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Five burning draft questions in The Beast

4/16/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

By this time next Thursday (it's officially 3 p.m. ET), I'll be boarding a flight to New York for the NFL draft. Through the magic of live-blogging, my plan is to take you to Radio City Music Hall with me. With that in mind, it's time to address Five Burning Draft Questions in The Beast:

1. Will Redskins owner Dan Snyder select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez?

Sanchez Mosley: With the 13th pick overall, the Redskins should only take Sanchez if they've truly given up on Jason Campbell. And based on their recent attempt to land Jay Cutler, some of you probably think Washington has already turned its back on Campbell. Well, I think we have a split vote on that one at Redskins Park. And unfortunately for Campbell backers (me), head coach Jim Zorn can't win a contest against the formidable duo of Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. It was Zorn who moved quickly to reassure Campbell even while desperate attempts were being made to land Cutler several doors down.

Snyder and Cerrato met with Campbell, but that was simply window dressing. The club decided to take Campbell's trade value for a spin -- and it didn't like the results. After investing all this time (and a first-round pick) in Campbell, it's looking like the Redskins are ready to start all over with Sanchez, who dazzled scouts and innocent bystanders at his recent pro day. I think Snyder-Cerrato are suffering from a condition we're calling "RyanFlacconitis," which has caused front office types around the league to mistakenly think that pretty much any rookie quarterback with a solid background (Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) can lead them to the playoffs. The best result for Redskins fans would be for Sanchez to go off the board before No. 13. I may be in the minority (shocker), but I'd love to see what Campbell could do in his second season with Zorn. Who knows? Maybe the Redskins let Sanchez learn for a season behind Campbell. On second thought, that will never happen.

2. What will the Giants and Eagles do at wide receiver?

Boldin Wouldn't you like to know? I thought the timing of Ken Whisenhunt's "we're all ears on Anquan Boldin" comment was pretty interesting. Did it just happen to immediately follow a report that a Braylon Edwards to the Giants trade was imminent? I think not. If the Browns truly want to move Edwards, they may have lost a little leverage. Now that the Cardinals have gone public, Giants general manager Jerry Reese could play their situation against any potential Browns' offers. As Scouts Inc. stalwart Matt Williamson pointed out Wednesday on the NFC West blog, the Eagles appear to be a better fit for Boldin than the Giants. Boldin would the perfect complement to speedsters DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis. In New York, he might not be quite as effective. But if Reese thinks he can get a better deal from the Cards, then more power to him. Heard Boldin do a local radio show in Dallas recently and he indicated once again that he loves his teammates, he just doesn't care for management. If the Giants end up with Edwards and the Eagles trade for Boldin, I might have to redo my NFL schedule analysis. Surely no one wants that to happen.

3. What will the Cowboys do with the No. 51 pick?

Let's be honest. Not having a first-round pick makes the draft far less interesting. It's also made talk radio in Dallas much more of a challenge. In my Dallas Morning News days, I would've had seven mock drafts by now. But with the proliferation of mock drafts -- my pastor has one -- I've decided to take a year off. But anyway, the Cowboys aren't going to feel pressured to take any specific position at No. 51. The only way they take a quarterback is if Josh Freeman ends up in a free-fall. I'm hearing the Cowboys are in love with Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas, who is one of the best free safeties in this draft. He's 5-11, 202 pounds, but scouts say he plays much bigger than that. He's a tough run defender and his athletic ability (4.5 in the 40 and 37-inch vertical) is pretty impressive. The Cowboys signed Gerald Sensabaugh in free agency, but I think Delmas would be starting by midseason -- if not before. The other safety they really like is Darcel McBath out of Texas Tech. Excellent ball skills (eight interceptions) and he grew up in nearby Gainesville, Texas. Jerry Jones loves the homegrown kids. I'm not saying McBath's going at No. 51, but he's certainly a name to remember. In terms of receivers, the Cowboys think Brian Robiskie could be an effective receiver in the league for the next 10 years. If he's there at No. 51, they'd have a hard time passing him up.

4. Don't the Redskins need a pass-rusher?

Could all this talk about Mark Sanchez be a huge smokescreen? If so, the W
ashington Post has bitten hard. That's why I think there's definitely some interest in Sanchez, but it won't happen in the end. The 'Skins desperately need a right tackle and a defensive end. I certainly respect the work of grizzled veterans such as Phillip Daniels, Andre Carter and the immortal Renaldo Wynn. That said, Redskins fans are suffering from a condition widely known as "Haynesworth fever." There's a thought that you pay the guy $41 million in guaranteed money and he suddenly makes old men young again. Folks, Phil Daniels isn't going to return from a serious knee injury and suddenly have 10 sacks. The Redskins need to surround Haynesworth with talent in order to get their money's worth. That's why Snyder has to forget about a quarterback and find a way to get his hands on Brian Orakpo. Yes, I know some scouts struggle with recommending University of Texas kids because they've been pampered so much, but Orakpo is the real deal. I've been watching him manhandle Big 12 blockers for years. Snyder and Cerrato have to find a way to move up and get him.

5. So what do the Eagles do with those two first-round picks?

Well, you could always send that No. 28 pick over to the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. I don't think the Cardinals will come close to getting a Roy Williams deal, which is to say they won't get a first- and third-round pick for Boldin. And I think Boldin is much better receiver than Williams. Of course, there's always the chance the Eagles actually make those first-round picks. If Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher is there at No. 21, that's the direction Andy Reid will go. At No. 28, drafting Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew wouldn't surprise me at all. So what about running back, you ask? Well, I don't think the Eagles have to take someone in the first round -- especially when there are guys like Rashad Jennings out there in the second or third rounds. You can find productive backs in later rounds. Ask the Cowboys and Giants about that. And I seem to recall a man by the name of Westbrook who wasn't taken in the first round. This flies in the face of what Philly writers are saying, but you have to go out on a limb every now and then -- or every day for that matter.

If you have questions regarding this column, please feel free to utilize the Mailbag. I'm planning to spend a lot more time reading your mail in the coming days. Thanks for your continued support of The Beast.