The Oakland Raiders traded their way back into the first round Wednesday when the shipped tight end Doug Jolley to the New York Jets for the 26th overall pick in the draft. Oakland then swapped picks with the Seattle Seahawks, who owned the No. 23 pick.
The Raiders traded the No. 7 overall pick in the draft and linebacker Napoleon Harris for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss.
Washington opted to leave school after his junior year to help his family financially and was a projected second or third round draft choice before having an exceptional combine. Washington ran a 4.29 time in the 40-yard dash and had a 41-inch vertical leap. Washington became a fixture in Nebraska's secondary. He took his lumps as a true freshman before having a solid season as a sophomore.
Washington achieved all-Big 12 Conference second-team honors as a junior when he recorded 41 tackles and three interceptions. Washington is fourth on Nebraska's interceptions list with 11.
Washington's biggest asset is his athleticism, instincts and work ethic but his downside is considered his size (5-10, 188) and run support ability. Washington played his junior year for former Raiders head coach Bill Callahan, now the Nebraska head coach. Oakland dismissed Callahan after the 2003 season.
Like Washington, the 6-1, 193-pound Routt's biggest attribute is speed. Routt is split time between track and football for the Cougars throughout his career and was clocked at 4.36 in the 40-yard dash. Routt, however, made football a bigger emphasis in 2004.
The Raiders defense needs help pretty much everywhere and cornerback was no different after Oakland traded cornerback Phillip Buchanon to the Houston Texans for a second and third round pick.
Then, there's the whole Charles Woodson situation. The Raiders tagged Woodson as their franchise player for the second straight year but so far have not found any takers for his $10-plus million dollar salary. There is, however, a possibility that Woodson could become a safety.
With their two third round picks, Oakland took Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter and San Diego State inside linebacker Kirk Morrison.
The 6-5, 232, Walter has the size and arm strength that head coach Norv Turner covets. Walter's poise and maturity are also assets but his right shoulder required surgery that was severe enough to keep him out of postseason all-star games. When healthy, however, Walter showed solid ability.
Morrison, meanwhile, is coming off two very productive seasons with San Diego State. Some people might consider his height (6-0) to be a negative. Nonetheless, Oakland needs help defensively so he could help right away but, at worst, as a special teamer.
The second day of the draft continues Sunday. Oakland has two picks in the sixth round and one in the seventh.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org