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Narrowing down the draft candidates

With less than 10 hours to go before the start of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, I think we’re starting to get a little more of a clear picture, in terms of whom the Redskins are interested in taking.

While this is the time where rumors start flying around like crazy and the smokescreens become as thick as can be, when you start to connect the dots and keep a close eye on the tea leaves, some patterns start emerging, as far as who the Redskins seem to be genuinely interested in.

If you asked me right now, I think the Redskins have narrowed down their choices to the following five players, in this order:

1. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
2. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
3. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
4. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
5. Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian (TCU)

Now, this isn’t to say that this is what the top 5 players on the Redskins draft board looks like. Rather, this is my personal speculation – after reading endless articles, reports, rumors, and internet chatter – of the group of guys who could potentially & realistically be available with the 10th overall pick looks like.

As far as moving up or down in the draft, the Redskins have tipped their hand slightly, showing their interest in trading down from the 10th overall pick. But, such a trade likely won’t materialize until the team is actually on the clock, and another team contacts them with hopes of trading up to get their guy. Meaning: it’s too early to tell right now whether or not that will happen.

I do predict, however, that as today goes on, the rumors of the Redskins attempting to move up in the draft will continue to surface. I really believe that Gabbert is their guy, and that getting the chance to draft him is their top goal for today.

But, we’ll see. There’s sure to be plenty of news between now and about 8pm today.

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