Russini: Bruce Allen '100 percent' had final say on Redskins draft picks

Josh Luckenbaugh
May 01, 2019 - 9:21 am

Bruce Allen had final say on the Redskins' picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, Dianna Russini told The Sports Junkies Wednesday. 

"In terms of who's making the call and the decisions, it's 100 percent the president of the Redskins, and that's Bruce Allen," Russini said. "And Dan (Snyder) was involved with the first pick."

"So while we can sit hear all day and give credit to the scout team and give credit to these coaches, it really didn't matter in the end. Because Dan Snyder was going to pick who he wanted when it came to the top pick."

The Redskins' top pick, of course, was Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. However, Russini says the list of team needs she received from Redskins' officials on the football side did not include quarterback.

"The list I was sent of needs from this team leading into the draft from people in the organization on the football side of it was very long ... and quarterback wasn't even on the list!" she told the Junkies.

"So the fact that that's the way they went with their top pick, think about if you're working on this all year and you don't even get what you want and what you're working for and what you truly believe in in the core of the team and what they need to be better."

Per Russini, the football side of the building wanted "edge rusher, receiver, tight end, safety and right guard" in the draft, and was planning on going with Case Keenum at quarterback.

"You trade for Case Keenum to make that work. The feeling I was getting ... they believe that the (Jay) Gruden offense can make Keenum work."

"They could make him be pretty good and make it work, but he's gonna need weapons around him. He's gonna need support, and that was the hope through this draft."

However, it was Snyder who made the choice to snag Haskins instead, a decision Russini says was deeply personal for the Redskins owner.

"My takeaway from everybody (at the NFL Combine) was that the team as a whole was really into Dwayne Haskins," Russini told the Junkies. "So I started to do a little research on him, and obviously realized the connection with Dan Snyder and his son." (Haskins and Dan Snyder's son attended the same high school, Bullis, in Potomac, Md.) 

"That's actually a gigantic element to this. Because this shows that this decision, in the end, really became a personal, emotional connection to the owner of the organization versus this guy is the best quarterback for this offense because of A, B and C."

The Redskins did ultimately grab an edge rusher in Montez Sweat after trading back into the first round and added more offensive and defensive weapons later in the draft. And the man behind all those decisions? Bruce Allen.

"Bruce Allen is really the biggest power player in that building," Russini said. "He's the one with all the juice. There is not a single person there that can get more stuff done for what he wants than Bruce Allen."

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