Former Skins VP Laments Drafting Jason Campbell Over Aaron Rodgers
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – With the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaching, perhaps its appropriate to look back on picks the Washington Redskins almost made, but didn’t, and how the eventual rosters would have reflected those picks that just weren’t meant to be.
For some help, let’s call upon former Redskins executive vice president Vinny Cerrato, whose multiple stints with the organization finally came to their ultimate conclusion in 2009.
Cerrato fielded a number of questions from 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Tuesday, regarding a number of picks the Redskins made, and would have made, as well as picks he’d take back with the benefit of hindsight.
Here’s what the Redskins roster could potentially look like today.
Picks he wouldn’t make looking back:
* Carlos Rogers (Drafted 2005: Round 1, 9th overall)
* Jason Campbell (Drafted 2005: Round 1, 25th overall)
Picks he would have made looking back:
* Aaron Rodgers (Drafted 2005: Round 1, 24th overall)
Former Trade/Draft Rumors:
* Mark Sanchez
“Never came close at all, because if you remember right, Dan Snyder in the press conference with the media that Friday said we would not trade our No.1 pick the following year. Once that decision had been made, there was no way, because to go from 13 to 5 or whatever it was at the time, you needed next year’s 1, and we didn’t have it so there was no way. I think Jim Zorn might have called or something, and then I think they laughed at the proposal.
* Chad Johnson
The Redskins reportedly were close to trading their 2008 and 2009 first-round picks to Cincinnati in exchange for wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2008.
The original report from Jason La Canfora, via Dan Steinberg:
“The Redskins toyed with one monster move that would have given the Cerrato era a signature stamp. Starting wide receivers Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are small at 5 feet 10 and the Redskins wanted a taller target for Jason Campbell, so they offered their 2008 and 2009 first-round picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for wide receiver Chad Johnson, according to league sources.”
At the time, Johnson had been a 5-time Pro Bowler, having caught 559 passes for 8,365 yards and 49 touchdowns through his first 7 seasons in the league.
Johnson would go on to play four more seasons in the NFL, from 2008 — which, had the deal gone through, would have been his first year with the Redskins – to 2011, during which he caught 207 receptions for 2,694 yards and 18 touchdowns and had one more Pro Bowl appearance in 2009.
Asked to validate that rumor, Cerrato stumbled a bit.
“Ummm … I … you know, I wasn’t totally part of that, but yea, that was true.”
Picks Cerrato’s proud of:
“I think the Sean Taylor move, was probably, you know because it was Sean Taylor, [Kellen] Winslow, Sean Taylor, Winslow, and I think the Sean Taylor move was a real good move.
The Taylor-Winslow debate was brought up again later, with Cerrato saying it wasn’t until the day before the draft he was able to convince Joe Gibbs Taylor was the player the Redskins needed to draft with the fifth overall pick in 2004.
Picks Cerrato regretted:
“Maybe one regret, probably Carlos Rogers. You know, because we took him early.”
The Redskins drafted Rogers 9th overall in 2005.
“If he’d have caught the ball, he could have been a Pro Bowler probably three or four times. He was a Pro Bowler in San Fran, but just because he didn’t catch well.”
Rogers would go on to have a Pro Bowl season in 2011 after leaving Washington.
“Or I mean you could say, I wish we would have traded up and taken Aaron Rodgers. I mean, it’s easy to say that now, taking Aaron Rodgers and not Jason Campbell at 25, and traded up and gotten Aaron Rodgers when he was at 24.”
“I’ll give you one better. We wanted to take [Brian] Orakpo, okay, at 13. And we tried to trade up to like 8, 9, 10. Buffalo took Aaron Maybin. I’m on the clock with Denver [picking 12]. I’m on the clock with Denver, and we were offering them a pick to swap picks, and he told me, he says, ‘I’ll call you back.’ He called me back and said, ‘Listen, you’re gonna get your guy. We don’t need to swap picks. Save your picks.’ And they took Knowshon Moreno and we got Orakpo. How bout that? I mean, otherwise, we would have given them something to switch just to make sure we got Orakpo, and we didn’t need to because their guy called back and said ‘don’t worry about it, you’re gonna get your guy.’”
“Everything had been done pre-draft, with pretty much all the decisions being made how it was done. It was best, when Joe [Gibbs] and I were together, that was when it was best run.”