- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2002

The Washington Redskins turned the NFL Draft into a swap meet yesterday.
With four trades netting three picks after several failed attempts to gain a marquee player, the Redskins emerged with a potential starting quarterback and a third-down running back. Washington also might trade again today as it enters the final four rounds with six selections, including three seventh-rounders.
Trading was so frantic after two rounds that after he had failed to get a guard, coach Steve Spurrier joked, "Maybe we'll trade for one."
Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey was taken 32nd overall following unsuccessful attempts to trade up for Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington, Wisconsin defensive tackle Wendell Bryant and Tennessee receiver Donte Stallworth. The Redskins seriously focused on Ramsey after he met with owner Dan Snyder and Spurrier's assistant coaches April 11.
"We liked him all along," Spurrier said. "He's potentially an outstanding player. He's an intelligent young man who can really throw."
Ramsey's selection capped a turbulent first round after Washington traded its pick to Oakland (21st) and then New England once the four leading defensive tackles, Harrington and Stallworth had been chosen. The Redskins decided Ramsey, a projected second-rounder, would remain available and netted two third-round picks plus a seventh-rounder by waiting. The Redskins later swapped second and third-rounders with the Baltimore Ravens while also gaining a fifth-rounder. Washington also traded its first third-rounder (87th overall) and fourth-rounder to Jacksonville to select Oregon cornerback Rashad Bauman. The Redskins later chose Utah receiver Cliff Russell in the third.
Spurrier said Ramsey would compete for the starting job against Danny Wuerffel, Sage Rosenfels and Craig Dameyune, with no clear favorite. Still, starting a rookie unfamiliar with the system ahead of three veterans would be a surprise.
"I need to go in there and earn it," Ramsey said. "Hopefully, I can come in and catch up."
Said Spurrier: "Anything's possible. Patrick could start. We plan on giving these four a good look."
It was a long wait for Ramsey following a record five-hour, 48-minute opening round. It lasted so long Spurrier and defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis made a whirlwind trip to FedEx Field before the Redskins' pick . The tandem was greeted by an estimated crowd of 7,000 before returning to Redskin Park via helicopter.
Snyder tried to become an early deal maker. The Redskins offered the Lions their first-rounder and offensive tackle Jon Jansen for the third overall selection. However, Detroit took Harrington after owner William Ford broke a front office stalemate over the selection. Washington offered multiple picks to several teams while seeking Bryant and Stallworth.
Finally, Washington traded with Oakland for the Raiders' first- and third-rounders. The Redskins then traded for New England's 32nd selection, along with the Patriots third- and seventh-round picks.
Although Spurrier had said the Redskins didn't need to draft a quarterback, the Redskins bypassed a needed guard to take Ramsey. Indeed, two prominent guards Nebraska's Toniu Fonoti and Colorado's Andre Gurode were taken shortly after Ramsey. The Redskins supposedly cooled over Ramsey approaching the draft, but missing out on Harrington forced them to reconsider.
Washington chose Iowa running back Ladell Betts in the second round after swapping second- and third-rounders with Baltimore while also gaining the Ravens' fifth-rounder. The Redskins projected Betts as a late first-rounder and will use him as a third-down back and receiver. The selection likely ensures that veteran Ki-Jana Carter won't return.
"We're going to spread some people out and create some running lanes," running backs coach Hue Jackson said of Betts' role.
Betts gained 1,060 yards with 10 touchdowns last season, plus 15 catches for 137 yards. His versatility attracted the Redskins.
"I can catch the ball out of the backfield," Betts said. "I can run between tackles. I can run outside."

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide