First: Hail Redskins has an exhaustive Mock Draft Board updated daily with predicted Redskins picks. The intelligent consensus is that the Redskins will select either a CB (Leon Hall) or a DT (Alan Branch) or a DE (Gaines Adams or Quentin Moses).
Second, as many of you remember from the TJ Duckett fiasco, a "Trade Value Chart" drove the outcome of the trade. We essentially traded a certain amount of "Draft points" to Atlanta for TJ Duckett, and they gave those to Denver for Lelie. You can view the actual "Trade Value Chart" here, here, and here. In general the value of a pick declines rapidly in the 1st round. As an example, the difference between the 1st and 2nd pick is about equivalent to the 16th and 32nd pick.
There is no consensus on the best Defensive End in the draft. Gaines Adams (Clemson) has an edge on Quentin Moses (Georgia) but not by much. With Jamaal Anderson entering the 2007 draft, there is an abundance of Defensive Ends available this year. We could easily get someone to fill our needs lower than the 6th pick. A pass-rushing defensive end is, in my opinion, our greatest need right now.
DT Alan Branch is a solid pick at #6. Some boards have him higher, and he is the consensus best DT in this year's draft. He also might not be available. Furthermore DT is not nearly as much a need as End. Kedric Golston really came alive last year, and we still have both Cornelius Griffin and Big Joe Salave'a. Anthony Montgomery is a reliable backup. Even given all that, I think that if we are going to select anyone with the 6th pick, it should be Branch. A rookie DT is far more likely to get quality playing time in our defensive system than a defensive end or, especially, a cornerback.
Leon Hall (Michigan) is as close to a consensus best CB as exists. Still he's a stretch at #6 and we could easily trade down to fill two needs at once. He is not projected to be gone earlier than #6 and we could pick him up later. Better yet, we could trade down and get a very quality DE in Moses, Anderson, or Adams and pick up a defensive back on day 1 in a Draft-day trade.
We are in kind of a pickle. If Alan Branch falls to us we might be inclined to take him, though I think DE and DB are both bigger needs than an interior lineman at this point. If Hall falls to us at #6 (and he will) we'd have to stretch to get him. I don't think anyone knows whether Quentin Moses is better than Gaines Adams is better than Jamaal Anderson etc. at Defensive End, so drafting any one of those three would be a rush at #6. We also were the 31st defense in 2006 and have exactly one first day pick. We need more.
- There is a possibility that Calvin Johnson is available with the 6th pick. Someone below us will want him.
- Moving from the 6th pick to the 10th-16th pick will net us 300-600 "Value Points". At a minimum, depending on their draft position, this is worth a 3rd round pick. More likely it is worth a 2nd round pick. A move from 6th to 16th would be worth more than the 1st pick of the 2nd round (and we could also get a 4th round pick!).
- Our greatest need (DE) happens to be abundant in this year's draft, especially on the top end. We could still pick up a quality Defensive End and likely starter with the 16th-32nd pick in the 1st round.
The above is just one (complicated) scenario that I want readers to start banging their heads against. I want to hear all possible draft scenarios you can think of in the coming weeks so that we can evaluate our best Draft Day strategy. I am morally convinced that trading down is the proper strategy for a team with multiple needs and few draft picks, especially given the makeup of this year's incoming class. An abundance of Defensive Ends (our main need, or at least one of them) affords us the opportunity to move down while still getting a quality player. If Calvin Johnson falls to #6, our phone will be ringing.