Trading up is a very remote possibility. Washington lacks a second-round pick and moving up from #9 to even higher in the top 10 to, say, grab one of the two coveted receivers would likely cost the Redskins next year's #1 and they aren't willing to part with that pick. There doesn't seem to be anyone that will go in the top eight that the Redskins feel they have to have.
Even if the Redskins had the ammunition to make such a deal, there's little doubt that Joe Gibbs would be hesitant. In 1992 there was a player he had to have and he coaxed general manager Charley Casserly into trading up to grab Michigan receiver Desmond Howard. We all know how that one turned out.
Another trade up ended up working out well for the Redskins. In 2000 they had three first-round picks. They kept the second overall pick, obtained from New Orleans, and traded their two later choices, #12 and #24, to San Francisco for the third overall. That #2 pick wound up being LaVar Arrington and the next one was Chris Samuels. Not a bad day's work in the space of 15 minutes.
A move down is more likely. As the Redskins lack that second-round pick it might behoove the team to collect another first-day selection and maybe a late-rounder or two. This might be the strategy if they want to go for a defensive end or perhaps a cornerback. There are likely to be some excellent choices still available at those positions later in the first round and the team might decide that the difference between a guy at #9 and one at, say, 24 isn't so great and worth the extra selections.
Washington used this strategy multiple times on draft day in 2002. They had the 18th pick and traded it to the Raiders for the 21st pick and Oakland's third- and seventh-round selections. With nobody on the board that they really wanted at 21, the Skins dealt that pick to New England for the 32nd and final pick of the first plus the Patriots' third-and seventh round picks.
The Redskins' original selection ended up being used by Atlanta for running back T. J. Duckett and the Pats used the pick that the Redskins owned for an hour or two to take tight end Daniel Graham. Washington wound up taking quarterback Patrick Ramsey with the last selection of the first round. It's safe to say that Washington is happier with its pick than the other two teams are about theirs.
Sometimes it winds up that your best decisions are the moves that you don't make. Last year there was a lot of talk about the Redskins trading back from the number 5 slot to take a defensive lineman. Gibbs and company ignored all the talk and focused in on two Miami players who were likely to be available when they picked, safety Sean Taylor and tight end Kellan Winslow Jr. After much discussion, they decided on Taylor, who showed superstar potential as a rookie.
Skins Draft Strategy: Up, Down, or Hold
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