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Redskins: 'Shocked' Orakpo was there at 13; Campbell 'was always going to be the starter'

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Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Here's what Skins GM Vinny Cerrato had to say about landing Brian Orakpo and not trading up for Mark Sanchez:

On where defensive end Brian Orakpo was ranked on the Redskins’ draft board:

“He was high. He was in the top five.”

On whether that was the quickest he had ever turned in his draft pick:

First I got him on the phone. I talked to about five teams ahead of us to try and get Brian [Orakpo] and everybody wanted to make their picks. I called Denver and said do you want to flip flop and he said ‘you are going to get your guy.’ Once they turned in [Knowshon] Moreno then I called Brian. I got Brian on the phone and turned the pick in. If you notice, we had a jersey there. John Hastings and Harrison [Bernstein], our strength coaches, are up there and they brought an Orakpo jersey with them. What he was holding up was the jersey that we sent up there.”

On whether he was surprised that defensive end Brian Orakpo was available at No. 13:

“I was shocked. I was shocked that he fell. I think the thing that helped was that if Cleveland would have stayed at five, they would have probably taken [B.J.] Raji or [Brian] Orakpo and that takes a defensive player off. Then he probably goes. I think that helped us because an offensive player went, it pushed another defensive player back.”

On whether staying at No. 13 and selecting defensive end Brian Orakpo was a best-case scenario:

“This worked out very well. We are extremely happy with how this worked out. I think the fans are happy that we got a pass rusher. I got a text from Clinton [Portis] already and that was his choice.”

On what separates Brian Orakpo from the other defensive ends in the draft:

“I think the speed. I think he has explosive takeoff, explosive speed and his ability to get the corner. He can bend that corner once he gets around the tackle, he doesn’t take extra steps. I had a long talk with Mack Brown the other day. I called him about Brian [Orakpo]. Mack was my coach in college. He says the thing about [Brian] is he is a tremendous worker and all those things, but he is a solid, great guy. He says he does not know how he will replace [Brian] in the locker room with leadership. He said [Brian] is a leader on the field and a leader in the locker room with the way he talks to the team. I think we got a class guy. We had Brian in the night of the Joe Gibbs [event]. We had dinner at the Ritz with he, [B.J.] Raji and Tyson Jackson all there. Classy, classy guy. We feel he will fit well in the locker room. He is a Redskin type of guy. He had all of the qualities that we wanted in a player.”

On whether he talked with any teams about trading up to select quarterback Mark Sanchez:

“We made a couple of calls, but it was too expensive.”

On whether Jason Campbell will be the starting quarterback:

“Jason [Campbell] was always going to be the starter.”

On what the Redskins would have done if defensive end Brian Orakpo would have been selected before No. 13:

“I had two teams that wanted to trade up. It wasn’t going to be too far that we were going to have to trade. We would have looked to trade down.”

On whether the additions of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and defensive end Brian Orakpo to the defensive line is a change of philosophy:

“No. I just think how many times in those years was there an Albert Haynesworth in free agency? Last year we would have loved to have a guy like [Brian] Orakpo sitting there at 21, but there wasn’t. I don’t know if it’s lucky, sometimes you have to be lucky in a draft that the guy that you really covet falls to you. I tried for an hour to move up to get the guy, nobody would do it and he fell to us.”

On what other teams were saying when the Redskins asked about trading draft picks:

“Every other team said we will call you back if we are interested or our guy is there. I think when the Jets moved to five, the Raiders took [Darius Heyward-] Bey and San Francisco took [Michael] Crabtree it pushed some of the defensive guys down.”

On whether the Redskins are done picking for the day:

“I think it will be hard to trade up into the second. We just don’t have a lot of ammunition. I don’t know that we could get into the second round because we would not use next year’s [first round pick], so it would be hard to get into the second round. In the third round, if there is someone there that we really like, we will take them. If not, we will look to move back to gather some more picks. If we can trade back and pick up a couple of picks, we may look to do that.” 

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