Redskins targeting Auburn's Campbell

Originally Published: April 18, 2005
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Just three years after investing a first-round choice on quarterback Patrick Ramsey, the Washington Redskins are plotting to acquire the possible replacement for the man who currently holds the top spot on their depth chart.

Washington, already slated to pick ninth overall, added a second selection in the first round of the 2005 draft on Tuesday night, acquiring the 25th pick overall from the Denver Broncos. The prospect Washington brass is eyeing at No. 25? Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell.

In return for the Broncos' first-round choice, which Denver officials have been shopping for the past few days, the Redskins surrendered their third-round pick (76th overall) in this year's draft, along with first- and fourth-round selections in 2006. The haul is reflective of the regard in which they hold Campbell, who was 31-8 as a starter in college.

Even before their most substantive predraft review of the position late last week, Redskins coaches and scouts had regarded Campbell as on par with Alex Smith of Utah and California's Aaron Rodgers, generally regarded as the top two quarterback prospects. A lengthy film study of Campbell further strengthened Washington's resolve to move on the Auburn quarterback.

Several Redskins officials, including coach Joe Gibbs, were on the Auburn campus Tuesday for a private meeting with Campbell.

During his 46 appearances for the Tigers, Campbell completed 552 of 854 passes for 7,299 yards, with 45 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. Despite playing under different offensive coordinators during each of his four seasons, Campbell completed more than 60 percent of his passes all four years. He completed 69.6 percent of his attempts while leading undefeated Auburn to a No. 2 ranking and a 16-13 win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

The Redskins now must guard against another team jumping ahead of them and grabbing Campbell, one of the draft's fastest rising prospects.

Certainly the flirtation with Campbell is not good news for Ramsey, the Redskins' top pick in the 2002 draft (32nd overall) and the man who finished the 2004 season as Washington's starter. The former Tulane star replaced Mark Brunell in the lineup for the second half of the season and started the final seven games.

Washington might entertain a trade for Ramsey, provided they get Campbell and feel he can play immediately for them. Brunell and Tim Hasselbeck, who on Monday signed his one-year restricted free agent qualifying offer of $656,000, remain on the roster.

For his career, the 26-year-old Ramsey has completed 465 of 836 passes for 5,370 yards, with 33 touchdown passes and 28 interceptions. He has started in 23 of 29 appearances.

Meanwhile, the Redskins say they aren't trading their No. 9 pick, which they'll likely use on a cornerback, but they're not ruling out any possibilities.

"Right now, we've had no discussions with anyone about trading away the ninth pick," team president and coach Joe Gibbs said. "Are we considering any options we are presented with? Yes. We'll consider anything, but no one has presented a compelling scenario."

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.