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Redskins really not that bad at drafting, when they keep their picks

Update [2007-4-20 14:32:47 by Skin Patrol]: Ryan Wilson at AOL Fanhouse gets it too. I just cannot fathom why everyone in the world collectively recognizes what the 'Skins should be doing but the damned team. I'm so flustered I could eat my whole keyboard.
I've harped on it repeatedly that Joe Gibbs is pretty good at evaluating draft picks when we have them. Since taking control of the team in 2004, we've had just six day one draft picks and they are:


  1. Sean Taylor
  2. Chris Cooley
  1. Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn
  2. Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn
  3. Manuel White, Jr., RB, UCLA
    2. Rocky McIntosh, LB, Miami

Five of six are now starters on our roster. I would wager that's a fairly enviable track record by any team's standards. And these guys aren't just scrub starters either; Chris Cooley and Sean Taylor are Pro Bowl level talent, and Jason Campbell has a good shot at being the QB of the Redskins future. Only Manuel White, Jr. isn't with the team anymore, and he fractured his tibula in a preseason game in 2005. I don't blame the Coaches for that (unless he had a history of injury, which I doubt).

So if we're so good with Draft Picks, why the effing deuce do we keep throwing them away! Ryan O'Halloran gets it (emphasis mine):

5. If the Redskins manage to secure a second- and/or third-round draft pick by dealing out of the No. 6 spot, what's their recent history in those rounds?

    Since The Danny assumed the franchise in 1999, the Redskins have drafted some solid players in rounds 2-3, which again raises the question of why doesn't the team value those picks more. They currently don't have a pick in either round this year.

And Ryan trots out the success stories. The above mentioned McIntosh (who admittedly still has a long ways to go) and Chris Cooley make the list. But don't forget Fred Smoot (2nd round 2001), Ladell Betts (2nd round 2002), and Derrick Dockery (3rd round 2003). I feel like I'm taking crazy pills, because it proves that the Redskins got some serious production out of early round picks for three consecutive years -- some of it relatively quickly in Dockery and Smoot's case -- and yet inexplicably decided to fudge away those picks for the next two years. We didn't have any 2nd rounders in 2004 and 2005, and just one 3rd rounder (Chris Cooley!). With our rate of success at those positions, I wonder how many Cooley caliber stars we've robbed ourselves of through wasteful Draft dealing.