Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Assuming the Alex Smith trade clears, the San Francisco 49ers will have 12 draft picks that could potentially 15 in 2013, including five in the top 93.
First of all, holy crap.
Second of all, can we get some of those in D.C.? It wouldn't even have to be San Francisco, just a team willing to shop around.
As it stands, the Redskins have seven picks this year despite sending their would-be first-rounder to St. Louis a year ago. Not that anyone in the nation's capital is regretting that decision or anything, but there's no reason to shy away from stockpiling talent at the front end of the draft if the opportunity presents itself.
Of course, the price tags on those high-end picks aren't always cheap.
Brian Orakpo is the first on a short list of players of possibly expendable Redskins with value. Rob Jackson, Orakpo's replacement for most of 2012, wasn't nearly as keen on rushing the passer as the man ahead of him on the depth chart,. But he came up huge in critical moments. His game-clinching interception of Tony Romo in Week 17's win-or-go-home showdown versus the Dallas Cowboys is the perfect example of his ability to make timely plays.
Orakpo is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make $2.81 million, which is a reasonable price for the former Pro-Bowler, but the Redskins don't have much wiggle room due to previous salary cap penalties. If ridding him from the roster provides the team a great chance to build the team in the early and middle rounds, then there may not be a better year to do this than 2013. Though this year's draft class doesn't have as much top-end talent as recent ones, there perhaps hasn't been a deeper class over the past decade than this one.
Of course, losing Orakpo is not the only way to stay afloat. It would be a pity to even think about him leaving Washington, but the point remains that the Redskins are going to have to get creative to stay competitive in the NFC East. And since this is a year that could provide more mid-round steals than year's past, maybe it's time to stock up.