First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on Redskins draft prospects

Apr 21, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

Why is the smokescreen so important for teams posturing before the draft? Team strengths and weaknesses and positions or need are no secret. Understandably, they all develop their own boards, but why all the fuss? Honestly, I see the Redskins picking OL with #4.

What a great place for us to start! Good morning, everyone, from beautiful Montreal. Or I think it's beautiful; I haven't opened the blinds yet.

Yes, I can now confirm the story: It's beautiful. So let's get started!

The smokescreens and the coyness are really annoying and I really don't think there's a need for it. No one is going to waste a first-round draft pick taking the guy you really want in order to mess with you. An agent is more than aware if you are interested in his guy; pretending you're not isn't going to lower the price. Anyone who saw the Redskins play for more than two minutes last season is aware they need offensive linemen. If they can read, they are aware they haven't made any offseason moves on the offensive line. So unless the Redskins are crazy, they will draft an offensive lineman -- or put together a deal for more draft picks so they can draft TWO offensive linemen.

That's the logic. I'm with you; they take a lineman at No. 4.

So have the Redskins opened a hotline yet? I imagine that if the team were to take anything other than a offensive tackle in the first round we would need someplace for fans to call so they can be talked down off the ledge.

Yes, a hotline would be mandatory. They could find a sponsor and make it another revenue stream.

We will discuss the draft right here on Friday morning so for at least 30 minutes, I could do my part, I guess.

Tell me this is a lie! Donovan McNabb is already suspect to me; don't tell me that T.O. is part of the package. I cut my teeth as a young girl on the Bears and moved over to the Burgundy and Gold at 13. Thirty-seven years ago! I will set fire to my Skins memorabilia in the driveway if "Love me some me" sets foot in DC!

But when did you move to the maroon and black? OK, I liked Jim Zorn, but that's never going to not be funny.

I guess I'll go with what McNabb said to Wilbon over what McNabb said to ESPN. That might have been a trial balloon by someone to see how it went over. Now we know.

Please, please, please assure us that the Redskins wouldn't be so stupid as to draft a QB in the first round. Donovon McNabb may end up in the hospital if that happens.

I think that ship has sailed. I think they'll wring a few years out of McNabb and keep watching for the QB of the future. That said, I wouldn't be surprised by a draft day surprise of some kind, given all the cloak and dagger stuff. I just think they've decided to go with an o-lineman.

Do you think the Skins should have waited to see if Pittsburgh was going to put Roethlisberger on the auction block instead of taking McNabb?

I think Big Ben, regardless of his morals, is a better quarterback. As you know, all three of Pittsburgh's professional teams have the same colors--black, gold, and white. Washington's most successful team (at present) and a team that has been doing moderately well so far share colors of red & white.

While I know the Redskins would never part with the burgundy & gold, why shouldn't the Wuzzes get rid of those godawful uniforms and adopt red & white as well? Maybe that would help. Something has to!

Well, truthfully I don't. I think they're happy with the guy they got. McNabb is showing tremendous leadership already, calling Campbell, calling Haynesworth, setting a great example. Roethlisberger can do none of that. Not right now.

I'd like to discuss Pittsburgh's uniforms but this is a non-Pittsburgh chat. Just kidding. I can't imagine the Redskins ever dropping the burgundy and gold.

What is your realistic expectation in terms of draft picks that the Redskins could obtain in trading Haynesworth, Campbell and/or others?

A first rounder seems too much but could we see 2 or 3 additional picks in 2nd/3rd round?

Haynesworth might draw a second-rounder, depending on what else is part of the package. Campbell would draw no better than a fourth or fifth rounder, I think. It'll be weird on Friday if the Skins aren't even on the clock for the entire night.

Assuming the Redskins draft a tackle with the #4 pick and add a Day 2 pick by trading one or more players, what do they add with the second pick? Another OL? QB? RB? Or more help on defense?

This is a good question: what to do with a second rounder. They might take a quarterback if they fell in love with any of these guys (other than Bradford) but it's hard to say since they won't tip their hands. If I were them, I'd take another o-lineman. In my opinion, they need to add AT LEAST two starting offensive linemen by training camp. I feel they've done a lot to the defense during free agency.

Aside from th obvious (J. Campbell and A. Haynesworth) is there anyone else you think we might see the Redskins attempt to move in a trade for additional picks either before, or on, draft day?

Rocky McIntosh springs to mind. :) Carlos Rogers? LaRon Landry? I don't think Shanny and Haslett can be thrilled with the secondary after watching film.

Of course the real topic of the day is game 4 tonight for the Caps and Canadiens. I want to see a game like Monday. I'm not overly concerned about not capitalizing on the power play as we are able to score evev strength goals pretty well. Is the hand wringing over the PP just another example of some Caps fans to turn on the team over minor issues? We are winning for goodness sakes!

Well, I don't think it's necessarily hand wringing by fans, since Boudreau devoted a lot of practice time to it yesterday. He doesn't seem real happy with it. If they  play like they did Monday, maybe it doesn't matter. If they play like they did in the last two periods Thursday night, maybe it does. So I think it's a cause for some concern.

I think I smell Drew Rosenhaus in the House !

That is certainly a theory that's been floated.

A bit of a complicated/2-part question. I'm wondering how the consensus view develops that the Redskins are going to take Trent Williams. Even if that's not the pure consensus view right now, can you explain the behind-the-scenes process?

I see a rumor come out about McNabb & TO that quickly gets picked up by every blog & news outlet. And then they all just quote each other (or worse, don't even bother). And this morning, ESPN is still reporting it on their live sportcenter broadcast despite denials from McNabb and Shanahan, and they don't mention either of those denials. Does anyone care about getting the story right or is it all just entertainment?

The consensus view in sports forms the same way it does in other aspects of news coverage. Someone reports something and then everyone reports that that has been reported and then they do reporting of their own.

The consensus on Williams formed because someone wrote that he was the better lineman, or that there was no difference between him and Okung. Maybe Mel Kiper said it. Then it gets repeated as "experts say Williams is better than Okung" and it's like a snowball.

I don't know why ESPN doesn't throw in the part about McNabb denying it. Yes, they want to go with their own reporting, but Wilbon does also work for ESPN; you'd think they'd listen to him. ESPN also has a guy who can get to Shanahan, so if they aren't reporting the Shanahan denial ... that makes me wonder.

Our policy at the Post has long been that if we report something someone else broke first, we credit them. If it's later confirmed, we still credit them; if it's discounted, we report that. That was a lot easier in the days when you only had to check the Associated Press and other newspapers every morning. Now stuff is being written all the time, everywhere. Hard to know who is saying what, and what out there is legitimate and what's just talking.

Sorry, I went on too long there.

I think the smokescreens are more for the other teams' GMs than anything else. "Trade for your second-rounder because we're desperate for an LB? Naw, we're fine." Then they call back when the team is on the clock and make the deal. It's the NFL's world; we just live, and spend, in it.

True, but don't the other GMs know exactly what the Skins need? Could Bruce Allen say to someone, "Naw, we don't need an offensive lineman"? Who would believe that? I know you're right and that's part of it, I just think it's nuts. It is the NFL's world, though. Boy is it ever.

And we haven't even gotten to the Skins' schedule yet. Any predictions?

I feel from my experience following in detail the last 10 drafts that the fans of teams always hope they can trade a player for draft picks and then overvalue what they think they could get. I'm not saying teams won't make offers for Jason Campbell and Albert Haynesworth, but beyond that these may just be hopes of the fans.

Yes, I heard someone theorizing that they could get a first- or second-rounder for Campbell. Just think it's impossible.

How much validity is there in a trade up to #1 and Rams switching to #4 because the Rams are in love with Clausen?

Well, I'd make that trade, but if the Rams take Clausen over Bradford ... forget the Washington hotline. Put that in St. Louis. I don't think Bradford's the second coming, but Clausen ...

And what would the return be for Carter - a second round pick? I also think the press is overlooking Free Safety as a REALLY critical concern. No matter what is done to the OL, successful long TD bombs can deflate as well as defeat!

Yes, good point, free safety is a concern. I don't think they'd get a second-rounder for Andre, who's coming off surgery, for one reason. But in general I think that's too high. And I really like Andre Carter.

Or has spring reached there yet? When I was there several years ago about this time of year it was more like late winter. The Skins have give me hope, since it appears actual professionals are running the operation. Whether the "professionals" can succeed in the draft won't be apparent for at least a couple of years. It would be nice, if, in the years to come, the Skins ACTUALLY KEEP ALL THEIR DRAFT PICKS!! How's that Montreal cuisine doing.

Yes, having four draft picks is really reprehensible. Plus it's no fun. Cuisine is fine. Spring is here. Or at least it has been.

If one of the DT's fall to us at number 4, what do you think the chance is that we can switch 1st rounders with the team and get their second rounder. Then, we package Haynesworth, the second rounder, and possibly a fifth rounder, to get two picks in the first round, and try to get Eric Berry and a OT?

I think if they found a way to get Eric Berry and a tackle and lose Haynesworth, there'll be a statue of Bruce Allen at FedEx by the home opener. That would be some sweet maneuvering.

First Ovie comes out and talks about how confident the team is with Varley in the net then Green says the reason for the offensive output is that the team can play more aggressive when they know he, Varley is back there.

Has Jose lost the team? Have we seen the last of him in net as a Cap? I can understand thinking these things but saying them to the press...are the teams leaders acting prematurely? I mean, what if Varely got hurt, what would comments like this to for Jose's confidence?

On every team, some guys prefer to play with one goalie over another, or so I'm told.

I don't think Jose has lost the team -- I keep going back to 20-0-3 since Jan. 13 -- and if Varly has a bad game, you can bet he'll get the hook. Boudreau's quick to pull a goalie. I also don't see a dent in Jose's confidence. Not yet, anyway.

Why would the Skins want to trade Laron Landry? He obviously has some talent if he was taken so high. Maybe he was MISCAST as a free safety when he really is a strong saftey. Good strong safeties can impact the game - for example, Pittsburgh runs a 3-4 and Troy Palamalu (while a better player) sure makes an impact.

Maybe in the new scheme he'll be better. I wasn't that sold on him last year but perhaps it was positional. I think the defense in general felt they were handcuffed into a system they didn't like last year. That's sort of percolating to the top now that they have seen the new system. You may well be right.

OK! 8-8 tops. Wins: Texans, Rams, @ Lions, Eagles here; Bucs, @ Cowboys, @ Jags, and NY Giants at home. If Bears crumble or self-destruct. And, I've been an avid 'Skins fan since Dick James and Don Bossler were "our" running backs.

On my first try I came out to 8-8 as well. I do think it's a little early and we'll want to play this game again after the draft and the next minicamp, so let's do that.

What are your thoughts on the 'Skins 2010 Schedule? I think they really lucked out with most, if not all, of their tougher non-divisional games being at home, and the lesser non-divisional oppontents being on the road. I promise I'm not crazy off the Kool-Aid, but I think with all of the additions, and the schedule, it's not crazy to think this can be a 10 win team. Your thoughts?

It's the eighth-toughest schedule in the league, according to the league. I think 10 wins might be possible but I want to see the results of the draft and some more offensive moves. With the current offensive line, I think it's too optimistic. But they won't have the current offensive line by August. Right? RIGHT?

I think you under-rate the value of smokescreens & coyness. The old Skins teams telegraphed their preferences for guys (see Jason Campbell) so clearly they had to then trade up to get them because if ANYONE else liked that player they'd know he wouldn't last past the Skins. I'm so glad we're not doing the fly-dan-snyder-out-to-throw-balls-to-Malcolm-Kelly thing anymore. And *great* answer on the rumor-to-reporting question, thanks.

Here's a vote for coyness. The other difference is that, being in the media, I want to know what's going on. Fans want the team to do whatever it takes to get the job done, and if that includes being secretive, so be it. I totally get that.

How 'bout Sidney Crosby...Oh, Wait! Maybe this isn't the Pittsburgh Post, after all! So, how 'bout picking a tackle, (any tackle) at number four, and then sending aroma therapy candles, some of Humboldt County's best, Albert Hanyesworth and Jason Campbell to Al Davis in exchange for his first round pic and draft Maurkice Pouncey.....

I want to do this just so I can use the name Maurkice Pouncey in a sentence. Plus, who doesn't need aroma therapy candles?

Are the Redskins high enough on Bulaga or Trent Williams to trade out of the number 4 spot and pick up one of those 2 plus additional picks?

Good question. This is one of those I can't answer because of the Coyness Factor. I think if they could trade down and get a top lineman on their board plus another pick, they'd do it. But that's just a guess.

Which will soon be reported somewhere as "the Washington Post says ..." so I think I'll shut up now. We've run a little over and still didn't get to all the questions so I'm sorry for that.

I won't be here tomorrow because of travel, but Friday morning we'll discuss the draft, Game 5 and whatever else drives up between now and then. Thanks, everyone!

Looking at the Redskin schedule they will be lucky to go 4-12. I say 3-13 with a possibility of 2-14. Problem is the kept the knuckleheads and added two more at RB. A rookie O ineman is not going to improve line play that much. In 2011 maybe they go 6-10 and Mikey calls it quits as head coach

Sorry, had to throw this out there for the other end of the prediction spectrum. Here's someone who might need the hotline.

Au revoir!

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinions and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there were a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Recent Chats
  • Next: