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Redskins Focused On D-Line In NFL Draft


In 2006, the Redskins found two solid defensive tackles in Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston in the late rounds of the NFL Draft.

By and large, defensive line has been a position largely ignored by the Redskins at draft time, though.

The last time the Redskins drafted a defensive lineman in the first round was 1997, when the team chose Kenard Lang.

Instead, the Redskins have filled the position in free agency--from Bruce Smith to Cornelius Griffin to Andre Carter.

This year could be different.

The Redskins could look to draft a defensive end to eventually replace 12-year veteran Phillip Daniels in the lineup.

Team officials would also like to find a pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft.

Will the Redskins use their first-round pick on a defensive lineman?

"It all depends on how the draft falls," executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said.

Here are some of the top defensive line prospects available in the draft (listed in no particular order):

-- Calais Campbell, DE, Miami

Campbell, 6-8 and 282 pounds, was coached by new Redskins' defensive line coach John Palermo in 2006. Compared favorably to Texans' Mario Williams, Campbell had 19 sacks in college.

-- Chris Long, DE, Virginia

The son of Hall of Famer and FOX broadcaster Howie Long, Chris emerged as a dominant force last year with 14 sacks. He is expected to be a top 5 pick in the draft and probably won't be available for the Redskins.

-- Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

Gholston rose up draft boards after a strong combine performance. He is somewhat undersized and could play outside linebacker in the NFL. He has 22.5 sacks the last two years with the Buckeyes.

-- Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson

A high-motor lineman, Merling has versatility to play either defensive end spot or even move inside to play tackle. The 6-5, 270-pounder recorded seven sacks as a senior at Clemson.

-- Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC

Jackson is 6-4 and 271 pounds and had a productive career at USC, recording 30.5 sacks in four seasons as a starter at USC. He has first-round talent, but could slip into the second round.

-- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

Dorsey is 6-1 and 297 pounds and could be the top defensive player chosen in the draft. He had a dominant senior season with seven sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss and won the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurksi Award and the Lombard Award.

-- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

Ellis, 6-0 and 309 pounds, is a powerful lineman who should get strong push as a pass rusher. A top 10 prospect, he had 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss last year.

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