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Vinny Cerrato and the draft pick he'd want back

Redskins players and fans enjoy second-guessing the team's recent draft picks. Redskins front-office members don't often do the same, at least not publicly. Thus, it was fascinating to hear Vinny Cerrato respond to a question about which pick from his Redskins tenure he'd do over, if given the chance.

"You know what, probably instead of Carlos Rogers I would have taken DeMarcus Ware," he said with a laugh on Monday. "It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback....Dan [Snyder] used to just give me one command: If we're picking in the top 10, make it a Pro Bowl player. I don't care [what position] he is, make it a Pro Bowl player. And we had Samuels and Arrington and Sean Taylor, and then LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers".

Cerrato is covering this week's draft for ESPN Radio, and so he was on Baltimore's 105.7 The Fan Monday to offer his commentary. I know some of you are sick of hearing about Cerrato (though I imagine I'm not the only one who misses our Friday mornings together), but some of his draft ruminations offered a bit of insight into the thinking in Ashburn, so I present those for your review.

Drafting Crabtree?

Apparently, one year after picking 43 receivers in the 2008 draft, the Skins went into last year's event with Michael Crabtree still on their board.

"Did you notice the draft moment last year when Orakpo came up to the commissioner, that he had a Redskins jersey with his name on the back?" Cerrato said at one point. "We didn't have it wrong. There was another jersey, I think Crabtree we had. We had some guys that may drop."

A bad seed

When discussing the importance of character, Cerrato related this story from last year's process.

"Last year we brought in 30 guys, and we brought in a bunch of defensive linemen, and we had four guys at dinner," he began. "And at dinner is the head coach, the coordinators, and the owner happened to be there because Brian Orakpo happened to be there, some of the guys that we were very much interested in. And we're at dinner, and one of the kids who ended up being drafted higher than we picked was so obnoxious in the dinner, just yelling across the room, and yelling certain things. A talented guy.

"And then afterwards, when the players left, we all got together and says that guy will not fit. Our players would not want him in the locker room. He would not be a quality kid, he'd be a pain in the neck in the locker room. So we didn't have him on the board. And when he went ahead of us, you're ecstatic. And he had a terrible year this year, so it proved the point."

In other news, Aaron Maybin Aaron Maybin Aaron Maybin. But I appreciate Cerrato's discretion.

(NOTE: A reader points out that Tyson Jackson would also fit these criteria, which I suppose is true. Apologies to Mr. Maybin if I slighted him. Next time, call out your victim by name, please, Vinny.)

Winslow sleeping

Speaking of discretion, Cerrato re-told the story of choosing Sean Taylor instead of teammate Kellen Winslow Jr.

"We loved them both," he said. "We loved the talent. We go down to watch their workout, and Sean wasn't in shape, probably ran 4.6, he was 230, probably a little out of shape, didn't do all the drills. And Kellen was awesome. So off of that workout we come back and I'm saying to myself, Joe Gibbs would definitely take Winslow if the draft was today.

"So then it got closer and closer, we had them in for visits, and Kellen Winslow didn't answer his door for breakfast when Joe Gibbs went to meet him, then he fell asleep in the locker room. So then we get down to watching the film, and we watched the championship game, Miami-Ohio state. We watch Winslow first. So we got all the coaches and everybody in the room, defensive coaches, offensive coaches, everybody. And you watch Winslow, and he was phenomenal in the game. I mean, he made plays.

"So then it was all right, let's watch Sean Taylor. And Sean I think had two picks, and was all over the field, made hits, spectacular catches. And after that it was kind of, we were going with Sean."

Winslow stiffed Joe Gibbs and fell asleep in the locker room? And they were still undecided at that point?

Lessons learned

When talking about how he would have approached free agency this offseason, Cerrato offered some insight into what lessons he learned during his time in Ashburn.

"There wasn't a lot out there," he said of this spring's free agents. "There were a lot of old dudes out there that were on the downside of their career, and the lessons that we had learned early on was don't pay a lot of money to older guys who don't have a lot of time, are not gonna play out their contracts, because you end up eating all the money.

"So if we had signed a free agent recently, it was a young guy that could play out their contract. And I think that's kind of what we had done, they had all played out their contracts. So I don't see -- if I would have still been there -- that we would have done anything differently, and I think that was kind of the philosophy going in. I don't think there was a lot of free agent movement this year because of that. There were a lot of older guys, there wasn't a lot of talent out there."

Picking fourth

Cerrato was asked what he'd be thinking right now if he were running the Redskins war room.

"I guess is our tackle gonna be there at four," he joked.

Ranking the tackles

Cerrato briefly discussed the top 30 players from one mock draft one-by-one. I'll spare you all the details, and just include three of the names most often linked with the Redskins.

Eric Berry: "Playmaker. Love him. I mean, they had him around the line of scrimmage to make plays, can cover, man-to-man, intercept the ball. He's got great instincts."

Russell Okung: "He's got 36-inch arms, graduated in three-and-a-half years. I think this, one of the safest picks in the draft."

Trent Williams: "Underachiever. Great athlete, underachieved. Tremendous talent. Tremendous talent. Very versatile, has played center, guard and tackle. Has been more productive on the right side but can play anything on the offensive line."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 20, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

Vinny Cerrato. Living proof that stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | April 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"And at dinner is the head coach, the coordinators, and the owner happened to be there"...sure Vinny, he just happened to be there.

Posted by: tdubba | April 20, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Vinny Cerrato and the draft pick he'd want back"


'pick' is singular. This has to be an error. Surely, you meant 'pickS.'

Posted by: 4-12 | April 20, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

'pick' is singular. This has to be an error. Surely, you meant 'pickS.'

Nope, pretty sure we only had one pick during the entire Cerrato reign.

Posted by: Andymr | April 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

He's a total idiot. Bad seed? The name Albert Haynesworth mean anything, you worthless clown.Shoulld we list all the seedlings you and your buddy dropped on DC. Cerrato and Snyder set this franchise back for years. Morons.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

So passing on Adrian Peterson to pick Landry is not regretted?

Posted by: BT23 | April 20, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

He should go back to director of scouting for some NFL team, rather than do radio. He was one of the better scouting directors in the NFL when he was in San Fran--and he was a great scout when he was with the Skins. Just wasn't a great GM.

Totally agree with him on Okung, and hopefully he will still be there at number 4.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Vinny is an idot and speaks like one....He must have had something against Snyder....What a joke....

Posted by: mofares | April 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, they were certainly correct about Winslow. He's an underachieving punk.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Good old Cerrato, as hypocritical as they come. Instead of taking the time to do some research on talents and performing other real GM duties, he still blames Carlos Rogers for "underachieving". By the way, wasn't Jason Campbell part of that draft too? Is he another Cerrato underachiever? In other words, if Cerrato is still part of the Redskins, he would be picking Trent Williams and giving him millions based on his "potential talents", then blaming him for "underachieving" 5 years later. If this is not an indictment to draft Okung, I do not know what is.

Posted by: JohnWWW | April 20, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

You listen to him so we don't have to.

Thanks Dan!

Posted by: charley42 | April 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, not that we "have to" - or want to, for that matter.....

Posted by: charley42 | April 20, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"I guess is our tackle gonna be there at four," he joked.

Is this in English?

Posted by: mja712 | April 20, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Proof that even a broken clock is right twice a day...

But 2 mins. outta 24 hrs. is simply not acceptable...

Posted by: kahlua87 | April 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So passing on Adrian Peterson to pick Landry is not regretted?

Posted by: BT23 | April 20, 2010 11:46 AM

Vinny would never draft Adrian Peterson, CP would never approve of that pick

Posted by: billdav3 | April 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"I guess is our tackle gonna be there at four," he joked.

Is this in English?

Posted by: mja712 | April 20, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just wow. You are really gonna nitpick over using "gonna" instead of "going to"? Everything else about the sentence was perfectly fine (though Steinz probably could've thrown a comma in there after the word "guess")

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Samuels and Arrington and Sean Taylor, and then LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers".
...A GM is never judged by the first round picks, you are suppose to get them right, (especially as Redskins always got to pick in top 10 while Vinny was here )but are judged by the picks in all the other rounds plus free agency.
And for some reason he always includes "Samuels and Arrington" in all his arguments as he had any thing to do with having the 2nd and 3rd pick in the draft.
IMHO...If there was a draft for picking GMs, Vinny would not make the billionth pick. So he has no right to comment on others.

Posted by: hs66 | April 20, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Barno still defending Vinny, I just don't get it. The guy was AWFUL. Just look at the records while he was running the show

Posted by: jpfterps | April 20, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Vinnie, STFU! Your opinion is as important as which brand of beef jerky to serve at the Queen of England's high tea.

Posted by: cupcake5 | April 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Everybody and his cousin recognizes that Vinnie is more or less a hopeless incompetent, and yet somebody is PAYING this guy for his opinion? I'm probably as bad at the job at he is -- if not worse - but I'll do it for half what he's getting . . .

Posted by: bethesdaguy | April 20, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Somebody should ask the fans what year they'd want back...

Posted by: Scoonie97 | April 20, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Cerrato meant Tyson Jackson, not Aaron Maybin. Maybin went to a rival high school in Howard County, and I was told by friends who went there that he was extremely quiet and humble.

Posted by: superyoda41 | April 20, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What about drafting DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal, or Ray Rice? Insteading of Thomas, Kelly, and Davis. No regrets?

Posted by: japark89 | April 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Cerrato has no shame, and that's the worst (of many) thing about him.

Posted by: smutsboy | April 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

good stuff Dan, as always.

Evertime I see John Miller on ESPN I remember him on the radio in the 80's calling Orioles innings in Ronald Reagan's voice.

Someday I'll see Steinberg on the tube and remember him as thaty guy that stalked Vinny Cerrato and had a man crush on Ovechkin.

Posted by: dbuggs | April 20, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I wish he'd just fade away..

Posted by: Hattrik | April 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to read this article. Does anybody CARE what that inept lackey VC has to say about anything?

Posted by: shanks1 | April 20, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Just stop defending Vinny Barno...Youre out of your element and quite frankly out of your mind!

I wish Vinny was dropped into that volcano in Iceland

Posted by: ocskins | April 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Dan [Snyder] used to just give me one command: If we're picking in the top 10, make it a Pro Bowl player. I don't care [what position] he is, make it a Pro Bowl player."

WHAH?!? There it is...the dumbest move EVER by the DUMBEST pseudo GM/Owner ever!

The Pro bowl is political. Who the HELL cares about politics between goalposts? And why don't you care about position? Your O-Line sucks harder than a Hoover upright, and you don't care about position? It's all about pro bowls and jerseys, huh?

And, while we're at it, Donovan, SHUT UP! You're the QB, not a GM/Head coach. The numbers on your new jersey haven't even dried yet, and you're talking about bringing T. O. on board? SHUT UP ALREADY!

Posted by: HailDemSkins | April 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone care anything about whatever Cerrato is doing or has to say???

Posted by: kevenjones | April 20, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, maybe you should stick to reporting and not speculating - Anyone who has followed Aaron Maybin from HS on knows that he is consistently talked about as a quiet, humble, polite kid. Story after story to this effect, and he is the same in person. Don't know if Vinnie meant Tyson Jackson or someone else, but think you're dead wrong on Maybin. Maybe you should just let it alone rather than smear a kid without merit...

Posted by: Nittanynole | April 20, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

VINNY STFU! Who let him out of exile? We were not supposed to hear from him for ten years. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, to T.O.

Posted by: classicskins | April 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Vinnie says he wishes he could have one of his drafts back. I wish I could have those 10 years back during which Vinnie was picking the Redskins players.

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | April 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Vinny Cerrato. Living proof that stupid is as stupid does."
Posted by: MarylanDChris

---------------------------

Or in the words of one of my instructors:

"Ain't no bottom to stupid."

Posted by: hawk1009 | April 20, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"Vinny Cerrato. Living proof that stupid is as stupid does."
Posted by: MarylanDChris

---------------------------

Or in the words of one of my instructors:

"Ain't no bottom to stupid."

Posted by: hawk1009 | April 20, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Vinny Cerrato ruined the Redskins worse than Sammy Hagar ruined Van Halen.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | April 20, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Who's Vinnie Cerrato?

Posted by: 21stCenturyCaveman | April 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I am just stating the facts. He has a great eye for talent, this is simply not debatable. And I don't believe that because he was not a great GM, that he is therefor a bad human being.

But here's a good rule of thumb to live by: If the Washington Post smears a person relentlessly, there's a good chance he/she doesn't deserve it.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

what an idiot!!! what about the two wide receivers when we needed linemen... in my opinion, he either drinks or is on drugs.

Posted by: Phillip258 | April 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Actually at the time, we didn't know we needed that many linemen...and we certainly needed receivers at the time (though I wouldn't have taken 3 pass catchers with those picks). But most figured Samuels had several good years left and at the time the organization was high on Heyer after a surprisingly good rookie season. Hindsight is always 20/20, but at the time there were not a lot of people calling for the Redskins to draft O linemen. Feel free to go back and look at the Redskins Insider from this time period.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Barno1: what are you talking about? Most everyone suggested that the Skins number one need in the 2009 draft was to replace the journeymen on the offensive line. In 2008, it couldn't pass block and was near the bottom of the NFC in rushing. I agree that no one could predict that Samuels would break down as quickly as he did, but Randy Thomas and Jansen were shells of their former selves and each played on one leg when they were healthy and Pete Kendall was an NFL backup at best. Only the Redskins saw Heyer as anything more than an NFL backup. All of the sites were unanimous on this being their biggest need and all you had to do was watch the 38 sacks... and if campbell wasn't so mobile it would have been around 50 sacks plus no movement on the blocks in goal line situations to see that the Skins needed a lot of help on the O line. He is an example of what folks were saying BEFORE THE DRAFT:

Offensive Line

Simply put, Washington’s O-line play has been atrocious. The pass blocking is some of the worst in the entire league and is the main reason for Jason Campbell’s recent struggles.

Washington’s youngest starting lineman is Chris Samuels (LT) at the veteran age of 31. Although Samuels and Pete Kendall (LG) have been solid this year, the fact is they aren’t getting any younger.

From center to right tackle the Skins could use some immediate upgrades. Center Casey Rabach seems unable to block against the bull rush or pick up any type of A-gap blitzes. Right guard Randy Thomas and the once solid Jon Jansen (RT) are shells of what they used to be. Both have been repeatedly beat this year by D-linemen and D-ends.

This causes Campbell to get rid of the ball earlier, not allowing plays to develop or receivers to get open.

The Redskins need to draft some young talent to put in front of Jason Campbell. In only his second year starting and seventh offensive system in eight years, Campbell is still developing. He will need some protection in the near future so he can grow as a quarterback and achieve his potential.

Most experts saw this: I guess Vinnie didn't.

Posted by: Phillip258 | April 20, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Phillip258,

NEWSFLASH: The Redskins selected 3 pass catchers in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft, not the 2009 draft. But thanks for wasting your time with that 500+ word response that had nothing to do with the year I was referring to.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Samuels and Arrington and Sean Taylor, and then LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers".


Cassely picked Arrington and Samuels.

Posted by: 97VAStateChamps | April 20, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Cassely picked Arrington and Samuels.

Posted by: 97VAStateChamps | April 20, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. He was fired well before the draft. Though he did position the team to be able to get the 2nd and 3rd overall pick.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Vinnie skillfully neglects all his woeful drafting of offensive lineman since drafting Samuels in 2000. Since then the Redskins drafted a total of six offensive linemen in 9 years wherein only Dockery and Reinhart remain with the team. We all bear the fruits of his negligence now. And, back to 2000, Vinnie probably would have drafted, if available, Courtney Brown and Arrington while passing on Samuels. I could go on to receivers but his drafting incompetence speaks for itself.

Posted by: jclukas | April 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I don't care [what position] he is, make it a Pro Bowl player."

Explains the Snyder's woeful record in just one sentence.

Posted by: Pepper5 | April 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I loved Cerrato's comment about what he learned from free agency:

"the lessons that we had learned early on was don't pay a lot of money to older guys who don't have a lot of time, are not gonna play out their contracts, because you end up eating all the money."

Really Vin? Early on? Seems to me Snyder and Cerrato were still throwing me out old washouts even late in his tenure. The guy is an IDIOT. Exactly how many pro-bowl picks did he make in ten years?

As my fellow Skins fan commented above:
Cerrato is living proof that stupid is as stupid does.

THANK GOD HE IS GONE!!!!

Posted by: spyle | April 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I loved Cerrato's comment about what he learned from free agency:

"the lessons that we had learned early on was don't pay a lot of money to older guys who don't have a lot of time, are not gonna play out their contracts, because you end up eating all the money."

Really Vin? Early on? Seems to me Snyder and Cerrato were still throwing money out to old washouts even late in his tenure. The guy is an IDIOT. Exactly how many pro-bowl picks did he make in ten years?

As my fellow Skins fan commented above:
Cerrato is living proof that stupid is as stupid does.

THANK GOD HE IS GONE!!!!

Posted by: spyle | April 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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