It’s not all that complicated, really.
If the Redskins are 100% convinced that Braylon Edwards will be the next great receiver, the next Rice, the next Monk, the next Don Hutson, they have to make a deal to move up to draft him. Trade the two firsts, throw in Rod Gardner, Tony Stewart and Redskins One if you have to.
If they are much less than dead certain, say 98.6% certain or less, they have to pass on any trade that would involve their two first-round draft picks. This team is not one very good player away from a title.
That’s just one of the possibilities for the Redskins entering this draft, of course. Here’s one viewpoint on what might transpire.
While there’s a lot of stuff swirling around, there is one thing that can be stated with a high degree of certainty (and even this starts with an “if”): If the Redskins don’t use the #25 pick that they got from Denver earlier this week as part of the ammunition to trade up to take Edwards, they will use it as is. If they trade down out of 25 the trade value charts get all out of whack in regards to their original deal to get the pick and they don’t have the assets to move up. A corollary here is that they can’t trade up from #9 without using the #25 also. Without a second or third, again, they don’t have anything to deal with.
So that breaks down to three possibilities for the first round; use both picks to trade up to the top three and take Edwards, use both #9 and #25 as they are or trade down the #9 and use #25 as is.
We’ve dealt with the first possibility, so moving on to the second one; this seems to be the most likely of the three. They’ll try to move down but it takes two to tango and while it’s certainly possible that they’ll be able to find a partner, chances are that they won’t find a buyer who’s willing to pay an acceptable price.
Should the Skins draft at #9, the pick likely will be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. Barring any real stunning moves by teams drafting in front of them, he will be the best player left on their board and since he is at a position of need, that would make him a strong favorite to take the stage in New York with the Skins jersey with the number 1 on the back.
One of the possible causes of an upset here could be the presence of USC wide receiver Mike Williams on the board. He seems to be slipping on some draft boards because he’s a big receiver without a whole lot of speed. Such a receiver would give the Skins a nice balance of speed with Santana Moss and David Patten and size with Williams.
A wild card here is Maryland defensive end Shawne Merriman. He has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher the likes the team hasn’t seen since the heyday of Mann and Manley.
A trade back that moves them back about a half a dozen slots could net them any of those three plus some picks in later rounds to replenish their depleted supply. If any or all of these players are gone, Wisconsin DE Erasmus James and Georgia DE David Pollack would come into play as could South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson. It’s also possible that West Virginia CB Pac Man Jones, long thought to be the target of the Skins’ #9, could still be there in the middle of the first round.
The further back they go, the closer that pick gets to the #25, so they would be choosing from a very similar pool of players. Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton, his Sooner teammate DE Dan Cody, Nebraska CB Fabian Washington, Notre Dame DE Justin Tuck, and Clemson CB Justin Miller.
So, what’s going to happen? The talk of moving up to take Edwards has some credence to it, but in addition to the huge gamble it would be in terms of using so many assets for one player there would be salary cap issues caused by trying to fit a contract with a $15 million or so signing bonus under a cap that has just about $2 million of room.
The chances of them keeping the #9 are about 50/50. If they do, Rogers is the pick with Williams being an outside possibility if he’s there.
There is a myriad of possibilities for a trade back, but let’s say that Kansas City at #15 wants Merriman badly enough to send the Skins a third and fifth to move up. At #15, the Redskins would take Jones if he’s there or Pollack or maybe Williamson if he’s not.
One more trade back possibility to throw in there is the Redskins trading that #9 pick in a deal that does not return a 2005 first-rounder but one next year and a second rounder this year and a nice haul of middle round picks as well. The chances of this are slim, but it has to be considered one of the reasons why they got the other first-rounder from Denver.
The pick at #25 has too many variables to focus in on with any degree of certainty, but we’ll take a stab at the pick being Fabian Washington if a corner hasn’t been drafted or UAB receiver Roddy White if one has been.
Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.