The Redskins have made it clear they are open to trading the No. 21 pick in the first round of this Saturday's NFL Draft.
Team officials might even be willing to trade out of the first round altogether.
Executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said on Tuesday that he has contacted teams to gauge their interest in moving up to the Redskins' slot at No. 21.
"Over the last couple days I have contacted the teams behind us and the teams in the top of the second round about moving up to 21," Cerrato said.
"Usually the teams that are looking for a quarterback may want to come up. So we've talked to all of those teams about possibly moving up. Come draft day, we may have an option of trading back."
Part of the reason for trading back may be the uncertainty surrounding which prospect would be available at No. 21.
The Redskins have had top 10 picks three of the last four years, including the sixth overall pick last year. The team chose LSU safety LaRon Landry.
"It was easier when we were picking at six because there were only so many prospects that could go in front of you," Cerrato said. "At 21, you have to sit back and try to figure out what's going on. It seems like it changes all the time on who may be there--or may not be there."
If the Redskins do end up selecting a player at No. 21, then it will likely be the top-rated player available on their draft board.
"What happens is, if you get to 21 and you say we have to [draft a certain position], and that position is gone, you might end up taking a late second-round pick where at another position you could get a guy who valued at 21," Cerrato said.
"In the long run, you are much better getting the value for the player then reaching for a guy. The biggest mistakes are made when you reach for a player."
Cerrato pointed to the defensive line position as one that is often over-valued in the draft.
"If you don't usually get [defensive linemen] early, you are not getting them, so that is why they all go [in the early rounds]," Cerrato said. "A lot of second- and third-round [defensive linemen] end up going in the first round. That's why, if you look at history, the best value in the draft is in the second round."
One defensive lineman who the Redskins will evaluate in the days leading up to the draft is Clemson's Phillip Merling.
Merling recently underwent a sports hernia surgery earlier this offseason, but he is still projected as a first-round pick. He is scheduled to host a private workout on Thursday.
"He is going to get a chance to do some drills," Cerrato said. "So we will get a chance to evaluate him at that time."
Cerrato admitted that there are positions--such as running back--that the Redskins probably would not draft with the 21st overall pick.
"If something crazy happens where somebody [like highly touted Arkansas running back Darren McFadden] fell, you'd have to look at it and evaluate it," Cerrato said. "But there are some positions that don't really warrant us taking there."
Added head coach Jim Zorn: "I would not say that there is going to be one position that I look at over another, especially with pick 21. I am sure there are going to be four or five guys there and it is going to be a difficult pick. It is going to be a difficult choice."