Realistic Draft Day Trade Possibilities for Washington Redskins
They include a physically-imposing tight end, a skilled right tackle and a productive outside pass-rusher. But trading up isn't Allen's only option.
With only six picks at his disposal, Washington's designated team-builder could try to add a few choices by trading down from the top of Round 2. Given the level of talent available when the Redskins pick at No. 34, Allen would have no shortage of takers.
Here are four realistic draft-day trade possibilities Washington's decision-makers might consider.
Trade Up into Round 1 for a Top Pass-Rusher
Adding to an increasingly fearsome-looking rotation of pass-rushers is an idea Allen should consider. The Washington defense managed just 36 sacks in 2013, a number that must improve this season.
Allen could key that improvement by trading into the later stages if Round 1 to snare a player like Ryan Shazier. The ex-Ohio State linebacker is terrific on the blitz and would make a smooth transition to outside linebacker in Washington's 3-4 scheme.
Alternatively, he could make a play for a more natural rush end like former Boise State star Demarcus Lawrence. NFL.com pundit Bucky Brooks has Lawrence going to the 49ers at No. 30, so he is in the right area for a potential trade.
Some may baulk at the idea of going to great lengths to secure another pass-rusher, especially with Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Jason Hatcher on the roster.
But in an NFC East division boasting quarterbacks like Tony Romo, Nick Foles and Eli Manning, and with the secondary still short of marquee talent, drafting another pressure specialist makes sense.
ESPN.com reporter John Keim vividly explains why this team still needs players who get after the passer:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team regret taking a pass-rusher, or having too many of them. Sort of like pitching in baseball. There are things you must have to win: playmakers on offense; pass-rushers on defense. Just because the Redskins signed Jason Hatcher, I don’t think they’re done needing (or wanting) more. Does not mean they’ll go that direction, but if they do it’s very understandable. Outside of Hatcher along the line, who is a proven pass-rusher?They have four linemen who are at least 30 years old. It’s an aging group. If they can position themselves for long-term pass-rush success, then don’t pass it up. Also, Jay Gruden said he’s content to let Brian Orakpo play out the year and see how he fares. If he was locked up, then drafting another outside linebacker wouldn’t make sense. I won’t scream if they draft a right tackle or a safety -- they can use help at both spots -- but I also wouldn’t consider adding more talent at a premium area a dumb move.
I think if there’s a pass-rusher they like who is far ahead of the next guy on their board, then that is an option (it does not mean he has to play outside linebacker, but just someone who impacts the rush). I say pass-rusher because those are always at a premium.
Trade Up into Round 1 for Austin Seferian-Jenkins
New head coach Jay Gruden's preference for stockpiling tight ends was established with the Cincinnati Bengals. As offensive coordinator, he was part of the group that targeted Tyler Eifert in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, despite the presence of Jermaine Gresham.
Real Redskins blogger Rich Tandler believes Gruden might try to create a similar dynamic in Washington. Tandler cites the durability issues that kept talented young playmaker Jordan Reed on the sideline for seven games last season as a good reason to add to the position.
One name he mentions is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The former Washington bruiser combines the size of a classic, in-line tight end with the quickness and agility of a modern "move" receiver.
At 6'5" and 262 pounds, Seferian-Jenkins is a mismatch Gruden would have fun using to sabotage coverage schemes. But despite his obvious skills, Seferian-Jenkins is likely to hover in the gray area between the first and second rounds.
The off-field concerns will ensure he won't go quite that high. But you should expect at least one team in the 25-32 range to deem this natural mismatch worthy of a risk.
If Gruden feels the same way, he could talk Allen into making a move to beat the competition.
Trade into the 1st Round for a Right Tackle
For all the good they've done this offseason, Allen and Gruden have still left a gaping hole on the right side of the offensive line. Tyler Polumbus is never going to inspire confidence as a starter, and a trade up for a player like Morgan Moses could solve the problem.
In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Burke has Moses landing with the Carolina Panthers at pick No. 28. That puts him in the right area for a Redskins trade, and Moses is certainly on the team's radar, according to DraftInsider.net reporter Tony Pauline.
Back in February, WalterFootball.com scribe Charlie Campbell stated Washington was considering moving up into the later stages of Round 1. Campbell put the cost of a move up at "as little as a mid-level third-day pick."
That is certainly a ransom worth paying if it means getting the chance to select an O-lineman as skilled as Moses. Writing for The Washington Post, Mark Bullock recently profiled Moses and how he might fit in Washington:
At 6 feet 6, 314 pounds, Moses is everything the Washington Redskins are looking for in a tackle. He has imposing size combined with athleticism and quickness that make him a good fit in the Redskins’ offense. Coming out of Virginia, Moses played in the Redskins’ back yard, so they have had plenty of opportunity to scout him. He spent time at both right and left tackle during his college career, excelling as a pass protector.
That last part should be particularly appealing to a team that couldn't protect would-be franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III last season.
Trade Down to Stockpile Picks
With no first-round pick and only six selections overall, Allen has to consider trading down at some point. It has, after all, worked well for this team in the recent past.
Allen was part of the group that opted to trade down in 2011 to select Ryan Kerrigan. Not only did that move net the Redskins Kerrigan, it also earned them another second-round pick.
But as Fanspeak.com writer Steve Shoup noted, the trading didn't stop there:
The Redskins used the 16th pick on OLB Ryan Kerrigan and in a series of trades turned that mid-2nd round pick into WR Leonard Hankerson, RB Roy Helu, WR Aldrick Robinson, G Maurice Hurt* (note: The Redskins used one of their own picks in the deal to move up and get Helu, but the other two picks came from the trading back process, the easiest way to look at it is the Redskins began the draft with a 1st, 2nd, two 5th's, a 6th and three 7th's, they ended draft weekend with a 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd, a 4th, two 5th's, tw0 6th's and 4 7th's).
If there is no player who truly revs the engines at No. 34, then Allen can dangle the pick as bait for extra selections. One team he might be able to tempt are the San Francisco 49ers.
Rotoworld writer Evan Silva quotes ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen suggesting the 49ers will be "very aggressive" in this draft. That aggression could lead them to covet the 34th overall pick.
San Francisco owns a whopping 12 picks, including three selections in both the third and seventh rounds. They might part with as many as three if it means the chance to select a borderline first-round talent.
That would give Allen an extra bargaining chip, as well as boost the numbers he and Gruden can add to a rebuilding roster next month.