Washington Redskins

Wheeling and Dealing As Draft Day Unfolds

April 23, 2007

As the story goes, the Redskins committed one of the biggest draft blunders of all time 60 years ago. They chose Cal Rossi, a back out of UCLA, with the ninth overall pick in 1946. A problem surfaced, though, in that Rossi was a junior and not eligible to be drafted.

Never mind. They chose him again in the 1947 NFL Draft but he decided pro football wasn't for him and he never played the game professionally.

Certainly there will be no Cal Rossi-type scenarios on Saturday when the Redskins, as the situation now stands, select at No. 6 overall.

Before getting all caught up in No. 6 possibilities, there's another matter to consider. Keep in mind that on draft day, the Redskins have not been opposed to 11th hour maneuverings.

Perhaps the Redskins' most famous draft day trade in recent years came in 1999. That year, the Redskins jumped on a pair of trades that had far-reaching impact.

Team officials worked out trades with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears that ended up with the Redskins holding the seventh overall pick.

The Saints got their man in running back Ricky Williams, while the Redskins drafted cornerback Champ Bailey and obtained a first-round pick in 2000.

A year later, draft pick maneuverings in the offseason allowed the Redskins to come up with Alabama's Chris Samuels, a four-time Pro Bowler at left tackle, with the third pick overall.

In that 2000 draft, the Redskins held the second, 12th and 24th picks. They traded the 12th and the 24th to San Francisco in February for the No. 3 overall selection, manifested in Samuels.

Last year, they worked out a trade with the New York Jets to move up in the second round and draft University of Miami linebacker Rocky McIntosh with the 35th overall pick.

Three years ago, the Redskins turned creative and traded picks with the New Orleans Saints to draft tight end Chris Cooley, an emerging star in the league.

In his rookie year McIntosh sat and watched until Week 16. Then, in his first NFL start, he produced 10 tackles at St. Louis. He showed flashes of ability to the point where the Redskins learned this offseason that he's coveted around the league.

Looking ahead to this weekend, the Redskins consistently have pledged to do anything to improve on last year's 5-11 finish. The possibility always looms that that may include some last minute wheelings and dealings.

Don't look for any George Allen-type wholesale changes in terms of draft picks, though.

Allen, after all, is the head coach who in 1971, his first year in Washington, sent draft picks all over the league in favor of veteran players who became the bedrock of his "Over the Hill Gang."

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