If William of Occam were handicapping Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft, this is what he would say about the fourth overall selection ...
Forget the endless analysis, subterfuge and misinformation. Washington Redskins fans will wake up Friday morning comforted to know that QB Donovan McNabb will be protected from backside mayhem for the foreseeable future by Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung .
(It works better if you read it with an Italian accent.)
Old Bill's old saw would be right. The simplest explanation is almost always the right one, and in the case of the 2010 Redskins, the simplest explanation (as well as logic and common sense) points toward the selection of the draft's most highly-rated offensive lineman.
Down and dirty, here's why ...
● The Redskins have only four picks. For those of you who have not yet committed them to memory, they are ...
Rd. 1 (4)
Rd. 4 (103)
Rd. 5 (135)
Rd. 7 (211)
● Yes, it is possible they will trade down in order to acquire more picks, but they will not be counting on that, nor is it primarily in their hands. Unless another team takes the serious initiative to jump up to #4 with an offer the Redskins simply cannot refuse, they will stay put and use the pick. They will entertain any offers for the full 10 minutes they are on the clock, but odds are none will persuade.
● Yes, it is possible the Redskins will acquire additional picks by trading players for picks (you know the names being mentioned; Haynesworth, Campbell, Landry, McIntosh ... ), but even on the off chance they succeed in swinging such a trade, it will not likely change who (or what position) they select at #4.
● No, the Redskins will not trade up for the right to draft Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford . With only four picks (or the off-chance of acquiring a bonanza of additional picks to play with), they simply lack the ammunition. More importantly, they have greater needs elsewhere. With McNabb, a competent backup in Rex Grossman (oh stop, he is ) and Colt Brennan/Player X already on hand to compete for third string/developmental positions, quarterback is no longer the most pressing need.
● No, they will not select Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen at number 4. As noted, with QB adequately addressed for the short-to-mid-term, the needs are too great elsewhere to use such a high pick on a player who will, at best, ride the bench for a couple of years.
● No, they will not select Tennessee FS Eric Berry at number 4. He may become a great, great player in the NFL, but is a luxury the 2010 Redskins simply cannot afford given the (say it with me) greater needs elsewhere.
● The only situation(s) it is realistic to envision the Redskins not selecting Okung at #4 are if they:
1) Have another offensive lineman rated higher
2) Swing a blockbuster trade that nets them enough ammunition to pick up two or more offensive linemen in the early rounds, and gamble on finding at least one with starting potential in 2010
3) Swing a trade that nets them enough ammunition to really shake things up and trade up for Bradford and (media drama notwithstanding) theoretically set themselves up at QB for the next decade-plus
For the record, says here Number 1 could happen but is unlikely; Number 2 is unlikely and would be comforting on the one hand (more big bodies = good) but scary on the other (more bodies who may or may not be able to play = another summer of fretting the OL). And if Number 3 happens, William of Occam will probably join Ludwig Von doing gynamstics in their respective sarcophagi .
Those of you familiar with this space know I rarely venture predictions. The league is too unpredictable, there are too many machinations and variables in play, and, well, I really hate being wrong. But I'm prepared to wear the Dunce Cap if I'm wrong on this one.
With the fourth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select ...
Offensive Tackle Russell Okung .
Kind of gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it?
Note: for those who have been kind enough to contact (read: rightfully berate) me about not posting recently, yes, the new BGO logo I have been spending most of my free time on the last few weeks is coming along nicely if I do say so myself. Probably a couple more weeks before installation and we are back in the good graces (or at least out of the crosshairs) of Big Brother NFL.
Live and learn.