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Redskins Draft Day Blog: Worth the Wait...

7:21 p.m. ET

When the Redskins make a move, they move fast.

The announcement of the Redskins' trade with the New York Jets came abruptly--and sent almost everyone at Redskins Park scrambling.

I received early word that the pick would be Roger "Rocky" McIntosh, linebacker out of Miami. Talk about a sense of relief--I was prepared for that pick. I already had an inkling that he would ultimately be the selection.

For proof, see my second blog entry below. Nice prediction, if I do say so myself.

Full disclosure: I had obtained a list of all the prospects that the team visited with, and McIntosh was among the players. So was a pair of Miami defenders in cornerback Kelly Jennings and middle linebacker Leon Williams.

That tipped me off that the Redskins were serious about one of those three players. The coaches strive to fully investigate potential draft picks, and who better to talk to than teammates. It just made sense that McIntosh would be the pick.

Of couse, I didn't envision trading up to draft McIntosh. Can't win them all, I guess.

I had a bunch of photos of McIntosh already on hand--as well as eight other potential draft picks--so I was prepared to upload everything quickly to the web site before Joe Gibbs stepped to the podium to discuss the pick.

We were all anticipating the draft pick would come between 7:45-8:15 p.m., so there was some pressure to move fast once the trade was announced.

Our Redskins.com TV staff, led by Larry Michael, and the IT department worked hand in hand to make sure the live video feed of the Gibbs press conference went off without a hitch.

I can also report that the Redskins were seriously considering UTEP linebacker Thomas Howard in the second round. Obviously, McIntosh was rated higher on the team's draft board because at No. 35, the Redskins could have drafted either one.

Howard eventually was drafted by the Oakland Raiders three picks later.

At first glance, what stands out about McIntosh?

As everyone knows, Gibbs likes to draft players who are "super smart." Well, McIntosh qualifies. He has a degree in criminology and is pursuing several other degrees at Miami. Plus, he scored a 29 on the Wonderlic test, administered during the NFL Scouting Combine.


5:18 p.m. ET

The Redskins are on the clock! The team has just made a trade with the New York Jets. Pick coming up.

Congratulations to D'Qwell Jackson, who was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the second round (34th overall). I had the opportunity to meet with D'Qwell at the Redskins local college workout on April 7. Here's a Q&A interview.


5:15 p.m. ET

NFC East update: the New York Giants, having earlier traded with the Pittsburgh Steelers, dropped to the No. 32 selection and chose defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College.

Another surprise choice from the NFC East. And it appears the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants are loading up on defense--perhaps anticipating a high-powered Redskins offense next season?

Kiwanuka's status dropped dramatically after a sub-par showing at the Senior Bowl last January. He was expected to be a top 15 pick before that game.

The Giants have a pair of Pro Bowl defensive ends in Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan. Is Kiwanuka expected to eventually take over for Strahan? Will the Giants switch him to linebacker?


4:11 p.m. ET

Redskins.com's Casey Husband wants in on the blog. Here's his take on Reggie Bush going to New Orleans:

"If Reggie Bush is upset at the Houston Texans for not selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick this year, he'll simply have to bide his time.

"His shot at Houston will come next year. In 2007, the Saints are scheduled to play at Houston.

"Bush first made a name for himself at the college level in the game at FedExField when USC and Virginia Tech hooked up.

"The Redskins won't see Bush in a Houston Texans uniform on Week 3 this season. But they will see him on Week 15 in New Orleans."


3:48 p.m. ET

Some "Tam-ba, Tam-ba" cheers here when the Kansas City Chiefs selected Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali. One of our P.R. staffers, Shelby Morrison, is a Penn State alumn.

Hali is one of the draft's feel-good stories. Hali fled civil war-torn Liberia at age 10, joining his father Henry in the United States. According to reports, he has been motivated to become a NF player by his desire to reunite with his mother, Rachel Keita, and bring her to the United States after not having seen her for more than 12 years.

NFC East update: initial reaction to the Dallas Cowboys selecting Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter was one of surprise. It's the second year in a row the Cowboys have drafted an outside linebacker in the first round. Last year, it was DeMarcus Ware.

The Cowboys run a 3-4 scheme, so Carpenter should fit in with Al Singleton, Kevin Burnett and Bradie James. Hey, the Cowboys also have Mike Barrow on their roster. Remember him, Redskins fans?

So far, two NFC East teams have sought to upgrade the defense. The Giants are coming up with the 25th overall pick.


2:45 p.m. ET

NFC East update: the Philadelphia Eagles seem intent on improving their ability to stop the run. They drafted Florida State defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley to team with last year's first-rounder, Mike Patterson.

The Eagles also visited with wide receiver Javon Walker on Saturday morning. Walker, who missed most of last season due to a knee injury, is on the trading block by Green Bay.

The Dallas Cowboys have the 18th overall pick in the first round and the New York Giants have the 25th overall pick. We'll keep our eye on the NFC East all afternoon.


2:38 p.m. ET

Predictably, the scene at Redskins Park is pretty quiet so far.

Jon Jansen and John Hall stopped by the facility and chatted with receptionist B.J. Blanchard.

A handful of newspaper reporters are here. There should be a strong media contingent early this evening, after the Redskins have picked at No. 53, barring a trade of course. Head coach Joe Gibbs will hold a press conference shortly after the selection.

For now, coaches, scouts and team officials are huddled around television sets, watching the NFL Draft just like everyone else.


2:05 p.m. ET

So what to think about the Detroit Lions passing on Matt Leinart?

I decided to check in with my friend Liza, who is a big Lions fan and a big Joey Harrington supporter, even though Harrington appears to be on his way out in Detroit.

Liza's thoughts?

"I was glad we didn't pick Matt Leinart," she said. "I think he's overrated. He was surrounded by great offensive talent at USC. I don't think Lions fans wanted to see another rookie quarterback get killed behind our offensive line.

"And he's not nearly as good-looking as Joey Harrington, even though he thinks he is."

There you have it.


1:44 p.m. ET

Matt Leinart couldn't ask for a better opportunity in Arizona. He goes to a Cardinals team that has running back Edgerrin James and wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. That's a powerhouse offense--but only if the Cardinals address the offensive line.

Maybe I'm missing something, but why would the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions pass on drafting Leinart? Don't they need a franchise quarterback?


1:20 p.m. ET

Perhaps you're wondering what the Redskins War Room looks like? (Sorry, no photos allowed.)

Well, it's on the first floor of the Redskins Park facility. It's a non-descript room--kind of small, actually--with a conference table and no windows.

On all four walls of the room, there are white dry-erase boards with thousands of names of college prospects clipped on, ordered by how the team ranks each one.

That's about it.


1 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints' head coach Sean Payton just said on NFL Network that his team is committed to keeping Reggie Bush. And Bush is now on a plane to New Orleans, further signaling that Payton and the Saints have no intention of trading him.

Now the question is, what will Payton do with Deuce McAllister.

It looks like the Redskins will be facing three of the top four draft picks next season.

The Redskins will take on Mario Williams and the Texans in Week 3 at Reliant Stadium. Three weeks later, Vince Young and the Titans come to FedExField. In Week 15, the Redskins travel to New Orleans to take on Bush and the Saints.


12:33 p.m. ET

Reggie Bush to the Saints? I just don't see it. There must be a trade in the works.

So you may be wondering who is representing the Redskins at the NFL Draft in New York City. At Radio City Music Hall, we have head strength and conditioning coach John Hastings and team video director Mike Bracken.

Hastings and Bracken will man the phones at the draft. They will be in constant contact with team officials, including head coach Joe Gibbs.


11:58 a.m. ET

Let's get going. The draft is just a couple of minutes away. So here's my prediction for the Redskins' first draft pick.

I don't foresee a trade up, but I could envision the team trading down, if the players team officials are targeting are no longer on the draft board.

I think the Redskins stand pat at No. 53.

The pick? It's linebacker Roger "Rocky" McIntosh from the University of Miami.

I know, I know. Several mock drafts circulating around the web have the Redskins drafting McIntosh. This is hardly a shocking prediction. But I think it makes sense.

Here's my evaluation of McIntosh in the NFL Draft Preview article for linebackers. A prototypical weak-side linebacker who is 6-2 and 235 pounds, McIntosh would have been ranked higher in the draft, except that he has battled injuries each of the last two years. He still had a standout senior season for the Hurricanes, logging 89 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

If not a linebacker, I think the Redskins will take a cornerback. I have my eye on Ohio State cornerback Ashton Youboty.


11:30 a.m. ET

This should be fun.

I hope to update this Weblog throughout the day with some insight into the goings-on at Redskins Park and in New York City at the NFL Draft.

With the Redskins' first draft choice coming in at No. 53, it could be a long day. Vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato jokes that by the time the Redskins pick, the staff will have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be ready for dessert.

Well, let me say I have my eye on lemon meringue pie. Can't go wrong there.

Let's start with the first big shocker of the draft. The Houston Texans are expected to draft North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams. (Great nickname: "Super Mario.") Reports say that Williams and the Texans have already reached a contract agreement.

The Texans are bypassing USC running back Reggie Bush, widely regarded as the best overall talent in the draft.

Until now, everyone had assumed that Bush would be the first overall pick. Now, with Williams set to go to Houston, the New Orleans Saints have the power with the second overall pick. It'd be hard to imagine the Saints drafting Bush, since they already have running back Deuce McAllister.

I would imagine a trade is in the works. The Tennessee Titans are expected to draft a quarterback, either Matt Leinart or Vince Young, so they're likely not interested. That means the bidding for Bush could be intense between the New York Jets, at No. 4, and the Green Bay Packers, at No. 5.

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