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Allen: Redskins talked to Colts, who still control draft

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com
By Frank Cooney
The Sports Xchange

When making selections in Washington D. C., there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion. Redskins Executive Vice President and General Manager Bruce Allen is mindful of that, but acknowledges his team has its choice narrowed to only two, which puts him slightly ahead of the Republicans.

"Last time I checked, the Indianapolis Colts have not said who they are going to take with the first pick," Allen told The Sports Xchange Saturday when asked to confirm that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was his reason for acquiring the second pick in the NFL draft from the St. Louis Rams.

The blockbuster agreement was made on Friday. The Redskins will give three first-round picks and one second-rounder. Specifically that is the No. 6 overall this year, their second-round pick this year (No. 39 overall) and two future first-round spots. In exchange the Redskins received the Rams' first pick this year, No. 2 overall.

The Indianapolis Colts have the first pick and a landslide of speculation believes they will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Allen told The Sports Xchange that Redskins did have discussions with the Colts, but they were in regards to a possible trade for the No. 1 spot, which obviously didn't happen. He said he does not have inside knowledge of whom the Colts will take at No. 1.

But Allen acknowledged there are two outstanding quarterback candidates, which means he knows, as the No. 2 selecting team, the Redskins will get one of them without needing a series of primary elections to narrow the field.

In a joint statement released Saturday, Allen and Rams General Manager Les Snead were quoted as saying, "In order to execute each of our club's plans for free agency and the upcoming draft, we have agreed to a trade between our two teams for the 2nd pick in the in the 2012 draft. We will submit this trade to the NFL for approval."

The trade cannot become official until the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, when free agency also begins.

The Redskins' urgency to get the No. 2 spot was heightened by multiple reports saying former Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Peyton Manning told the team he wasn't interested in playing for Washington after being released on Wednesday.

Manning visited Denver Friday, creating even more potential for the Dolphins to take a shot at the No. 2 position in order to get Griffin. The Cleveland Browns, who are at No. 4 in this draft, were also reported to be interested in the No. 2 spot and were pushing hard for a deal.

The Rams, 2-14 last year, hope this stockpile of draft picks will help them build a playoff team for new head coach Jeff Fisher, who said last month he is committed to Sam Bradford as the starting quarterback, which in turned open the way for trading out of the lofty No. 2 spot.

The Rams have a lot of needs, including a great wide receiver to catch Bradford's passes. Top receiver in the draft is Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, who made news himself Friday by running 40 yards in a swift 4.46 seconds at his Pro Day workout. That clock speed more than validated his prolific college career, which included catching 122 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

Tapes of those games and hard data from his Pro Day may push Blackmon up the draft board so he may not be there for the Rams at No. 6.

The Rams also are in dire need of a cornerback and a defensive tackle. The top rated cornerback is LSU's Morris Claiborne and there are several excellent defensive tackles with first-round ratings.

Meantime, whether Allen confirms it or not, the consensus of opinion remains that Luck will be taken by Indianapolis, leaving the Griffin for Washington. Griffin is an extremely athletic quarterback, who put on a dazzling show at the NFL Scouting Combine with an unofficial time of 4.38 seconds in 40 yards and a vertical jump of 39 inches.

He beat out Luck for the Heisman Trophy last season as the highlight of a career in which he set or tied 54 school records. He is one of only three players in college history to throw for 10,000 yards (10,071) and rush for more than 2,000 yards (2,199)

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan runs his version of a West Coast offense, which does feature mobility at quarterback with the sprint right option as a basic play.

That might be a good fit for both Griffin and the Redskins if, as Allen cautions, Griffin is still available at No. 2.
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