Way back in the mailbag on the 15th, tes20032001 wrote this in the comments:
“I believe Shanny has traded down at least once in every draft. Wouldn’t mind them doing it again. Seems like the get good value out of the mid to late rounds. Perhaps pick up an extra RB prospect or TE or LB etc. Positions that we are ok on now but may need help in the future for depth. Picks 2-4 will probably be at least 1 DB. Hopefully get some good UDFA sat night after draft.”
I saved it and turned it into its own post for a few reasons. There’s a lot there. First, I’d like to figure out how much truth is in the first sentence. Then, you guys should sound off on whether it makes sense to slide back again this year. And third, there’s the parts about defensive backs and undrafted free agents that are worth talking more about.
So, to determine how often Mike Shanahan-led teams have traded back, I used a Web site that tracks draft-related transactions, drafthistory.com. In his three years with the Redskins, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Shanahan and Bruce Allen did quite a bit of moving around, but not always back. In 2011, the Redskins famously sent pick No. 10 to the Jaguars, who drafted QB Blaine Gabbert, and took OLB Ryan Kerrigan at No. 16, then moved back again from 49 to 53 to 62 to 79, where they got Leonard Hankerson, and added players like DeJon Gomes, Maurice Hurt and Niles Paul as a result of their draft maneuvering. (It’s a bit convoluted to go through each move and its offshoot, but it can be done). Almost all of the 12 players hauled in the 2011 draft (seen here and here) are still on the roster, and even those who aren’t stars add needed depth, special teams hustle and future promise.
In 2010 and 2012, the draft moves were aggressive, not just move-back-and-let-the-draft-come-to-us savvy like in 2011. The second rounder was part of the Donovan McNabb trade, the third rounder was used the previous year in the supplemental draft on Jeremy Jarmon and the fifth rounder went to the Rams in the Adam Carriker trade. In 2012, you all know where the draft picks went, and if you don’t, please turn in your Redskins fan card.
Last November, Kevin Ewoldt of HogsHaven took a look at the 27 picks the Redskins have made in the Shanahan era, and found that 14 of the picks were made in the sixth or seventh rounds, and 20 were still with the team.
In Shanahan’s last draft with the Broncos, in 2008, the team didn’t move around all that much early. As a result of a 2007 draft-day trade, the Chiefs held the Broncos’ third rounder and used that pick on running back Jamaal Charles. In the fourth round, the Broncos took Kory Lichtensteiger, who is now a starter on the Redskins’ O-line. The Redskins were also involved in a three-way deal with the Broncos and Falcons involving Ashley Lelie, and a draft-day deal with the Raiders for Gerard Warren netted the pick used on Ryan Torain.
Short story long — sorry about that — Shanahan, Allen and the Redskins are definitely apt to move around on draft day, but not always backward.
Sitting at 51, 85, 119, 154, 162, 191 and 228, moving back might not make a lot of sense this year. But you never can tell until you see how the draft’s first 50 picks shake out. The Redskins, we have to believe, have scouted the players they think will be around at 51 thoroughly. If several of them are there — or if several players they have first- or second-round grades on — are around when their turn comes up, it might behoove them to slide back a few more picks to add more picks late in this year’s draft.
After waiting 50 picks to see the Redskins make a move — assuming they don’t jump up to nab someone they like — would you be frustrated by a trade back, or happy to see them execute a prudent strategy?
Regarding the third part of tes20032001’s comment, It’s a safe bet that a defensive back joins the fold in rounds 2-4. I’d be surprised if they added none, and less surprised if they added more than one, although I think they can get by for now with what they have at cornerback. (We asked if you thought the Redskins should address cornerback on April 10, and CSN touched on the supply and demand at corner this week).
As far as UDFAs, it doesn’t make sense to project now what the Redskins will be in search of, because we don’t know how the draft will go either for them or overall, but you can bet a few players at the early-round positions of need will join the fray to push the draft picks and make sure they earn their spots. In other words, if the Redskins thoroughly explored the available safeties in the draft, even if they use a pick on one or two, there’ll be some guys they noticed along the way who come on board Saturday night or Sunday.
You ready for some draft day movement? Who says not having a first-rounder is no fun?
More NFL draft coverage from The Post:
Post Sports Live (video): What should the Redskins’ draft strategy be?
The Early Lead: NFL increases security for draft in New York
Opening Kick: Trade a pick this year for a better one next year?
Associated Press: Ten things to watch for at the NFL draft
More Redskins & NFL coverage:
D.C. Sports Bog: Theismann guarantees RGIII will be ready for Week 1
D.C. Sports Bog: Donovan McNabb on the read option
Opening Kick: Is 10-11 wins for the Redskins too optimistic?