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Best and worst draft picks of the NFC East since 1982

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Hat tip to Chuck at Hail to the Deadskins, which we won't repeat here (though personally, I think it's flattering that a website targets the Redskins specifically -- I would never have considered titling this blog after denigrating "cowgirls" or some other insulting-but-not-really variation on their name), for emailing me two of his recent posts on NFC East draft picks. First comes NFC Least which is a collection of the worst first round picks in the East since 1982. As he points out, the Redskins shouldn't be well represented here as we lacked 1st round picks in "1982, 1984-1990, 1998, 2003 and 2006." Your Washington Redskins busts, per Chuck:

Quarterback:
Patrick Ramsey, Deadskins (2002)
Heath Shuler, Deadskins (1994)

Wide Receiver:
Desmond Howard, Deadskins (1992)
Michael Westbrook, Deadskins (1995)
Rod Gardner, Deadskins (2001)

Offensive Line:
Andre Johnson, Deadskins (1996)

Defensive End:
Marcus Koch, Deadskins (1986)

Defensive Tackle:
Bobby Wilson, Deadskins (1991)
Tracy Rocker, Deadskins (1989)

Linebacker:
LaVar Arrington, Deadskins (2000)
Andre Collins, Deadskins (1990)

Defensive Back:
Tom Carter, Deadskins (1993)
Tory Nixon, Deadskin (1985)

I only have a few qualms with this list. While Desmond Howard didn't do much as a Redskin, he was a Pro Bowl wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP. Whether that makes him worthy of the 4th overall pick I leave to reader(s), but at the very least it introduces debate as to whether he's a bust.

Tracy Rocker wasn't much of a player, but he was also just a 3rd round pick. Sometimes 3rd round picks don't pan out.

Most surprising was Lavar Arrington, who went to three straight Pro Bowls and was the best player on our defense for many years, even as the team overall was horrible. I asked Chuck about it, and he had a thoughtful response (paraphrasing) saying that had we known then what we know now, would we have selected him at 2?

If that includes injuries, I still think the inquiry is unfair, though I can imagine some fans who would admit that no, he wasn't worth a 2nd overall pick given his injuries, the way the coaching staff used him later, and ultimately his leaving to join an NFC East rival. But if we're simply asking "you know Lavar the player, would you still pick him at 2 all things equal" whereas all things equal means the unique history he shared in Washington is ignored, I resoundingly say yes, absolutely, I'll take a 3-time Pro Bowl talent with a high motor and a likeable character at #2 any day. Might just be me, though.

To Chuck's enormous credit, in his best draft picks in the NFC East since 1982, he gives the Redskins a lot of credit. I won't comment additionally on the players he lists (or doesn't list) as this post has already gotten too long, though I thank Chuck for mentioning the following great draft steals for the Redskins:

Quarterback
Mark Rypien, Deadskins (1986: 6, 146)
Stan Humphries, Deadskins (1988: 6, 159)
Gus Frerotte, Deadskins (1994: 7, 197)
Jay Schroeder, Deadskins (1984: 3, 83)
Babe Laufenberg, Deadskins (1983: 6, 168)

Running Back
Stephen Davis, Deadskins (1996: 4, 102)
Timmy Smith, Deadskins (1987: 5, 117)

Wide Receiver
Keenan McCardell, Deadskins (1991: 12, 326)

Offensive Line
Raleigh McKenzie, Deadskins (1985: 11, 290)
Mark Schlereth, Deadskins (1989: 10, 263)
Ed Simmons, Deadskins (1987: 6, 164)
Jon Jansen, Deadskins (1999: 2, 37)

Tight End
Frank Wycheck, Deadskins (1993: 6, 160)

Defensive Line
Charles Mann, Deadskins (1983: 3, 84)

Linebacker
Kurt Gouveia, Deadskins (1986: 8, 213)

Defensive Back
Darrell Green, Deadskins (1983: 1, 28)
Champ Bailey, Deadskins (1999: 1, 7)

Reader(s) have at these lists.

AOL Fanhouse, NFC East's Best/Worst Draft Picks in Last 25 Years