Redskins draft is a safety

April 28, 2004, midnight | 20 years, 1 month ago

Redskins pick Miami standout safety in first round

This is not original reporting all statistics have been compiled from The Washington Times.

On NFL draft day The Washington Redskins got their desired first round draft pick in Miami tight end Sean Taylor.

The Redskins had to decide between Taylor and his talented Miami teammate, tight end Kellen Winslow II, for the no. 5 pick in the draft. The Redskins made the last minute decision for Taylor feeling he was the superior player who could make the most impact for the team.

Taylor is the highest drafted safety since 1991 when the Oakland Raiders picked Eric Turner second in the draft. Taylor has the rare combination of size, 6-3 and 231 pounds, and speed; he runs a 4.5 second 40-yard dash. He has been compared to the great NFL safety Ronnie Lott for his hard-hitting. Taylor is still a pick off threat, as a junior at Miami he tied the school record with 10 interceptions and returning three of them for touchdowns. His athleticism and instincts make his NFL future very promising.

Despite the talent of Taylor, safety is not one of the key positions on a football team, especially when the Redskins are looking to improve their struggling offense. Winslow could have been a play-making tight end and fit into the H-back position in coach Gibbs offense. Winslow could develop into a potent offensive threat from the tight end position like Tony Gonzalez for the Kansas City Chiefs who has become an explosive receiver.

In college Taylor has shown that he can make big plays and change the outcome of a game. Taylor has been attracting unprecedented attention usually focused on receivers, running backs and quarterbacks. Hopefully the Redskin's recruiters are correct and Taylor will be a big time playmaker for the Redskins defense, especially with the trade of cornerback Champ Bailey.

The Redskins filled their H-back position by drafting Utah State tight end Chris Cooley in the third round. Cooley is not nearly the caliber player of Winslow, but the Redskins feel he has potential to develop into a decent player.

Tackles Mark Wilson from California and Jim Molinaro from Notre Dame were also drafted by the Redskins in the fifth and sixth rounds. The Redskins hope these largely unheralded players will emerge as highlights of the lower draft rounds and develop into solid NFL linemen.

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