clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bobby Beathard was amazing, and that's what this team lacks

AOL Fanhouse's Sportz Assassin has an interesting article on the Redskins old Draft tendencies, and what immediately jumps out at me is how incredible Beathard was at talent evaluation during his GM tenure in Washington ('78-'89). I often say what is missing in Washington is a GM, but really what I mean is that a good GM is missing.

From 1969-1990, the Washington Redskins drafted just three players in the first round of the draft. Those three:

Art Monk, 1980
Mark May, 1981
Darrell Green, 1983

All his picks. 66% of Beathard's first round picks were Hall of Fame talent. That's amazing. Just as incredible was how much value Bobby snuck onto the team in the late rounds. As SA explains:
It's like the Redskins never learned how to draft. During the 1980s, the Skins traded their picks away to get more later round picks in order to get less expensive players and allowing them to keep their nucleus intact...
Obviously that strategy's time has passed given how the Salary Cap has impacted the game, but a good talent scout is a good talent scout regardless. And Beathard was, by all indications, an outstanding talent scout:
Even in those days the Skins dealt back in the draft, they were still able to find key players. Russ Grimm and Charles Mann went in the 3rd round; Dexter Manley in the 5th round; Mark Rypien in the 6th; Kelvin Bryant in the 7th round; Barry Wilburn and Kurt Gouveia in the 8th; Mark Schlereth in the 10th round. These Redskins can't do that.
Russ Grimm was a four time Pro Bowler and founding member of The Hogs, our namesake. He's annually in the discussion for Hall of Fame consideration and perhaps will one day enjoy a place in Canton next to Art Monk and Darrell Green.

Charles Mann was also a four time Pro Bowler and helped the Redskins win three Super Bowls under his tenure with the team. Charles, like Grimm, Manley, Monk, May, Green, and Rypien, is one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.

Dexter Manley was also a Pro Bowl Defensive End, in virtue of an 18.5 sack season in '86. Despite his personal demons Manley helped carry the Redskins through two Super Bowl victories and remains one of the best players in the Franchise's history. In the fifth round.

Mark Rypien was a two time Pro Bowler and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI. Obviously Rypien struggled after he left Washington, so much of his success here should be credited to the great Coaching staff we also enjoyed during that time period, though Beathard deserves all the credit in the world for putting a 6th round draft pick in the right place at the right time. So much of talent scouting isn't necessarily getting the best player, but rather the best player for your team. For a short period of time, at least, that person was clearly Rypien.

Kelvin Bryant was a star in the USFL and wasn't especially productive as a RB for the Redskins from 1986-1990 (1186 yards in that time period), though he was excellent catching balls out of the backfield. Between '86-'88 Bryant had three straight 440+ yard receiving years and racked up 13 touchdowns. He's got his Super Bowl XXII ring and contributed a touchdown on four receptions in our Conference Championship win over the Vikings that year.

Barry Wilburn and Kurt Gouveia both represent the kind of key role players you need to pick up in late rounds as both contribued to Super Bowls for the Redskins. Barry started at CB in XXII while Gouveia played Linebacker on both the '87 and '91 Super Bowl winning teams, including an interception of a Jim Kelly pass in XXVI.

Although Beathard left the team in '89, Schlereth was his draft pick and his 6 year contribution to the team (including a 1992 Pro Bowl and 1991 Super Bowl) should be credited partially to Beathard for recognizing his talent in the 10th round.

What he did was outstanding and played an enormous role in the Redskins dominance in the 80s and early 90s. None of that is said to take away from Joe Gibbs, or the players who contributed that Beathard didn't draft, or anyone else, but rather just to point out how large of a difference a consistently effective talent scout and General Manager can have on a team.

Bobby Beathard, we miss you.