- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 26, 2009

Conventional wisdom plus a little luck produced a player the Washington Redskins hope can instantly upgrade their dormant pass rush.

In the opening two hours Saturday of the NFL Draft, the Redskins’ pursuit of Southern Cal quarterback Mark Sanchez never gained traction because of a lack of assets, but staying put paid off when they selected Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo with the 13th pick.

The Redskins took less than three minutes to turn in the selection, the first time in 11 years they used a first-round choice on a defensive lineman.

“Sometimes you have to be lucky in the draft and the guy you really covet falls to you,” said Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins’ executive vice president of football operations. “I tried for an hour to move up for the guy. Nobody would do it, and he fell to us.”

With their only pick of the day, the Redskins addressed a need to get younger at defensive end, kept their 2010 draft cupboard full and ensured Jason Campbell would not have competition at the starting quarterback position.

Cerrato acknowledged a pursuit of Sanchez, who went fifth overall to the New York Jets after they traded two draft picks and three players to Cleveland. The Redskins failed to trade for Jay Cutler from Denver earlier this month.

“We made a couple of calls, but it was too expensive,” said Cerrato, who did not have a second-round pick to trade and whose roster did not feature the young and inexpensive players who allowed the Jets to complete the trade.


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