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Need to Know: An important note about the Redskins’ desire to trade down in the draft

Apr 9, 2016, 5:16 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 9, 19 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 90 days ago. It will be about 155 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 9; 2016 NFL draft 19; Redskins training camp starts 110

Hot topic

Some of the most popular posts from the Redskins week that was from here and with additional thoughts and commentary at no extra charge.

Davis’ contract indicates a substantial role in Redskins’ offense—If you want to see the future sometimes it’s best to follow the money. Davis’ contract reveals that the Redskins aren’t paying him to be in a backup role. They are going to be counting on him in critical situations.

Examining first-round trade down scenarios for the Redskins—Scot McCloughan has ruled out trading up in the first round of the NFL draft but he could trade down. I covered a few scenarios here with the caveat that in order for a team to trade down another team has to want to trade up. With more teams subscribing to McCloughan’s way of thinking about the draft of quantity of picks being nearly as important as quality, that’s not always easy to do.

Setting Cousins up for success—By signing Davis and bringing back Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson the Redskins have loaded up their offensive weaponry about as much as they can. This will help the team see what they really have in Kirk Cousins.

Redskins seven-round mock draft 1.0—This might have been a bit offense heavy but I took the draft where the board led me. It also will be a different outlook assuming that McCloughan is able to trade for more draft picks.

Will the Redskins make a move at safety?—Although Jay Gruden has said that safety is an area of “great concern” a few weeks ago the team hasn’t done anything about it. Patience is great but the clock is ticking towards the start of OTAs. Reggie Nelson signed with the Raiders, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson remain available.

In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    I would not trade down in round 1. Take the best available player. Far too often the skins have traded down in round 1 and missed on long term starters while they drafted back ups or players that didn’t make it long in the league.

    Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcom Kelly and Trent Murphy come to mind.

    And don’t give me the oh well Vinny & Allen drafted them. These 4 players were 4 of the best players on the board when we selected them so that wasn’t the issue. The issue was in the 08 & 14 draft we traded down and passed on better talent.

    • hail74 - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:39 AM

      I agree about keeping the first round pick tho usually when you agree to trade down its because you have guys with an equal grade and would be happy taking anyone of those. If we were to say go down 5 picks it would be because Scot had 5 guys he wanted. Also I remember before the draft all the red flags for Malcolm Kelly. He had a bad knee and a poor 40 time that he blamed on his school for making him do his pro day on grass. He interviewed terribly. He had bust written all over him.

      • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:54 AM

        I agree, but trading down in round 1 is still a major risk. If you have 4/5 guys which similar grades, why not just take the best player in your board at 21?

        I too remember Kelley’s knee. His knee injuries were the reason he didn’t go play another year at OU. He knew if he went back and continued to have knee problems he’d cost himself more $.

        That being said, while I wouldn’t have drafted Kelly in round 2, he was a late 2nd round pick he was their 3rd second round pick. He was a 1st round talent as was Thomas and Davis. The later two were just immature.

        The point being that even Vinny took some of the best players available in the draft when his pick came up but just because they still took a talented guy doesn’t make the trade down the right move.

        In 2008 the skins needed a RT – even more so than a WR – and Sam Baker was on the board. Sam Baker was the guy I wanted. He could have played RT for a year and then taken over for Samuels when Samuels hurt his neck in 09.

        Then, we aren’t forced to take Trent Williams at #4, we could have taken Eric Berry to help our inconsistent secondary.

        You see, when building a team it’s not about just one draft and one position. It’s about seeing the age of your team and the weaknesses of your team throughout the roster and building the roster for the long term.

        A GM has to have vision. Even if the coaches are clamoring for a bunch of wrs, you have to look at the roster and see that if you don’t get a new RG & RT that your 27 year old QB is going to get killed and your pro bowl running back as well. Vinny’s biggest issue for a decade where he was involved with building the skins roster – except 01 – was he didn’t have long term vision. He always too best player available and didn’t focus on needs as much as he should of.

        • bangkokben - Apr 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

          Bad example. Sam Baker has been a total bust, which doesn’t necessarily translate team to team. The Redskins would have likely still needed two tackles in your scenario. Having said that, I do agree in principal.

          The Redskins traded out of the 10th spot in 2011 to Jacksonvile for the 16th and 49th picks. They then selected Ryan Kerrigan at 16th and Jarvis Jenkins at their own 2nd (41st). Two defenders a 34DE and 34OLB instead of the one 34DE J.J. Watt selected with the eleventh pick. They then traded the 49th pick to Indy for the 53rd pick and 152nd pick. They then traded the 53rd (Stephen Paea) to Chicago for the 62nd and 127th picks. They then traded the 62nd to MIami for their 3rd, 5th, & 7th round picks (79th, 146th, 217th).

          So at this point J.J. Watt = Ryan Kerrigan + the 79th, 127th, 146th, 152nd, and 217th pick (RK + 3rd, 4th, two 5ths, and a 7th rounder). The 79th pick was Leonard Hankerson. The Redskins then acquire the 105th pick (Roy Helu) from Houston along with the 178th pick for the 127th, 144th, and 152nd pick. Dejon Gomes was picked with the 146th pick. 178th was Aldrick Robinson. 217th was Maurice Hurt.

          In the end the Redskins turned J.J. Watt into:
          Ryan Kerrigan
          Leonard Hankerson
          2/3 Roy Helu
          DeJon Gomes
          Aldrick Robinson AND
          Maurice Hurt

          Quality doesn’t always trump quantity but in this case, I think it does. Again, J.J. Watt’s Texans career doesn’t necessarily translate to the same type of career here.

        • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 1:48 PM

          Baker started for the Falcons for 4 seasons. The only that Falcons selection didn’t work long out was because of injuries.

          Thomas, Davis & Kelly didn’t do that.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

          Four years? That’s the bar? Baker was horrible in 2011, starting just six games, as the Falcons tried to find a position for him. Then in 2012 out of nowhere, he becomes the left tackle they envisioned in 2008 when they drafted him. Big contract, patella tendon injury, done. Bad luck with that but a 1st round left tackle that doesn’t develop until the 5th and final year of his contract is NOT success. Better than the Redskins’ threesome? Heck, yes. But basically would be the equivalent of Brandon Scherff playing six solid years at right guard. Not the production you’re looking for at the position. One could also argue that Fred Davis was the better player even with the injuries – if it weren’t for the drug suspensions. Davis was the Redskins’ offensive player of the year in 2011

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 10:52 AM

          Well my point is that he was a starter and better than what the skins got and that injuries derailed his career.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:02 AM

          I just don’t agree. If it was straight up Baker for Fred Davis, I think it’s a wash. A four year starter out of six years for a #1 pick is not acceptable – especially if only one of those years is good. You throw in Devin Thomas but the Redskins didn’t just trade their first pick, they also traded their 3rd pick and their 5th pick. Harry Douglas was selected by the Falcons with the ‘skins 3rd. Typical Cerrato blunder but not every draft is equal and the thinking going into that draft was that there was a lot of similar talent in the 2nd round as there was at the bottom of the 1st. (Again, I think if you base anything on what the draft pundits think, you’re basically following the farmer’s almanac.) The best chance for success is drafting as high as possible.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:10 AM

          Well that’s fine, we can disagree.

          Also, as you just said we would have retained the 3rd pick and 5th.

          Fred Davis was a cancer on the team, his actions led to Trent Williams getting suspended for 4 games in 2011 also.

          Again, the only thing that kept Baker from being an above average starter for his entire career or even keeps him from playing today were his injuries. Injuries are part of the game and beyond Davis’ suspension a reason his career ended early also. Davis tore his knee up as well in 2012 which hurt his chance to stay in the league.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:23 AM

          It was an achilles but other than that, I hear you. Again, I’m not justifying the trade. I understand the rationale behind it but disagree in principal with it. I simply think there was a better example who to take at #21. I’m pretty sure at the time, I wanted the ‘skins to draft Kenny Philips. So in hindsight, it’s not like I had a better option. Although, Philips playing free would’ve kept Landry at strong and perhaps worked for us. I still think Nelson and Jackson were no brainers instead of Thomas and Kelly and ALL of them had folks saying 1st round.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:45 AM

          Well if we wanted both Nelson & Djax after the trade down we would had to WR back to back, which would have been weird. It was weird enough going WR, TE & WR when we had other needs.

          I also remember most – myself included- being high on the defensive ends. Merling & Calias Campbell and on Phillips as you said. Many overhyped Phillips into a ST type player and while that was never true, he would have been a better option than Doughty or Kareem Moore.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:51 AM

          Yes, Merling and Campbell were also guys I remember being in the mix. Jackson or Campbell would’ve been better than Kelly. I get the feeling Cerrato thought the same line as you and then jumped on Kelly as the run of WRs continued. I suspect he also ignored the medical reports. But this is all personal speculation.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 11:55 AM

          I agree 100% that he ignored Kelly’s injury history or he thought we’ll we’re taking a chance on a late 2nd who’s by far the most talented player on our board. He probably though, the risk was worth it because they thought Thomas was going to be a future star.

          We all know Vinny & Dan weren’t afraid of taking risks like that when they ran the team. Many of us would have done what McCloughan is doing, taken the best “football players” and the “safer picks” go BPA no matter what position in the later rounds.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 12:08 PM

          Jackson was taken before Davis & Campbell was taken before Kelly. If we wanted Jackson & Campbell we would have had to take Jackson over Thomas and Campbell over Davis – which to most fans made sense.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 3:44 PM

          I think most fans would’ve been fine with Nelson or Campbell at #21. Turns out we could’ve had Campbell later on. As the draft progressed, anyone following it real time was thinking this is going to be great we’re going to get two “first rounders” for our one.

          See #’s 21 & 22 on this mock:

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 3:56 PM

          If we had stayed at 21 and taken Jackson or Nelson, we wouldn’t have been able to take Campbell. Campbell went #50, our natural pick was #51 that year in round 2, similar to this year.

          We shouldn’t try to get cute IMO by trading down. It means we’ll miss on some players that have more talent.

        • bangkokben - Apr 10, 2016 at 6:57 PM

          I’m with you and I understand the dynamic but while it was happening ending up with Thomas, Davis, and Kelly seemed like such a mismanagement.I remember everyone being confounded by the Davis pick. Cooley hadn’t experienced injury at that point and we still could’ve used help on both lines not to mention safety.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 7:16 PM

          Yep. I felt the same way. Thomas I understood but I didn’t understand Davis or Kelly

      • anthony - Apr 9, 2016 at 9:23 AM

        The only way I can see the Skins trading out of the first round if they get a offer they can’t refuse. Plus they have a point scale for draft positions so it may not be worth it moving back.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 9, 2016 at 8:50 AM

      Well hold on, none of Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, and Malcolm Kelly would have passed the McGlue test. (I think Trent Murphy would from an attitude standpoint, but there are also athletic standards).

      And in this case, the top of our board when we pick at 21 might not be that much more clear-cut a prospect than someone late in the 1st or at the top of the 2nd, just because of how the top level talent is distributed this year.

      • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 8:57 AM

        They were still of the best available when we selected at each of those picks. Many scouts had all 3 projected to go round 1.

        Devin Thomas was the 1st WR off the board and had the most upside. He was just one of those guys that Cooley says plays the game because he was strong and fast, not because he loved it – same with Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly.

        The two wrs who loved the game in the top 50 players of that draft just so happen to be two of the best players in that draft. DeSean Jackson & Jordy Nelson.

        If we were going to take a WR is big on Jackson and I have to admit I was a James Hardy fan and Devin Thomas fan. The later two just didn’t have the desire to take it to the next level and be the very best they could be at route running and studying defenses.

        I would hope that if McCloughan was our GM then, he would have selected Sam Baker or DeSean Jackson at 21 but who knows.

        • hail74 - Apr 9, 2016 at 9:19 AM

          Not disagreeing with your point but we also needed a DE that year and I wanted Sterling Marlin and then when he went at top of second to I believe Miami I wanted Calais Campbell who we actually passed on twice I think. So one could reasonable speculate that had a gm that valued work ethic and character as much as raw talent been our gm at the time we could be talking about how good a trade it was. Your right tho, Getting Sam Baker would’ve been far better than what we got.

        • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 11:20 AM

          We actually signed Sterling Merling in either 2010 or 2011 and he didn’t make the team. I liked him a lot too and he would have been a good replacement for Phillip Daniels at LDE

        • mattphillipsdc - Apr 9, 2016 at 10:10 AM

          DeSean Jackson is a great talent but he doesn’t respect the game like most of the other players on the team. When everyone is at OTA’s he’s hanging with his buddies. Imagine how good he could be if he put the time and effort in like a Gary Clark type of player.

        • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 1:48 PM

          Let’s see what he does this offseason.

        • John - Apr 9, 2016 at 11:05 PM

          Don’t you mean Phillip Merling? He came out of Clemson with Campbell and another DE who had a heart defect. Those Clemson DEs look great in the ACC but in the big league, their not all that. Merling was around long enough for a cup of coffee.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 7:58 AM

          Yeah, I said Merling. Someone else said “Marling” they just had one letter wrong but I knew who they meant. Merling was actually an OK player until he tore his knee up I in 2010. He played 10 games in 2011 with the Dolphins but ended up not be retained in the offseason. In 2012 he played 3 games with the packers. We actually signed him as a free agent in 2013 and he played 3 games for us but he didn’t have anything left really.

    • hotpicksblog - Apr 9, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      I hear you but all 4 players you cited are 2nd round picks….but Moses was a 3rd round player and so was Matt Jones, not to mention Russell Wilson…. so maybe we just need to trade down to the 3rd round. lol But then again Preston Smith was a 2nd round pick.

      Seriously….trading up or down has nothing to do with picking the right player…so yes..I will have to cite Vinnie and Allen were in charge during the worst picks and worst decisions. In fact the only GREAT decision Bruce Allen ever made was hiring Scott M, so now everything is okay.

      • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 1:43 PM

        Allen Drafted Murphy, Moses, Long, Breeland & Grant.

        All of which are starters or main contributors on the team. How many Shanahan or Vinny drafts can you say that about?

        • John - Apr 9, 2016 at 11:19 PM

          Shanahan was a coach who doubled as GM. Unfortunately that never works. No coach should be given the GM duties. They don’t have enough time during the season to watch any games, much less scout.

        • abanig - Apr 10, 2016 at 8:01 AM

          Not only that but coaches mostly think about the “right now” GM’s on the other side have to have long term thinking on top of winning now. Just take how Griffin was treated in 2012, if McCloughan was here then I’m sure he would have convinced Allen & Snyder that after he hurt his knee in the Ravens game, he shouldn’t play the final month because his future was much more important than just his rookie season.

    • bowlregard - Apr 9, 2016 at 4:01 PM

      Back then they could have drafted DeSean Jackson and Jordy Nelson.

      • abanig - Apr 9, 2016 at 4:04 PM

        That’s right, would have been weird though to draft two Wrs back to back. I remember I wanted a alias Campbell as someone else said or I would have even taken Sam Baker who ended up being injury prone but an injury prone OT was better than what we got in with the first 4 picks of that draft.

    • skinner4life - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:19 PM

      I feel you there, I also think it’s a bad idea to trade your first round pick unless it may be for another first and a second or third

    • John - Apr 13, 2016 at 2:39 AM

      Trading down is not such a bad idea. Let’s say we move back a few picks or pick up 2, 2nds. That would put them in position to get say, Cody Whitehair, Chris Jones and Nick Martin. All 3 could come in this year and start and be upgrades over existing players.

      • abanig - Apr 13, 2016 at 4:45 AM

        I’d rather have the best player available that we could get at 21. I’m more in favor of trading down in round 2 or 3 and picking up more picks then.

        I also don’t see why say the LA Rams would give up two 2nds for any player on this draft. To me, there doesn’t really seem like any players to trade up for at 21. It’s fun to say oh yeah, just trade back and get 2 or 3 more picks, but we have to have a trading partner to make that happen. I just don’t see it happening.

  2. Robert Herrera - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Don’t trade away the 21 pick. Last year that happened with Seattle I believe and now they have an excellent receiver in lockett. Don’t pass on potential talent.

  3. pyroman99 - Apr 9, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    There’s never an easy answer to the tradeoff between quality and quantity – nobody knows which players will boom and which will bust. Another tradeoff is between projected playmakers vs. overall depth – we need both. Also, nobody knows what moves other teams will make that interfere with our plans. I think SM will stick with a draft position if he really loves a specific player available there, and attempt to trade back for more picks if he doesn’t. Bottom line is that the most important thing is being able to spot talent better than other GMs.

  4. Yours truly - Apr 9, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    Good article Rich. Speaking of safety, do you think Scot McCloughan has any interest in taking Darron Lee if he’s still on the board when the Redskins select? Lee is technically a linebacker, but I consider him more of a tweener, as his body and speed is much more in line with a large defensive back. Especially given that this draft is so deep with defensive line, the Redskins could pick a safety or linebacker in the first round then take a pass rusher in the second. What are your thoughts?

    • bowlregard - Apr 9, 2016 at 4:06 PM

      Jaylon Smith also seems to be a tweener. He’s lighter than Lee.

      • Yours truly - Apr 9, 2016 at 5:13 PM

        Skills are there no doubt. But the knee injury makes Jaylon Smith a huge question mark.

      • Mr.moneylover - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:34 PM

        Jaylon smith will go late in the draft like the seventh round possibly go undrafted because his knee injury …he’s expected to make a full recovery but its not a for sure thing he will gain the same strength back in knee…same with kyshoen Jarrett shoulder nerve damage can be career ending and its very tough to come back from

        • John - Apr 9, 2016 at 11:31 PM

          The way the guy moves and cuts with speed, a blown knee with nerve damage. That’s a stretch there. He’ll be back but won’t be the same. I remember when William Andrews, a pretty awesome back for the Falcons in the early 80s blew out his knee with nerve damage. He came back but not for long and was a shell of his former self.

  5. Mr.moneylover - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    I don’t think redskins gonna trade down until after the third round to load up on some extra draft picks… But if they got alot of guys still ranked high on they draft board and haven’t been pick yet it will then be smart to trade down in the first round and gain a early round second pick

    • John - Apr 10, 2016 at 12:16 AM

      I would not be opposed to moving down, if it got some extra 2nd and 3rd round picks. It would give the Skins an opportunity to have some impact and depth. We could get Chris Jones or Vernon Butler or the DTackle from UCLA. There will be safeties and receivers in the 2nd and 3rd round as well as lineman, thinking Nick Martin and there are 2 pretty good ones at K State and NC State. I hate to have to say that while the D Linemen from Alabama and Baylor are tempting, they might not be the best fit. I’d say Scott M is a better eye for finding talent than Shanny, Allen and Vinnie combined.

  6. Mr.moneylover - Apr 9, 2016 at 7:37 PM

    In scot m. Last interview it doesn’t sound like he’s gonna trade away the 21 pick but hey anything is possible on draft night

  7. renhoekk2 - Apr 10, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Bottom line is the Redskins need more help than what they can find with 8 picks. They need to find one starting caliber DL, upgrades at C, S, ILB, a WR who is starting caliber next season, a quality RB to take the place all of Morris’s snaps, probably another depth DL and depth CB, if not starting CB. The only way to get the picks needed for that many holes is to trade back in the first round and get additional early picks. Trading back in the 3rd or 4th rd for additional 6th and 7th rd picks gets you depth and special teamers, not starters and upgrades. Team needs starters and upgrades at a lot of positions. With all of the quality DL available this draft they can get the same caliber player at say 31 or 36 that they would get at 21. Archives

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