2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins' Shanahan ventures again into Area 51

    2013-04-25 09:33

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Mike Shanahan is very familiar with the No. 51 pick in the NFL draft.

Three times in a row, he was in that position with the Denver Broncos. The 2001 and 2003 selections were utterly forgettable, but no one has as problem recalling his choice in 2002.

``Sometimes when 51 comes up, you have your guy,'' the Washington Redskins coach said. ``One of those guys was Clinton Portis.''

Shanahan chose right. Portis had a pair of 1,500-yard rushing seasons with the Broncos and finished his career with nearly 10,000 yards.

Shanahan can only hope to choose as wisely Friday when the Redskins are on the board in the second round of this year's draft. The team was set to be a spectator for Thursday's first round - barring what Shanahan joked would be a ``one in a million'' trade to move up - so 51 holds a bit more importance than usual.

Finding someone with Portis-like motivation would help.

``In fact, he actually got mad at us because we picked him at 51,'' Shanahan said. ``He wanted to go in the first round. I said, `Clinton, don't get mad at us. We picked you.' He said, `You should've picked me in the first round.'

``It was that type of confidence he had that he was going to be a football player. And he says, `I'm going to make you very, very happy.' That's the kind of mindset when you do pick a guy in the second round, that he feels like he's a first-round guy and he's going to prove to everybody that he can play. So hopefully you get that kind of value.''

Shanahan didn't get much value the other two times he ventured into Area 51. Remember Paul Toviessi? Of course not. The 2001 pick had knee problems in college and again in the pros. He never played a down in the NFL.

Terry Pierce at least got on the field, but the 2003 Broncos selection appeared in only 18 games - all as a backup - in his two seasons in the league, far below the expected return on the investment.

Shanahan said one thing he's learned as he's reviewed his past drafts is not to ``reach for a player'' by taking him too early, thus undoing all the work that went into making the plans that go up on the team's draft board.

``The lessons I've learned through the years is that you've got to be true to your board,'' he said.

There are certainly no regrets with last year's initial pick. Robert Griffin III, taken at No. 2 overall, was the league's offensive rookie of the year and led the team to its first division title in 13 years. So far he's been well worth the price of not having a first-rounder this year or next, part of the package the Redskins gave to the St. Louis Rams to move into position to take the Heisman Trophy winner.

``Any time you have your quarterback position solved, you feel much more comfortable as a coach,'' Shanahan said with a chuckle. ``I can tell you that for sure.''

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

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Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

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