Redskins move up, get Heisman winner Howard Deal with Bengals secures No. 4 pick

April 27, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

HERNDON, Va. -- The Washington Redskins and Desmond Howard now can compare trophies.

The Redskins became the first Super Bowl champion to draft the Heisman Trophy winner yesterday when they made what coach Joe Gibbs called a "bold move" by making a deal to jump into the fourth spot in the draft.

The Redskins, worried that the Green Bay Packers were going to draft Howard in the fifth spot, leapfrogged above them by dealing their two first-round picks -- sixth and 28th -- and their third-round choice (84th) to the Cincinnati Bengals for their first-round pick (fourth) and their third-round pick (58th).

"Three times in the last eight days, Green Bay told Desmond Howard they were going to take him. That was our best information," general manager Charley Casserly said.

There were rumors the Packers really wanted cornerback Terrell Buckley -- the player they did take -- but teams routinely try to mask their intentions during the draft. It could be the Packers would have been happy with either player while the Redskins didn't like Buckley. They would have taken tight end Derek Brown if they hadn't gotten Howard.

In any case, the Redskins didn't want to find out if Green Bay was bluffing. Since Cincinnati -- which wanted quarterback David Klinger and knew it could drop two spots and still take him -- was willing to make a swap, the Redskins grabbed him.

The trade with Cincinnati set a pattern for the Redskins. They also made a swap with the Dallas Cowboys to move up in the second round. They started out with three of the first 56 picks and wound up with three of the first 74. They didn't use their own pick at the end of a round until the fourth round, when they selected quarterback Chris Hakel of William and Mary. Hakel is likely to replace Stan Humphries, a player they hope to trade today.

In the second round, they took defensive lineman Shane Collins of Arizona State, who overcame a serious knee injury last year, and picked guard Paul Siever of Penn State in the third round.

The one need the Redskins didn't address was at defensive back, but Casserly said that offensive players were the highest rated on the board in the third and fourth rounds.

The Redskins became the first Super Bowl champion to wind up with the fourth player in the draft, and it was highest the Redskins have drafted since they took Hall of Fame receiver Charley Taylor -- now a Washington assistant coach -- with the third pick in 1964.

Although the Redskins are deep at wide receiver with Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, they decided they couldn't pass on Howard.

"When you look at the draft, you're really looking for people who really have no holes. You like to have somebody you really can't find anything wrong with," Gibbs said.

Howard, who got the nickname "Magic" while playing basketball in the eighth grade, returned both a punt and a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown during the season at Michigan last year. He can make an immediate impact in that department and be used in a four wide-receiver offense by the Redskins.

It also helps that Howard is a solid citizen type. That's important to Gibbs, who was turned off by Buckley's saying he was the best player in the draft.

Howard, by contrast, said all the right things after the Redskins selected him.

When he was asked what he could do for the Redskins, he said, "I think it's not what I can add to the team, it's what they can add to me. I think that learning under the veterans will make me a better receiver."

When he was asked to pinpoint the highlight of his past season, he didn't mention winning the Heisman Trophy. "I think the biggest highlight will be on May 2 when I graduate from the University of Michigan," he said.

Redskins picks

First round (fourth pick, obtained from Cincinnati.)

* Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan -- The Heisman Trophy winner caught 61 passes for 950 yards, rushed 12 times for 165 yards, returned 15 punts for 261 yards and 12 kickoffs for 373 yards. He'll make an immediate impact as a kick returner and will give the team depth at wide receiver. He has a year of eligibility left but is graduating next week.

Second round (19th pick, obtained from Dallas.)

* Shane Collins, DL, Arizona State -- He has a history of injury problems, injured his right knee in the 1990 opener and then suffered a major knee injury later in the year and underwent reconstructive knee surgery. He sat out the first three games last season to give the knee more time to heal, but he started the last eight games and the Redskins say he's completely healed. They hope he'll give them another pass rusher at defensive end if he stays healthy.

Third round (18th pick)

* Paul Siever, OL, Penn State

Became a starter late in his junior year in 1991 at guard and started all last year. He has good size at 6-4 and 292 pounds, but he's been inconsistent. The Redskins don't have an immediate need for an offensive lineman, but he was the highest rated player on their board in the third round.

Fourth round (112th pick)

* Chris Hakel, QB, William and Mary

Started for the last two years, completing 245 of 414 passes in 1990 and 232 of 357 passes in 1991. He has a good arm and is likely replace Stan Humphries on the roster. He'll probably be groomed on the injured reserve list for a year. Even before the draft, the scouting report on him was that he was the kind of quarterback the Redskins have had success developing.

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