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eight potential picks for Washington at No. 13
Redskins have needs to fill in draft

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Date published: 4/24/2009

BY RICH CAMPBELL

ASHBURN

--Nine first-round draft picks have been introduced at Redskins Park since that mid-April day in 1997 when defensive end Kenard Lang arrived wearing brown alligator-skin shoes and declared he was a "puppy going to a grown man's game."

None of those nine was a defensive lineman. In fact, Lang was the last defensive lineman the Washington Redskins have selected higher than the fifth round.

It is part of what has become a stunning trend. The Redskins' neglect of their offensive and defensive lines during the top of the draft has been a hallmark of their player acquisition methods since Daniel Snyder took ownership of the franchise in July 1999.

The team during Snyder's tenure has addressed its lines almost exclusively through free agency and trades, a risky approach considering the increased injury risk for older linemen and the relatively low bust rate for highly drafted lineman compared with skill-position players.

But the Redskins probably will have a grand opportunity to end that streak and fill a need tomorrow when a handful of quality defensive ends are expected to be available for their scheduled pick at No. 13 overall.

"If you could get two offensive tackles and a defensive line, you can pretty much assure yourself you're going to have a good football team," said former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly, who drafted Lang and is now an analyst for CBS Sports. "That, to me, is what the priority is."

Washington since 2000 has drafted only one lineman (left tackle Chris Samuels) higher than the third round, the fewest of any team in the NFL. Philadelphia and Minnesota each lead the league with 10 such picks.

Detractors of the Redskins' approach believe it is why the team ranks 28th in sacks in the 32-team league since 2002.


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NFL DRAFT WHEN: Tomorrow-Sunday WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, New York City TV: Tomorrow (ESPN, 4-8 p.m.; ESPN2, 9-11 p.m.); Sunday (ESPN, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.); also on NFL Network FIRST-DAY PICKS: Redskins (first round, No. 13), Ravens (first round, No. 26; second round, No. 57)

REDSKINS BLOG Read Rich Campbell's take on the Redskins' draft prospects and offer your thoughts on fredericksburg.com.

DE, Tennessee

Explosive pass rusher did not become a full-time starter until his senior season, but he recorded 15 tackles for loss and three sacks in 12 starts last year.

OLB, Southern Cal

Rugged second-team all-American had 73 tackles (10 for loss) and three sacks in 13 games last year. Has been injured every year but one since high school.

DE, LSU

Versatile and durable pass rusher projects as an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense (the Redskins run a 4-3). Second-team all-SEC selection also defends the run well.

DE, Penn State

At 6-4, 250, Maybin is a "tweener" that could fill the DE/LB role in which the Redskins had planned to use Jason Taylor. Led the Big Ten last year with 12 sacks.

OT, Mississippi

First-team all-American is a superb run blocker and above-average pass blocker. His rags-to-riches life story was chronicled in the best-selling book "The Blind Side."

DE, Texas

The Nagurski Trophy (nation's best defensive player) winner would be a steal at No. 13. He had 11 sacks in 12 games last year. A bit small but projects well in a 4-3 defense.

QB, Southern Cal

Has the passing skills and media savvy to be a franchise quarterback. The Redskins probably would have to trade up, however, to get him. Started only 16 college games.

OT, Alabama

Won the Outland Trophy (nation's best lineman) last season, but his draft stock fell after he made a mockery of the pre-draft evaluation process.

--Rich Campbell

Offensive and defensive linemen drafted in the first two rounds since 2000:

10: Minnesota, Philadelphia 9: San Francisco 8: Arizona, Detroit, Jacksonville, New Orleans 7: Kansas City, New England, Seattle, Tampa Bay 6: Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis 5: Atlanta, Denver, Houston, N.Y. Giants, N.Y. Jets, Tennessee 4: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Oakland, San Diego 3: Pittsburgh 1: Washington

Redskins draft picks by position since 2000:

QB: 7

DE: 2

RB: 1

DT: 4

FB: 3

LB: 7

WR: 7

CB: 5

TE: 4

S: 7

OT: 3

K: 0

OG: 2

P: 1

C: 0

LS: 1

G/T: 3