Redskins find safety zone on offense

Despite defensive needs, team selects QB Hamdan with third and final pick

Pro Football

April 28, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins took the offensive again.

Despite a need for a safety, backup defensive lineman and young punter, the Redskins stayed on the other side of the football and drafted Indiana quarterback Gibran Hamdan with the team's seventh-round pick in yesterday's NFL draft.

Throw in Saturday's second-round selection of Florida wide receiver Taylor Jacobs and a third-round choice of Texas offensive lineman Derrick Dockery, and yesterday's draft marked the first time since Daniel M. Snyder took over was owner in 1999 that the club did not draft a defensive player.

Redskins coach Steve Spurrier did not seem bothered or in a rush to find a defensive player.

"We're always trying to upgrade our team," said Spurrier, who listed a defensive lineman, linebacker and safety as priorities. "There's still [a lot of] opportunities to add players down the road. There's a lot of teams with too many good players at one position. So we hopefully can be very smart picking up some players off waivers if we think they can help us."

To that end, Spurrier said it was possible the team would again contact defensive tackle Michael Myers. The Redskins had offered the unrestricted free agent a one-year, minimum-salary contract before the draft, but had not heard from Myers, who played for the Dallas Cowboys last season.

By not drafting a safety -- as was widely expected -- the Redskins seem content to enter their first minicamp at Redskins Park this weekend with last season's starters Ifeanyi Ohalete and David Terrell, and former Green Bay Packers backup Matt Bowen.

While confirming that the team would try to sign a free-agent punter to compete for the starting role, Spurrier reiterated that the position was Bryan Barker's to lose.

"He's on our roster," Spurrier said. "He'll be here this weekend also. We'll let him jump in there and punt."

Spurrier said Washington could re-sign unrestricted free agent Danny Wuerffel to be a fourth quarterback, but the coach was ecstatic about drafting Hamdan.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound native of North Potomac completed almost 52 percent of his passes for 2,115 yards and nine touchdowns with the Hoosiers last fall.

Hamdan, who spent the previous three seasons as a backup to current Pittsburgh Steeler Antwaan Randle El, was a two-sport athlete at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Va.

Hamdan was the only quarterback among other prospects to attend a private workout at Redskins Park three weeks ago. During that time, he received individual instruction from Spurrier and quarterbacks coach Noah Brindise.

"I came away from that workout feeling like I was possibly one of the luckiest guys in the D.C. area that day," Hamdan said in a conference call after his selection. "Any young quarterback that can be in the presence of somebody who has been known to do great things with quarterbacks, it's just a fortunate thing for anybody."

Spurrier was equally complimentary of his newest quarterback.

"When you watch him on tape, he's impressive," he said. "If I told you he can drop back and throw it like [Ravens draft pick Kyle] Boller and [Cincinnati Bengals draft pick] Carson Palmer and those guys, you'd think I'm crazy. But come out here this weekend, and watch him throw."

Team-by-Team Draft Picks

Ravens

1 (10) Terrell Suggs, de-lb, Arizona St.; 1 (19) Kyle Boller, qb, California; 3 (77) Musa Smith, rb, Georgia; 4 (109) Jarret Johnson, de, Alabama; 4 (134) Ovie Mughelli, fb, Wake Forest; 5 (146) Aubrayo Franklin, dt, Tennessee; 5 (173) Tony Pashos, t, Illinois; 6 (182) Gerome Sapp, s, Notre Dame; 7 (223) Trent Smith, te, Oklahoma; 7 (250) Mike Mabry, c, Central Florida; 7 (258) Antwoine Sanders, s, Utah.

Arizona

1 (17) Bryant Johnson, wr, Penn St.; 1 (18) Calvin Pace, de, Wake Forest; 2 (54) Anquan Boldin, wr, Florida St.; 3 (70) Gerald Hayes, lb, Pittsburgh; 5 (141) Kenny King, de, Alabama; 6 (177) Reggie Wells, ot, Clarion; 6 (210) Tony Gilbert, lb, Georgia.

Atlanta

2 (55) Bryan Scott, cb, Penn St.; 4 (121) Justin Griffith, rb, Mississippi St.; 5 (159) Jon Olinger, wr, Cincinnati; 6 (196) LaTarence Dunbar, wr, TCU; 6 (202) Waine Bacon, db, Alabama; 7 (238) Demetrin Veal, de, Tennessee.

Buffalo

1 (23) Willis McGahee, rb, Miami; 2 (48) Chris Kelsay, de, Nebraska; 3 (94) Angelo Crowell, lb, Virginia; 4 (111) Terrence McGee, db, Northwestern St.; 4 (127) Sam Aiken, wr, North Carolina; 5 (151) Ben Sobieski, g, Iowa; 6 (187) Lauvale Sape, dt, Utah; 7 (228) Mario Haggan, lb, Mississippi St.

Carolina

1 (8) Jordan Gross, ot, Utah; 2 (50) Bruce Nelson, c, Iowa; 3 (76) Mike Seidman, te, UCLA; 3 (82) Ricky Manning, db, UCLA; 4 (119) Colin Branch, db, Stanford; 5 (145) Kindal Moorehead, dt, Alabama; 7 (226) Walter Young, wr, Illinois; 7 (247) Casey Moore, rb, Stanford.

Chicago

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