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Cerrato Wants More Draft Picks

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Yesterday was a busy day for draft pick talk, with Skins top football man Vinny Cerrato discussing the draft at length both on his radio show and in his sit-down with Jason Reid. Cerrato emphasized youth and depth and draft picks over and over again, and openly said he'd like to acquire more than the four picks he has for the 2009 draft. That's the kind of party line fans have been yearning after for years. Rough quotes, based on me typing as fast as I could:

"Unless there's something outstanding where we pick, we'll look to move down and pick up another pick."

"You're better off getting the young, healthy guys in the draft and continue to grow and build so you have a solid foundation that you can put together for a long time. What you want to do, you want to keep building with young guys, so then you can continue to grow for a long time, not just sign a band-aid, make the playoffs for one year....Let's continue to build so you can be solid for a long time, that's what we want to do, continue to grow, develop, build through the draft, add free agents when you have to. Developing the young guys is the main thing, especially with the salary cap."

["I wish we had that motto maybe about five years ago," said the next caller, in a lol moment. "Maybe we wouldn't be in this predicament."]

"What we're trying to do is to develop depth and develop young guys so they can step in."

"I think we see flashes in Fred Davis, so I think the future's bright there. I think Devin Thomas is playing with much more confidence, playing faster, showing up, making plays. Malcolm [Kelly] will play more next year....In training camp, the guy was outstanding, so expect a lot of things from him. J.T. Tryon has been outstanding on special teams, so he'll help us and provide depth in the secondary....Kareem feeling comfortable back there. And I'm telling you what, usually when a guy is doing well on special teams then he transfers it and is ready to play well on the field....I think Rob Jackson will play more next year....They all need a good offseason, and usually guys make tremendous improvements between year one and year two, so I think the development of those 10 will infuse more talent, more speed and explosiveness at those positions....And right now we have four picks, if we can turn that into six or seven then we'll infuse [even more talent]."

It's all undeniably good news if you're a Redskins fan. But the verdict on this 2008 class, clearly, is still out, with some negative thoughts entering the minds of a few fans who see the rookies on the sidelines every week. Cerrato attempted to defend the picks to Jason Reid, saying "When we went into the draft, we said we weren't looking for a starter at any position. We were looking for young guys to add talent and depth that could learn, grow and develop into starters. How many guys on every team are starting as rookies? I don't know that."

Well, I don't know that either, but I tried to at least find out the starting stats for the early rounds. The caveats: I only had time to look at the first two rounds, "starting" is a kind of silly measurement since a guy can be on the field for the first play and then never again and earn a start, you can also be productive as a front-line reserve, starting statistics don't reflect injuries to either rookies or veterans, and receivers often take longer to break in than other players. All that being said....

* Of the 31 guys drafted in the first round last April, 16 have started at least eight games, and 25 have started at least two games.

* Of the 32 guys drafted in the second round last April, nine eight have started at least eight games, and 19 18 have started at least two games.

* Twelve of the first 13 guys taken in the second round have started at least two games. Devin Thomas is the lone exception.

* The 32 second rounders have started a combined 152 143 games, an average of 4.8 4.5 per man.

* The Redskins three second-round picks have started one, one and zero games, an average of 0.7 per man.

But I'm just being tendentious, and by all means, stockpile draft picks. Your fans will love you for it.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 23, 2008; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: D.C. vs. NYC: Lose Some, Win Some


I'd love stockpiled draft picks more if Cerrato wasn't the one making the selections. He got lucky with Chris Horton, so we'll good player for every 10 picks. So we need about 200 draft picks.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | December 23, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Lindemann777: nail on the head man!!!

Get rid of Vinnie, get someone that can actually evaluate talent. Can you say Martin Mayhew? (I used to call him Martin May-get-burned!)

Vinnie could have 200 picks & still have no one become a starter. The man is CLEARLY out of his element. He needs to go back to ESPN...

Posted by: james51 | December 23, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Vinny is so full of it...yesterday he was quoted as saying none of his first three guys participated in training camp because of injuries and 30 seconds later he says that malcom kelly showed signs in training camp. His defense of his draft is so week...Wouldn't it be refreshing if Cerrato could say "We probably overpaid Taylor for the performance we got this year" as Taylor himself said or "my top draft picks have not worked out yet and hopefully it will turn around; I will redouble my efforts and see if there are things i should be changing in the way i handle the draft in the future...." etc. etc...people would have a lot more respect for him if he did....Until then he is a total failure in my book on many levels.

Posted by: IZZY3 | December 23, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Vinny is smart enough to read what we are writing on these blogs, so when he has these interviews he can then tell us what we want to hear. Or maybe, he is smart enough to know that the draft is the proper strategy.

What he's NOT smart enough to do is consistently draft players who will be successful in the NFL & help the Redskins win.

You know, at this point, I really wish Synder would've kept Casserly over Turner back in the day, and we would've at least had a decent shot at having talent on this team.

Man, I feel bad for Zorn.

Posted by: cprob001 | December 23, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

great. so now he's gonna trade the high picks for a bunch of low picks and we still wont have any legitimate talent on the lines.

but have no fear. there will be a pointless high profile expensive signing to justify the inevitable rise in ticket prices and concessions.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | December 23, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

It must be hard to be down the road from the draft genius that is Ozzie Newsome.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | December 23, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hope springs eternal. So many things on the Redskin's wish list. God help us if they don't get a lot of it right in this off-season. I'll be the first in line to eat crow if Vinnie can head us in the right direction. The fixes seem so painfully obvious. Why can't boys at the top get it right?

Posted by: coastallp74 | December 24, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

But you have to understand when Gibbs came in here, he knew his time was limited that's why he knew he couldn't wait for draft picks to develop. Now that we have a coach that can presumably coach for the next 5-10 years without questions of retirement, we can finally build through the draft. If it wasn't for Cerrato, that is.

Posted by: kwik1013 | December 24, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Puleeze, can we outsource Redskins draft.
Here's history since 2000, like it or not.


2. Roger McIntosh, OLB, Miami - 35th overall
5. Anthony Montgomery, DT, Minnesota - 153rd overall
6. Reed Doughty, S, North Colorado - 173rd overall
6. Kedric Golston, DT, Georgia - 196th overall
7. Kili Lefotu, OG, Arizona - 230th overall
7. Kevin Simon, ILB, Tennessee - 250th overall

1. Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn (9th overall)
1. Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn (25th overall)
4. Manuel White, FB, UCLA (120th overall)
5. Robert McCune, ILB, Louisville (154th overall)
6. Jared Newberry, OLB, Stanford (183rd overall)
7. Nehemiah Broughton, FB, The Citadel (222nd overall)

1. Sean Taylor, S, Miami - 5th overall
3. Chris Cooley, TE, Utah State - 81st overall
5. Mark Wilson, OT, California - 151st overall
6. Jim Molinaro, OT, Notre Dame - 180th overall

2. Taylor Jacobs, WR, Florida - 44th overall
3. Derrick Dockery, G, Texas - 81st overall
7. Gibran Hamdan, QB, Indiana - 232nd overall

1. Patrick Ramsey, QB, Tulane
2. Ladell Betts, RB, Iowa
3. Rashad Bauman, CB, Oregon
3. Cliff Russell, WR, Utah
5. Andre Lott, S, Tennessee
5. Robert Royal, TE, LSU
6. Reggie Coleman, T, Tennessee
7. Jeff Grau, LS, UCLA
7. Greg Scott, DE, Hampton
7. Rock Cartwright, FB, Kansas St.

1. Rod Gardner, WR, Clemson
2. Fred Smoot, CB, Mississippi St.
4. Sage Rosenfels, QB, Iowa St.
5. Darnerien McCants, WR, Delaware St.
6. Mario Monds, DT, Cincinnati

1. LaVar Arrington, LB, Penn St.
1. Chris Samuels, T, Alabama
3. Lloyd Harrison, CB, N.C. State
4. Michael Moore, G, Troy St.
5. Quincy Sanders, S, UNLV
6. Todd Husak, QB, Stanford
7. Del Cowsette, DT, Maryland
7. Ethan Howell, WR, Oklahoma St.

Posted by: getitritegov | December 24, 2008 5:33 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be good if they traded down the first day picks and turned them into second day picks. The Owner and the EVP are the guys who get seduced by the big names. This new personnel guy, Marocco Brown is the down-roster guy. Let him pick down-draft. His practice squad got snatched up way quick this season.

Posted by: dcsween | December 24, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Articles like this make me hate Vinnie even more than I already do! We would have more damn picks if we would stop making stupid trades for people like Jason Taylor, TJ Duckett, etc. Build a team through the draft, not by making stupid trades!
Also, he said, "You're better off getting the young, healthy guys in the draft and continue to grow and build so you have a solid foundation that you can put together for a long time."
Have we really gone with the healthy picks lately? Rocky McIntosh and Malcolm Kelly have some serious knee problems that made many teams shy away from them! But, we were happy to scoop them up.
Finally, has anyone thought that Vinnie likes to move down in the draft because there is less pressure to be right with lower picks? If he puts his balls on the line and actually moves up to get someone who he thinks can be on the active roster for games and makes a mistake, then he will catch national criticism. But, if he only takes 2nd and 3rd rounders, then the spotlight shines a little bit less. Just my two cents.

Posted by: NCMatt1 | December 24, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

He needs more picks so he can draft a punter and a kicker this year.

Posted by: inchesfromyourface | December 24, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

You'd like more draft picks. As my dad said, a penny saved is a penny earned. Jackazs

Posted by: Gweez | December 24, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Some good points made here, although whether or not a rookie starts depends more on the coaches than the player. Also on who's in front of him -- it's easier to get a starting job on a bad team.

A better measure of draft success, although still imperfect, is whether or not the players are still with the team three, four, or five years after they're drafted. That suggests the team is successful at building a nucleus of players through the draft. If all that was important was star players, we'd only have a round or two in the draft. A lot of a draft's success is determined by its contribution to depth.

So you look at a draft like Tennessee's this year and you see a bunch of players contributing right away. But you look at a draft like theirs in 2004 and it looks like a failure -- ten choices, including three 2's and multiple 3's and 4's, and virtually nobody on the team.

Tennessee is considered a good drafting club, but their results have been mixed. At the start of the year you'd probably have counted Vince Young as a successful pick -- but how about now? LenDale White, their 2nd rounder, is an excellent runner but also a prime head case.

Ahmad Bradshaw was the steal of the century a year ago, and now he's a backup without much chance of getting a start. So was he a success or not?

You look at the McIntosh draft, where the Skins had just a few choices, and they scored on most of them. So that would have to be a successful draft, right? But you can see many people don't think so, because of Rocky's injuries.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 24, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Well according to getitritegov's list up there, we get two decent players every year (starting 2002.)

So this year we have Horton and who?

Posted by: charley42 | December 24, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is an new Redskins' executive vp of football operations.


Vinny needs to go, Snyder has such a short leash on coaches but keeps Vinny, I don't get it, isn't he just as accountable as the coaches?

Posted by: TWSS | December 24, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This years draft, especially the receivers can't truly be graded until next season. After an additional season of Zorn's offense we will see what kind of talent we have. With all the players having one year of experience under their belts with the offense the young players should thrive. However, great teams are built through the offensive and defensive lines and we are just not giving thsoe areas the kind of attention they need.

Posted by: zo6man | December 25, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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