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Redskins 'Ready To Go' For 2014 Draft

After a multitude of offseason additions, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen looks at his team's roster and sees no "gaping holes" heading into the 2014 season.

But as the Redskins prepare for this weekend's NFL Draft, Allen and those in the team's personnel department say they're excited to add some fresh, young talent to the mix to compete for spots for a franchise with hopes of continuing on a path back to the top of the division.

"The draft is going to be a great way to add to the team," Allen said Tuesday in a pre-draft press conference at Redskins Park. "What we're looking for is people who love football and want to play football and want to win with the Washington Redskins."

Allen on Tuesday was joined by Scott Campbell, the Redskins' director of player personnel, whose work preparing for the 2014 NFL Draft began about 50 weeks ago -- or about three weeks after the conclusion of last year's draft.

Campbell said the Redskins' draft board this year is filled with a multitude of quality, talented players. The team this year has six picks in the second (34th overall), third (66th overall), fourth (102nd overall), fifth (142nd overall), sixth (178th overall) and seventh (217th overall) rounds.

"I think on down through the whole draft, you've got quality players and not just at one specific position," said Campbell, who is in his 28th NFL season. "I think it's pretty good quality throughout. You certainly will feel good about the players you're taking and the prospects there that will be there in the middle rounds."

Allen and Campbell reiterated several times Tuesday that the team wasn't looking specifically at one position in this year's draft. Instead, getting the best player available is their priority.

"Any time you do that and say that you have one position – and we've had this dialogue in our draft rooms, conversations – you're an injury away from having a need," Allen said. "It's very comfortable to say that we have three quarterbacks, but you're one injury away from needing a quarterback and it applies to every position. So we feel we're going to be able to follow the draft board and go with the highest-ranked player that we have."

Although the Redskins this year do not have a first-round pick -- that's because they traded this year's first rounder to the St. Louis Rams in 2012 for the rights to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III at No. 2 overall -- Allen does not necessarily feel that is a negative.

"The fact that we don't have a first-round draft choice is because we have a quarterback," Allen said. "As you can read or see around this league, the search for quarterbacks is always the premier position. We feel good about where we're at with Robert [Griffin III], especially getting an offseason in this year and working with our new coaches. We feel comfortable that all three of our quarterbacks [Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy] can win a game for us."

Allen said the possibility of trading up into the first round -- or trading for more picks later -- is "unlikely," but that the team will certainly listen to other team's offers, should they come their way.

"I think the most mock drafts have probably the top 15 players that is all similar," he said. "When you get down to our neck of the woods, there's great variation. If we have a player that has a first-round grade that falls to us, it will make us less likely to trade out of there. We have several players who have about the same grade on them and if that's the case, and we get the opportunity, we would move."

Campbell said he's enjoyed getting input from first-year head coach Jay Gruden and his staff as they prepare for their first draft with the Redskins.

"When you're actually together in the room as a group and you're expressing your feelings about the players and they're expressing their feelings, over and over and over, through time [those] relationships develop and you start to understand what's important to Jay, to Sean [McVay] and Jim [Haslett]," he said. "It takes a little bit of time, but I think through the meeting process, you really get to zero in on what's important to them."

And what's important to everybody, Allen said, is bringing in new players who are excited to wear the burgundy and gold.

"Whether it was in free agency or this draft, we've done a very good job, we feel, of digging into the heart and soul of the prospects," Allen said. "In free agency we feel good about it, and we're hoping to add to this team through the draft with some other very hungry football players."




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