Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat, OLB, Mississippi State

The Washington Redskins weren't content to take just one player in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft.

The team traded with the Indianapolis Colts to move back into the first round, taking Mississippi State outside linebacker Montez Sweat.

It was a wild pre-draft process for Sweat, who was initially projected as one of the draft's best players.

Sweat, however, was diagnosed with a potential heart condition at the NFL combine in February.

The NFL Network reported on Thursday that he recently met with Houston Texans team doctor Dr. James Muntz, who said the diagnosis was incorrect. Other experts have reportedly backed up that conclusion.

"We think he's good," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "Obviously there were concerns, but [the Redskins team doctors and trainers], we've done our due diligence on this and we feel strongly that he is a strong, healthy young man."

An electric Senior Bowl vaulted Sweat up draft charts, and he backed that up with a 4.41 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

With the Redskins losing linebacker Preston Smith to free agency, Sweat will have an opportunity to jump right in opposite Ryan Kerrigan.

Gruden said Sweat was one of the players the team discussed taking with its first first-round selection, the No. 15 overall pick.

The Redskins are building a talented young defensive line, with Sweat joining defensive linemen Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis, and linebacker Ryan Anderson. Ioannidis is the only member of that group to reach his second NFL contract.

To get the Colts' selection in the first round, Washington had to trade its second-round selection in this year and next year's draft.

First-round picks are considered more valuable because the player contracts come with a fifth-year option. All other players receive four-year deals.

The Redskins are scheduled to pick twice on Friday night, with two selections in the third round but none in the second round.

This was the first time the Redskins have made two first-round selections since taking Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell in 2005.

​mphillips@timesdispatch.com    (804) 649-6546     

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