Washington Redskins: Could a Draft Day Trade Be in the Cards?

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Washington Redskins: Could a Draft Day Trade Be in the Cards?
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
RG3 on stage at the 2012 NFL draft.

The Washington Redskins have been known to make a splash, especially in the past few years. 

With their most recent tidal wave of moving up for Robert Griffin III panning out like it has, could they be looking to trade up in the draft once again? Given their limited cap space and lack of bargaining chips, it would certainly be tough. 

While they probably couldn’t trade up into the first round without giving up even more future first-rounders, they may be thinking about moving up into the first part of the second round. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Potential Redskin Blidi Wreh-Wilson knocks down a pass.

Although there is a pretty deep, quality class of defensive backs this year, Washington may have fallen in love with a prospect who they don’t think will be there for them at No. 51. There have been many prospects on the Redskins’ radar with their first pick, such as D.J. Swearinger and Blidi Wreh-Wilson, but there has been no clear-cut favorite of theirs. 

When it comes down to it, the draft is completely unpredictable. The only pick in which the team knows for certain they are guaranteed the player they want is first overall. 

So, should the Redskins trade up earlier in the second round? If Washington could make it work, it might be a smart move. 

If they could some how package some picks and send them off to a team in the 30s or 40s of the draft so they can move up, they would certainly have a better chance at getting their guy. While it’s not clear if they even have “a guy,” they could just be keeping it under wraps. But again, there’s no way for us to know for sure. 

We do know one thing, though—the Redskins need as much help as they can on the back end of their defense. 

We’ve analyzed who and where they should pick, but that was just at their current spots throughout the draft. If the Redskins are able to trade up to somewhere in the mid-30s, they could get their hands on a better player than they would get at 51. 

That’s not to say there’s a huge drop-off from the 36th pick to the 51st pick, but there is some discrepancy. 

It could be the the difference between Swearinger or Matt Elam. Both are good players, but Elam is the better overall prospect as this point in time. A big reason why Elam’s name hasn’t been linked to Washington much in the past is because many believe he’ll be gone by the time the Redskins’ first pick rolls around. 

Elam would add playmaking ability and instincts to a secondary that was seriously lacking both last year. He is great in run defense as well as pass defense and is always good for a big hit or two. 

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Matt Elam hypes up the crowd.

The former Gator is just an example of what the Redskins could possibly get if they did trade up 10-plus spots or so. 

If this is to come to fruition, it won’t be until the day off the draft. As I mentioned before, there is no guarantee that their “guy” (if they even have one) will be there. 

However, if they do have someone in mind and he starts to slide to a reasonable, reachable spot in the second round, Shanahan could be making some calls come draft day. 

In theory, Washington could probably make something like this work, although it would take much wheeling and dealing. Now, would it be the smartest move for them? Probably not. 

The Redskins need to get younger all throughout their roster, and sending away picks isn’t the best way to do that. It is much more likely that they will stay put for the most part and take the best player available that will also fill a need. 

Last year, the Redskins took a chance on Alfred Morris all the way in the sixth round, and that is clearly paying huge dividends. We all know that there is no precise formula to a good draft; there are many ways to have a successful draft.

Taking the risk of trading away everything but the kitchen sink for one player can certainly pay off; just look at the RG3 trade from last year. But then again, there is also the old-fashioned way of staying put and taking the best player on your board. 

For the Redskins, this is not the year to be taking risks in the draft. Especially since they were on a short leash in free agency due to cap penalties, the draft is their best way of adding talent this year. 

They’re coming off of a pretty good season, and they don’t need to fix much; there are no drastic changes that need to be made. 

They have boosted their secondary by signing E.J. Biggers, so they can afford to not be so hasty on draft day. 

Would trading up pay off? Probably. It’s a sacrifice; you give up a few extra picks for a better player. There’s always risks with sacrifices, but the reward is also sweeter. 

The bottom line is this: Trading up a few spots in order to get a better player would make sense, but it isn’t in the best interest of the Redskins right now. 

Granted, this all depends on the Redskins’ front office’s confidence in their roster as it is. If they feel that they can sacrifice adding more pieces for fewer, better pieces, then they may pull the trigger and strike a deal. Otherwise, they’ll stay put and build their roster. 

It’s your move, fellas.

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