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Shanahan Has Drafted 2 WRs in the 1st Round Before, But...

Ashley Lelie...hails from Colt Brennan's alma mater.
Ashley Lelie...hails from Colt Brennan's alma mater.

A plethora (I've been saving that word) of mock drafts have the Redskins taking either AJ Green or Julio Jones #10 overall. For the life of me, I cannot see any circumstance of that happening unless Cerrato was still here. What's the value of drafting a WR that touches the ball 10% of the entire game when the Redskins have a defense that can't get off the field AND problems protecting the QB? Regardless, Mike Shanahan has taken a WR in the first round before. Let's rewind:

1998 - 30th pick - Marcus Nash (WR Tennessee) - 6'3 193lbs

The Broncos had just won Super Bowl XXXII over the Packers. Their WRs that year were (with age): Willie Anderson (32), Rod Smith (27), Ed McCaffrey (29), David gamble (26), Willie Green (31), and Patrick Jeffers (24). Jeffers only played 10 games, David Gamble 2, and Willie Anderson 4. With the Broncos coming off a Super Bowl, a WR made perfect sense given the age of all these guys and John Elway playing inspired ball. As we all know, the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998 as well, and then John Elway retired.

Result: Bad pick. Marcus Nash is a bona fide bust only having played 10 games in 2 seasons with Denver and was out of the NFL after 4 years. (Peyton Manning made him look good). Sadly, Nash broke his neck in the AFL and his playing days ended.

2002 - 19th pick - Ashley Lelie (WR Hawaii) - 6'3 178lbs

Lelie is a bit intriguing. The Broncos finished 4-12 in back to back years from 2001-2002. Their 2001 roster faced injuries as 9 WRs are listed. Rod Smith, 31, played 15 games and was pretty much the only healthy WR. Ed McCaffrey played 1 game and Eddie Kennison only 8 (starting in 6). The Broncos had a top 10 defense in 2001, so the WR pick was warranted.  

Result: Bad pick. Lelie had 4 healthy years in Denver, but only had 1 year over 1000 yards and 1 year with more than 2 TDs. Oh, and the Packers selected Javon Walker with the very next pick. Ed Reed went a few picks later.

So, who still wants the Redskins to draft a WR round one? Top ten picks are rare and stud WRs are to be found in later rounds as we learned when Shanahan drafted Brandon Marshall in the 4th.

Note: Shanny was Head Coach of the Raiders in '88 and a handful of games in '89. Tim Brown was drafted in the 88 draft, but we all know who made that pick.