- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Washington Redskins’ brain trust met with the media Wednesday in their annual pre-draft session, with owner Dan Snyder, executive vice president Vinny Cerrato and coach Jim Zorn trying to reveal as little as possible about their intentions for this weekend’s NFL Draft as reporters attempted to infer as much as possible from the few available clues.

“You tell the truth now, nobody believes you,” Cerrato said.

Still, the Redskins might well trade down from the 13th choice Saturday. After all, Snyder and Cerrato have held onto their original picks in just four of their previous eight drafts together.

“I’m also going to be aggressive to try to win,” said Snyder, adding that he has less urgency and more patience in his 10th draft. “I didn’t buy the team as an investment. I bought the team to try to win the Super Bowl.”

Although “at 13, you’re reacting,” Cerrato said, the Redskins are traditionally among the NFL’s biggest dealmakers.

“There’s dealmakers and there’s pretenders,” Cerrato said. “There are people searching to see if somebody will give you an unbelievable deal. Sitting where we are 13, there’s a chance [of a trade] because there’s people that could come up for the third quarterback, the running back, the corner. It might be a spot that people might want to come up to, but you can’t trade back if nobody calls.”

Of course, the Redskins also didn’t rule out moving up into the top five to take a player such as Southern Cal quarterback Mark Sanchez, though they have more immediate pressing needs at left end, strongside linebacker and right offensive tackle.

“Anything’s possible,” Cerrato said. “It’s just what you’re willing to give up. When you take a guy that high at a premium position like [offensive tackle] and the money that you’re spending [to sign him], they’re a starter.”

But if the Redskins choose Sanchez, where does that leave incumbent Jason Campbell?

“Jason is every bit being handled as though he’s our starting quarterback both through words and deeds,” Zorn said. “We’re going though as nothing has changed.”

If the Redskins hang on to No. 13, Cerrato is confident that he won’t sweat if tackles Andre Smith of Alabama and Michael Oher of Mississippi and pass rusher Brian Orakpo of Texas are all off the board.

“At 13, there’ll be a good football player,” Cerrato said. “There’ll be somebody that can come in and start for us.”

The Redskins are in the predicament of having only one pick among the top 79 after trading their second-rounder for defensive end Jason Taylor, whom the team released March 2.

“To have one pick, that’s probably why we were a little more active in free agency,” Cerrato said. “Last year, we had 10 picks, and we did nothing in free agency. There’s a lot of different ways of acquiring players.”

Indeed, only nine of Washington’s 2008 regulars were its own draft choices. Three came in trades, and the rest were free agents.

Despite all the rumors of the Redskins’ interest in high-profile receivers over the years, Cerrato said he hasn’t had any discussion with the Arizona Cardinals or the Cleveland Browns about acquiring disgruntled wideouts Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards.

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