The obvious one here is Trent Green. We didn't draft him--the Chargers did. Most people (including me) have been mistaken about that at some point. He never saw the field for San Diego, then got cut by a CFL team and landed in Washington in 1995.
We did develop him though. And in 1998 he became a starter for the Redskins. His stats from that year are like punches to the groin, in number form. He threw for 3,441 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He turned down the Redskins' offer (4-year, $12 million) and accepted the offer from the Rams (4-year, $16.5 million). I leave it to each of you to imagine a reality that includes Trent Green as the QB of the Redskins for more than just that one year. He may very well regret the move himself, as his knee ended up paving the way for Kurt Warner to helm one of most amazing offenses we have ever seen.
If not Trent Green, than surely Jay Schroeder, right? Well, I'm not going there either. To me, Jay Schroeder's greatest contribution to this franchise was Jim Lachey. Al Davis fell in love with Jay's arm and stats and thought it made sense to trade a stud tackle for his services. Who does that (we didn't offer the Broncos Chris Samuels in the Jay Cutler deal did we?)
I am going to catch some heat for this, because Schroeder was around town during some pretty decent years. But I am going with another guy who was also around during some great seasons.
Two words make me lean toward this guy: Victory Formation. I just have this fond memory of the 1991 season I guess. But the memory of Joe Gibbs sending in Jeff Rutledge to either hand the ball off for up the middle runs, or just to kneel on it and run the clock out gets me every time. We had a guy who was a professional kneeler. Aside from holding--which got him on the field a TON that year as well--his main formation was Victory Formation.
He won back-to-back state titles in high school. At Alabama, they won three SEC titles, and one national title. In the pros, he got two rings (albeit as a "member" of the team, and not as the star player.)
You want a great Jeff Rutledge story? As a back-up in 1990, Rutledge came off the bench to relieve Stan Humphries. There were approximately 25 minutes left in the game and we were down 35-14. His stat line ended up being an impossible 30-42 for 363 yards and a TD. If you can recall, he ran in the game-tying touchdown from 12 yards out, and hit Art Monk for the game-winner in OT. (Is there a better feeling than playing Detroit for Skins' fans?)
Unfortunately, this performance by Rutledge earned him the start the following week. Why is that unfortunate? It was the "Body Bag" game in Philly, on Monday Night Football. Humphries got knocked out of the game as well and Brian Mitchell closed out the game under center.