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Cerrato: Redskins' Needs Include WR, CB


A big wide receiver, a cornerback and versatile offensive and defensive linemen top the Redskins' off-season wish list.

Executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato outlined the Redskins' needs in an interview with Redskins Radio's Larry Michael and Bram Weinstein on Feb. 15.

The Redskins' offense has played without a tall, rangy wide receiver for several years. With head coach Jim Zorn installing the West Coast offense this year, it's thought that a big receiver is needed to run specific routes in that scheme.

In free agency, there are several receivers who could fit the bill, including Arizona's Bryant Johnson and Chicago's Bernard Berrian. New England's Randy Moss is another option, but the Patriots could slap the franchise tag on him, thereby limiting his availability.

Seattle's D.J. Hackett, also a free agent, has familiarity with Zorn's offense. He is 6-2 and 205 pounds.

In the draft, scheduled for April 26-27, the Redskins could eye prospects Malcolm Kelly of Oklahoma, Limas Sweed of Texas and James Hardy of Indiana.

Cerrato discussed Kelly and Sweed during the Redskins Radio interview.

"Malcolm Kelly is a very talented big guy," Cerrato said. "He can run and he's very smooth and fluid. He had an outstanding year for Oklahoma and he'll probably go in the top 15 of the draft.

"Limas Sweed--he missed a lot of the year with a wrist injury and he re-injured it at the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago. He is another big guy. Limas will probably go late in the first round or early in the second, depending on how he does at the [NFL Scouting Combine]."

Cornerback has become a need position due to Carlos Rogers's knee ligament surgery last November. Rogers is expected to be full-go by September or October, according to director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer.

Said Cerrato: "Depending on Carlos, we'll probably have to look to the draft and get a corner."

Leodis McKelvin of Troy State, Michael Jenkins of South Florida, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie of Tennessee Stateand Terrell Thomas of USC are among the top draft prospects at cornerback.

New England's Asante Samuel is the top free agent cornerback available, but he could command a hefty price tag.

Cerrato also pointed to the need for an interior defensive lineman "who has some pass-rushing ability."

With speed rushers Andre Carter, Marcus Washington and Chris Wilson coming off the edge, the defensive line could use more push from the inside.

Said Cerrato: "Everybody talks about how you need a pass-rushing left end, but Andre Carter had 10.5 sacks from the right side, and from the left side Marcus and Chris Wilson had nine sacks. So to add some more pass rush up the middle would be something we'd look at."

Cerrato said the prototype for this type of defensive lineman would be the New York Giants' Justin Tuck, who had 10 sacks last season alternating at end and tackle.

Cerrato added the team would like to add another young defensive end to develop, as well as improve depth at linebacker and safety.

The Redskins could also look to bring in a "swing offensive lineman" who can play center/guard or tackle/guard.

"You have to be a versatile guy," Cerrato said.

A backup fullback to Mike Sellers is also a need because the West Coast offense requires more depth at fullback, Cerrato said.

Currently, the Redskins have Nehemiah Broughton as the only other fullback on the roster behind Sellers. Broughton is coming off a knee injury suffered last offseason.

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