Nobody knows what the Redskins are going to do in tonight’s draft. They might trade up from the 10th pick. They might trade down from the 10th pick. Heck, they might trade sideways from the 10th pick. (I wouldn’t put anything past Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen.)
So why don’t we revisit the Redskins’ first-round maneuverings in the Snyder Era, just to give you an idea of what might be in store. They’ve moved up or down in Round 1 four times in those years (2000-10). Here’s how it played out:
● 2000 – Traded up with San Francisco from 12 to 3.
What they gave up: two No. 1s (12 and 24), plus fourth- (119) and fifth-rounders (154).
Who they got: OT Chris Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowler.
Who the 49ers got: OLB Julian Peterson (five Pro Bowls), CB Ahmed Plummer, CB Jason Webster, LB Jeff Ulbrich. (Note: The Niners moved down from 12 to 16 and picked up a No. 2 that was used to draft Webster. They also traded the No. 4 and No. 5 for a No. 3 that brought Ulbrich. In other words, they turned the 3rd overall pick into two No. 1s, a No. 2 and a No. 3. Pretty good.)
Pro Bowlers the Redskins could have drafted at 12: DE Sean Ellis (12), DE John Abraham (13), Peterson (16), QB Chad Pennington (18), RB Shaun Alexander (19).
Pro Bowler they could have drafted at 24: LB Keith Bulluck (30).
Verdict: The Redskins got an outstanding player in Samuels. There’s no second-guessing that. But they could have gotten a couple of outstanding players if they’d stayed put at 12 and 24. They also could have gotten lucky with the fourth- or fifth-rounder.
● 2002 – Traded down twice: from 18 to 21 (with Oakland) and then to 32 (with New England).
Who they got (after some additional jockeying): QB Patrick Ramsey (first round), DB Rashad Bauman (third), WR Cliff Russell (third), S Andre Lott (fifth) and DE Greg Scott (seventh).
Pro Bowlers they could have drafted at 18: WR Javon Walker (20), S Ed Reed (24), CB Lito Sheppard (26), Clinton Portis (51). (Yes, Clinton Portis.)
Verdict: Ramsey turned out to be nothing more than a career backup. The other picks, meanwhile, never amounted to anything. Another in a long line of shaky moves by Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato.
● 2005 – Acquired a second first-round pick, 25th overall, from Denver.
What they gave up: An ’06 No. 1 (22),an ’05 No. 3 (76) and an ’06 No. 4 (119).
Who they got: QB Jason Campbell, who started 3½ seasons for them, compiling a 20-32 record.
Who the Broncos got: Shanahan, then in Denver, traded the Redskins’ first-rounder to the 49ers for a No. 2 (sent to the Packers for WR Javon Walker) and a No. 3 (which he used to move up in the first round and select QB Jay Cutler). That’s right, the Campbell deal helped the Broncos get Cutler. The other picks yielded DB Karl Paymah (No. 3) and WR Brandon Marshall (No. 4). This is the same Marshall, of course, who has caught 413 passes in his first five seasons.
Verdict: The Redskins didn’t get a whole lot for their three picks. The Broncos, on the other hand, parlayed the 25th selection into two pretty fair receivers (albeit with baggage) plus a third-rounder they included in the package for Cutler. Once again, the Redskins came out on the short end.
● 2008 – Traded down with Atlanta from 21 to 34 (second round).
Who they got: WR Devin Thomas (34) and TE Fred Davis (48). Other picks were swapped, but this was the essence of the deal.
Who the Falcons got: OT Sam Baker.
Pro Bowler the Redskins could have drafted at 21: RB Chris Johnson (25).
Verdict: Thomas was a bust who was released early last season. Davis has pass-catching ability, but he’s hardly in Chris Cooley’s class as an all-around tight end. As for Baker, he’s been protecting Matt Ryan’s blind side for three years now. And Atlanta, I seem to remember, went 13-3 last season.
Anyway, that should give you a feel for the potential risks and rewards of trading up or down. Now let’s sit back and see what the Washington brain trust does.