Only faces change in Redskins' draft

April 23, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

ASHBURN, VA — ASHBURN, Va. -- The names and faces change for the Washington Redskins, but their drafting system remains the same.

For the first time since 1981, neither Bobby Beathard nor Joe Gibbs will be in the draft room Sunday at Redskin Park when the team makes its selections, starting with the 17th choice in the first round.

The philosophy, though, is the same one that worked for Beathard and Gibbs: the general manager, Charley Casserly, is in charge of the draft.

"That's Charley's deal. That's the way I think it should be," said Richie Petitbon, who became head coach when Gibbs resigned March 5.

"Everything's exactly the same as it's been before," Casserly said. "Joe never got involved at all until the week before the draft."

Petitbon also has the party line down pat about taking the best player regardless of position.

"When you stray from that philosophy and you try and fill a need, you make a lot of mistakes," Petitbon said.

There are exceptions, though.

Casserly all but ruled out taking a quarterback or a wide receiver on the first round. "Those are two positions we're not really looking for in this draft," he said.

Petitbon also said the team's "strongest spot" is the offensive line and said the defensive line is "pretty good." He called the linebackers and cornerbacks a "little thin." The Redskins lost starting cornerback Martin Mayhew as a free agent to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Redskins probably will take a defensive player -- preferably a cornerback -- or a tight end or running back in the first round.

Since it's a deep draft at cornerback, the Redskins are likely to look at such corners as Carlton Gray of UCLA, Tom Carter of Notre Dame and Darrien Gordon of Stanford. Two tight ends, Irv Smith of Notre Dame and Troy Drayton of Penn State, could be attractive, too.

There's been so much speculation about the Redskins taking a cornerback that Casserly seemed to downplay the idea a corner would be the team's first-round pick.

"There are a lot of corners in this draft," he said. "I think you can get a corner in any round in this draft if it breaks right for you."

In Casserly's first two years of running the draft after Beathard resigned in 1990, he traded up to get defensive lineman Bobby Wilson and wide receiver Desmond Howard. This year, he said he could trade down because there's more depth in the draft.

With speculation in San Diego that Beathard, now the Chargers general manager, may want to move up from his 22nd position, there's a chance Casserly could work a deal with his old boss.

"The people we've lost, if we haven't replaced them, we will replace them," Petitbon said. "I think the key to our off-season is how we do in the draft."

The Redskins still are interested in signing two more free agents, running back Marcus Allen of the Los Angeles Raiders and linebacker Johnny Holland of the Green Bay Packers.

In any trade talks, two names that will come up are linebacker Wilber Marshall and cornerback Kevin Ross of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins would like to peddle Marshall, but haven't found a team willing to give up its first-round pick for him. They'd also like to get Ross, but are balking at the Chiefs' demand of a second- and a third-round pick. If the Chiefs drop their demands, a draft day trade is possible.

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