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Yahoo Sports phones one in

I'm extremely uncomfortable attacking the content of traditional media since their product is the result of professional work whereas mine is usually garbled nonsense that less often than not makes a damn bit of sense. I'm especially uncomfortable doing so when there is an actual name attached to a professional media product, since now I am anonymously (would you believe Skin Patrol isn't my real name? - Will Allensworth) attacking someone else's hard work. Fortunately this Yahoo Sports! article, which I am probably taking far too much umbrage from, is anonymous and thus gets derision from me without as much reservation. The premise is simple enough:

Here's a complete list of the decision makers with each team that will have the most influence during the NFL draft process.
At the risk of contradicting myself shortly, although conceptually there isn't anything difficult to ingest from the above, the idea that anyone can know with great certainty who the single decision maker is with an NFL franchise -- and said franchises are notorious for secrecy and obscurity in such decisions, some moreso than others (see: Redskins) -- is a bit aggressive, in my opinion. It is also, for the most part, unproductive; the labor of hundreds of individuals goes into determining which of many young college athletes an NFL franchise selects and identifying Individual X as the decider may speak towards accountability, but it doesn't tell us much about the process under which decisions are made or help predict that ultimate choice.

Whether this is a worthwhile endeavor aside, I don't even agree with their conclusion:

Washington Redskins: Dan Snyder, owner
As has consistently been the case since he bought the team in 1999, the Redskins do not have a full complement of draft picks.
Only Jerry Jones (Dallas) and Mike Brown (Bengals) were likewise distinguished among the 32 teams as owners who make those decisions.

I disagree that Dan Snyder has the most influence over who the team selects in the draft. Redskins Nation's collective experience this offseason has been that it belongs to Vinny Cerrato. My word need not be taken for this fact, for instance:

The Washington Redskins today named Vinny Cerrato to the new position of Executive Vice President/Football Operations. He will assume responsibility for all aspects of the team's football organization - including personnel, the team roster, scouting and salary cap management.

"The appointment formalizes the structure the team has operated under in recent years, and is recognition of the valuable role Vinny has played this season, especially during a time of terrible tragedy," said team Owner Daniel M. Snyder...

Joe Gibbs, who recently retired after four years as Head Coach and Team President added, "Vinny worked closely with me on all personnel matters. This is a well-deserved acknowledgement of that."

"Today's Washington Redskins roster is a testament to Vinny and the personnel department being an integral part of our team structure in identifying players, whether acquired in free agency, the draft or on sometimes very short notice as we made our way through the season," Gibbs said....

If I was forced to select a single individual who I thought decided the Redskins draft picks, it would be Cerrato over Snyder. However, I think as relates to this team, that effort (in trying to single out said individual) is especially pointless since the heirarchy isn't clear all the time. Sometimes I think Dan Snyder makes decisions. Last year I thought Joe Gibbs made most of the decisions. Vinny Cerrato has been here for years, though, certainly influencing the direction of the team on any number of manners, including the draft.

Regarding the later charge, that the Redskins don't have a full complement of draft picks, while technically true it is extremely misleading. If by "full complement of draft picks" the article really literally means a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th round pick, then sure, that's true; I imagine that's true of most teams, actually. For instance, in 2000 the poor Redskins didn't have a full complement of draft picks as defined above, since they had to settle for two 1st rounders without any 2nd round picks (they also had an additional 7th rounder). In 2002, the team lacked a 4th round pick, though it did have two 3rd round picks, two 5th round picks, and two 7th rounders.

Likewise this year we lack a 4th rounder... but we have two picks in the 3rd round. I'd rather pick at 96th than 119th (pick Denver has from us) though and hardly think that our lack of a 4th rounder qualifies us as the type of team lacking a full contingent of picks. We're loaded with picks, at least relative to recent years. Compare this with the near gushing praise of another team:

Cleveland Browns: Phil Savage, general manager
Hired in January 2005, Savage's most impressive draft selection to date with the Browns might be Braylon Edwards.
Aren't the Browns without a pick until the 4th round?