentucky's George Adams and Florida State's Greg Allen -- probably will not be available by the 24th selection.
"There don't seem to be a lot of players in the late rounds," Beathard said. "But I've said that before, and look at some of the guys we got."
A few names: linebacker Monte Coleman, 11th round, 1979; wide receiver Charlie Brown, eighth round, 1981; defensive tackle Darryl Grant, ninth round, 1981; tight end Clint Didier, 12th round, 1981; running back Keith Griffin, 10th round,