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Sam Bradford is the NFL's likely No. 1 pick. No one is quite sure of who'll go next.
BY RICH CAMPBELL
ASHBURN--Bruce Allen began his meeting with reporters yesterday with a disclaimer. In the days of misinformation and smokescreens leading up to the start of the NFL draft on Thursday, better to just get the obvious out of the way.
"Understand that I'm not going to get too specific, so don't get upset," the Washington Redskins general manager said with a smile. "I'm going to attempt not to lie to you all. Key word: attempt."
That drew laughter from the crowd. Falsehoods are simply part of the game this time of year, so the degree of Allen's candor will best be evaluated once the three-day draft concludes on Saturday.
For now, though, Allen is keeping the Redskins' options open as they prepare to draft fourth overall.
He said the Redskins aren't ruling out drafting a quarterback with one of their four selections (in the first, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds) despite having five quarterbacks on the roster, including newly acquired starter Donovan McNabb.
He echoed the statement coach Mike Shanahan made on Sunday about not trading disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
He said the team isn't close to finalizing a trade involving quarterback Jason Campbell, but some teams have expressed interest.
And he is pessimistic about the Redskins' chances of acquiring more picks by trading down from No. 4.
"History will tell you that there's not much trading in the top four picks," Allen said. "We've looked at it a number of different ways. We are listening. The phones will be open. We have a listed phone number in case someone wants to make a trade, but it's hard to project what's going to happen."
With so many needs on team coming off a 4-12 season, Allen and Shanahan are hopeful they can accumulate more draft selections.
They traded their second-round choice (No. 37 overall) to Philadelphia for McNabb earlier this month. The third-rounder was used to take defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in last summer's supplemental draft, and the sixth-rounder was dealt to Miami for defensive end Jason Taylor in 2008. Two of those three transactions occurred before Allen and Shanahan were hired.
"If you look at my past, I love draft choices, so this is a little bit unusual for me going in without a third- or a sixth-rounder, and making the decision to acquire someone like Donovan," said Shanahan, who averaged almost eight picks per draft in 14 seasons in Denver.
Washington could recoup some of those selections through trades, but the likelihood of moving back into the top half of the draft is unlikely if the Redskins aren't looking to deal Haynesworth, as Allen said.
One day after Shanahan said Washington hasn't attempted to trade any players other than Campbell, Allen went a step further in attempting to quell the Haynesworth chatter.
"We really are looking forward to Albert coming in and helping us win," he said.
As for Campbell, the market for his services figures to evolve as quarterbacks are drafted and teams in need of one weigh Campbell's availability against the remaining available passers.
"Jason's a known commodity and a proven player in this league," Allen said, "but nothing is imminent."
One noticeable absence from Allen's news conference yesterday was owner Daniel Snyder, who usually attends the annual event.
Allen gave the impression that Snyder is not involved in the player evaluation process other than meeting with prospects to get a feel for their personality and character. Snyder will be at team headquarters during the draft.
"We want all the ownership to be here," Allen said. "This is an exciting time for the Redskins. Dan's involvement, I'm not sure what he has done before, but I do know that he cares about the character of the players that we bring in who will wear burgundy and gold."
Washington signed wide receivers Marques Hagans and Roydell Williams, running back Ryan Torain and nose tackle Howard Green yesterday.
Hagans, a former Virginia standout, and Williams were in Redskins training camp last year. Torain played for Shanahan in Denver in 2008, and Green played for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in New Orleans in 2004.
Rich Campbell: 540/735-1974