The Redskins' trade proposal for Chad Johnson may have been dead on arrival in Cincinnati, but it did serve a purpose. It added another layer of mystery surrounding what Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder are going to do with the team's first-round selection on Saturday.
Cerrato has been letting everyone who will listen know for weeks that the Redskins want to hear offers to trade down. There was some word going around that they would be looking to deal to move up if someone they liked was still available around pick 15. Now the world knows that the Skins would deal their first pick and more for a veteran wide receiver.
If putting up a smokescreen and obscuring their intentions are the goals, the Redskins have succeeded. I make that statement knowing full well that this could all be random, Keystone Cops variety confusion rather than a carefully crafted strategy of obfuscation.
Whether it's part of the master plan or mere happenstance, what was going to be a tough pick to predict is getting darn near impossible to forecast.
So, instead of throwing out a name like I did last year with LaRon Landry, let me throw out a few scenarios here. I'll start with the least likely but still possible first and then work up to the most probable.
- Trading up—The trade up talk centered around Virginia guard Branden Albert. The thinking was that if he slid to #15 or so the Skins might pull the trigger on a deal to move into a position to snag him. However, it now appears that Albert will be gone sometime in the first dozen picks. There may be another player that has caught their eye and by the value chart they could move up to about 16th by adding their third-rounder to #21.
- Trading for a veteran—With the Johnson deal dead and the Cardinals having spiked what is thought to be a similar offer for receiver Anquan Boldin, the Skins are running out of offers to make. Miami is shopping defensive end Jason Taylor for a first-round pick but there is not word that Washington is interested in such a deal.
Trading down—While there don't seem to be any solid trade partners at this point, there seldom are. Certainly Cerrato has fielded a few calls about possible deals, but the best way to spike one of those trades before it ever happens is to talk about it. The best-case scenario here would be for two or three teams to covet Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm and for a bidding war to the pick to commence.
- Use the pick—This is what happens with most picks. Teams use all but a few seconds of their allotted time trying to swing a deal and then they end up sending a name in to the podium.
Just to put some numbers to it, I'd say that the chances that they'll use the pick are very strong, about 60%. There's about a one in three chance they'll deal down and the other 7% is split between the other two options.
So who might be the pick at #21? Look for that here on Friday.
And don't forget the live draft day blog right here at realredskins.com. I won't be here right when it starts but look for me at about 4:00 or so.