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Redskins Explored Trades, But Williams Was Top Target


All day on Thursday, in the hours before the start of the NFL Draft, speculation swirled around the Redskins.

First it was the rumor that the Redskins would trade up to No. 1 to select quarterback Sam Bradford.

Then there were reports that the Redskins were targeting safety Eric Berry.

Neither scenario happened.

Head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen explored trading down from the No. 4 spot, hoping to acquire more picks.

But they knew that if they stayed put, they would select Trent Williams, the 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle out of Oklahoma.

And that's exactly how it played out.

"You're not really sure who's going to go at one, two or three, and you're evaluating everybody," Shanahan said on Thursday night. "Sometimes you move up, sometimes you move down. There are a lot of variables in there.

"You go through the due process, but at the end of the day we were hoping that Trent would be there and luckily he was."

Asked if the Redskins fielded trade offers for the No. 4 pick, Shanahan said: "You talk about those things all the time, it's a constant. You do it a day before, days before, and let people know that you're willing to do different things, but very seldom when you're in the top five do people really pull the trigger.

"A lot has to do with the salary at that position, and a lot has to do with what they have to give up. At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable with who you do pick, and we feel fortunate that he was there, especially with the needs of our football team."

If Williams was not available at No. 4, then the Redskins would have explored other positions, Shanahan said.

Asked if Berry was a consideration, Shanahan replied: "We had a bunch of different directions we could go. Obviously I thought the left tackle position was a need for us. I wasn't sure Trent was going to be there. If Trent wasn't there, would we entertain different positions? Sure. That's a constant when you are dealing with the draft.

"I feel very good about our safety position. I think we are very deep at that position. I feel very confident, not only with our first team but our second team."

One of the reasons the Redskins explored trading down was because they don't have any picks on the second day of the draft.

The Redskins traded their second-round pick on April 4 for quarterback Donovan McNabb and they used their third-round pick last July to select Jeremy Jarmon in the NFL Supplemental Draft.

The Redskins pick next in the fourth round, with the 103rd pick. On Saturday.

Will the Redskins try to acquire a second- or third-round pick?

"Well, you really don't know," Shanahan said. "When I look at the second round, I just pencil in Donovan McNabb. So I feel pretty good that we used our second pick to get Donovan. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get that done."

He added: "You always talk, you always communicate, and we'll always do that, but we're not going to give up the farm to get a second-round draft choice."

Shanahan also updated the status of trade talks for quarterback Jason Campbell.

"There are always people inquiring," he said. "Nothing has been finalized at this time. There have been a lot of people talking and that's part of the process. When I know something, I'll obviously share it."

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