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Redskins Will Trust 'Draft Board,' Allen Says


With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, general manager Bruce Allen met with reporters on Saturday to discuss the Redskins' approach and if the lockout has impacted the team's preparations.

"I think the draft process is pretty standard," Allen said. "[The lockout] really hasn't changed the way we evaluate the players."

Some have speculated that since free agency won't precede the NFL Draft this year, it could force teams to over-reach for prospects to address positions of need.

Allen said the Redskins' approach will be to trust their draft board.

"A lot of people talked, in previous years, 'Go by the draft board, go by the rating. Don't try to over-reach for a player,'" Allen said. "Obviously if you think someone is going to go, you might have to take him a half-round higher than you project.

"We're going to follow our draft board. I think that's the safest way to do it. If it's a position where we feel we have a need, then that'll work even better for us."

The Redskins hold the No. 10 pick in the first round. In the second round, they have the ninth selection, or the No. 41 pick.

With the Redskins lacking third- and fourth-round picks, Allen suggested the team could opt to trade down in the first or second rounds to acquire more picks.

"We have eight choices for this draft and we have an opportunity to do well in the later rounds," Allen said. "Could there be trades to acquire new picks? It's possible."

Trades in the top 12 picks of the draft have been less frequent in recent years, however.

"I think there are some interesting prospects at positions that might attract other teams," Allen said. "And there are some players – once we finalize our board – if we have rated at a certain grade and feel we have to move, then we'll also consider that. I haven't seen much movement the last several years, though."

Allen said the deepest positions in the draft centered on the offensive and defensive lines.

What about quarterbacks, a position that the Redskins may focus on during the draft?

"Very good," he said. "You know, it's interesting, with quarterbacks – and we've visited with several of the top quarterbacks – it depends on what team you go to and what time."

The Redskins have visited with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner who led the Tigers to the National Championship last season.

"He did very well," Allen said of Newton. "He is obviously very talented and deserves the Heisman Trophy."

Allen said that the Redskins have not made a decision on the status of quarterback Donovan McNabb or defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.

Allen indicated that once the labor situation was resolved, the team could move forward on determining their future with the club.

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