clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Examiner zings the Redskins Draft strategy. In other news, I cry myself to sleep

New, comment

Hat Tip: Extreme Skins

The Washington Examiner says the Redskins are at risk of having "Too Many Chiefs" as one clever NFC GM puts it. No one has ever used this clever play on the popular saying "Too many chefs" before. Because the Redskins are Native Americans, get it? Chefs -> Chiefs? Awesome. This is why I wish we had a GM.

Let's get those pesky "facts" out of the way:

The Redskins have had one of the NFL's lowest success rates in the draft since 2000; and since 2001, their record is 41-55 with one playoff appearance.
In the seven drafts under Dan Snyder's ownership (the 1999 draft was run by the previous front office), the Redskins have struggled... [one] reason was the turnover before Joe Gibbs returned. With new coaches came a new direction and new players.

But the constants have been Snyder and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato (save for the 2001 draft).

Of the Redskins' 42 draft picks from 2000-06, only 14 remain on the roster. That's a 33.3 percent success rate, which ranks 30th in the NFL -- ahead of only New Orleans and Denver.
New England has a 39.3 percent rate, but it also had 61 picks so 24 remained on the roster.
The Bengals had the highest number of picks on the roster last year at 57.1 percent (32 out of 56).
Only 59.5 percent of [the Redskins] picks from the last seven drafts remain on an NFL roster. Nine teams have a worse percentage. The Jets (79.6), Philadelphia (75), Cincinnati (75) and Pittsburgh (74.1) have the best percentages.
From 2000-06, the Redskins selected 42 players. Every other team, except Miami, had at least 50 picks during this same stretch. And Houston, which only drafted the past five years, had 46 picks.
So we know that the Redskins haven't had many draft picks in the Snyder era, they haven't won much in the Snyder era, and it's quite possible that these two facts are causally related. The first counter example to that are the Denver Broncos who have achieved enormous success since 2000 (70-42) despite doing an even worse job of retaining their draft picks.

One thing to remember: Denver has had 57 draft picks since 2000. Though their retention percentage is lower than the Redskins, they've actually had more drafted players remain with the team than the Redskins, though it's pretty damn close. I would offer the Broncos as evidence that a team can succeed in spite of wasting many of its draft picks due to great coaching. Then again, we shouldn't discount that the Broncos have succeeded in large part by fleecing the Washington Redskins in trades. They're what you would call an "aggressive" Free Agency team in that when we phone them, people fight over who takes the call.

Only eight of Washington's projected starters this year have come via their drafts. But at least they've improved at finding starters: six of those eight players have been selected in the last three drafts.
I've quoted this before as evidence that Joe Gibbs has done a good job with the draft with the few picks we have, and history could prove that true. But of course we've gotten better over time; the same is probably true of all 32 teams. Intuitively you would have more players on your team -- and thus more starters -- who were drafted last year than the year before, since they've had less time to get traded, cut, retired, arrested, or injured. That last year's 7th round pick Kili Lefotu (in Europe right now, I believe) is on the team and 2005 5th round pick Robert McCune is not, is hardly evidence that Lefotu is a much better pick. McCune simply has had more time to prove he can't make this roster. Lefotu will follow, just like 7th round pick Kevin Simon. Why would anyone be surprised that the longer a player is in the league the less likely he is to remain on a team? If that were the case, Darrell Green wouldn't be such a total bad ass for sticking it out for 20 seasons with the 'Skins.