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The History of the Redskins' First-Round Selections and the Number Five Overall Pick

Examining what the careers of the average Redskins' first-round selection and the fifth overall pick look like

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 2015 NFL Draft and the Washington Redskins' return to the first round are both quickly approaching.  However, before we dive into all of the excitement, it would be wise of us educate ourselves on the history the Redskins' first-round draft selections and the number five overall pick.  Doing this will provide us with some historical context and the perspective that we need to accurately set our expectations.

Below you will find a list of every Redskins' first-round pick, every number five overall pick, all of the instances in which the number five pick has been traded in the last 20 years and several draft value charts.  For each pick, the player's number of years as his team's primary starter, number of pro bowls and number of all pro selections are listed.

I won't be providing much analysis here today, but there is more than enough information to help make you much more knowledgeable about the draft.  Just consider this your ultimate Redskins' historical and trade-value reference guide for the night.

Hail to the First-Round Pick

Here are the averages for all of the Redskins' first-round picks.  As you can see I have listed the averages for both every pick and for all of the players that are no longer active.  I did this to make sure that we were not getting averages that were too heavily affected by players whose careers have not yet ended.

Redskins 1st Round Averages Starter Years Pro Bowl All Pro Career AV
All Players Average 3.9 1.3 0.3 31.1
Non-Active Average 3.9 1.3 0.3 29.6

These numbers can give us a good idea of what kind of player the Redskins have fetched with their opening-round picks, but looking at the percentages will provide us with a much more accurate representation of what type of player they've taken in this round.

The numbers and percentages below reflect the number of players that achieved these accolades and not the total number produced by the entire population of Redskins round-one picks.  In other words, the 24 pro bowls that you see below are the total number of Redskins first rounders that made a pro bowl team in their careers and not the total number of pro bowl selections accumulated by this list of players as a whole.

Redskins 1st Round Percentages 4-Year Starter Pro Bowl All Pro Hall of Fame
All Players #
23 24 7 5
All Players % 41.1% 42.9% 12.5% 8.9%
Non-Active % 36.7% 36.7% 14.3% 10.2%

The four-year starter category is the only that really needs any explanation here.  Pro Football Reference tracks the number of years that a player was the primary starter for their team, so I decided to make this another tool that we can use to measure the careers of these players with.  I set the number at four years, because as most of us know, the average career of an NFL player is about three years.  Setting the number at four hopefully will act as guide post to help identify the number of "above average" players that were selected.

There isn't much to say here without being able to compare these numbers to the results of the rest of the leagues teams, but I would've guessed that the number of all pros and four-year starters would've been higher.  I suppose that's the Redskins for you.

The # 5 Overall Pick

The only time that the Redskins have ever used the number five pick was in 2004 when they used it to select Sean Taylor.  The only other time that they possessed the pick was when they traded it to the Saints in 1999 as part of the lopsided (in favor of Washington) Ricky Williams trade with the Saints.  Needless to say, the Redskins have a brief, but very successful history with this pick.

# 5 Pick Averages Starter Years Pro Bowl All Pro Career AV
All Players Average 5.1 1.5 0.6 43.3
Non-Active Average 5.2 1.5 0.7 45.2

# 5 Pick Percentages 4-Year Starter Pro Bowl All Pro Hall of Fame
All Player # 43 35 23 9
All Players % 54.4% 44.3% 29.1% 11.4%
Non-Active % 54.3% 45.7% 30.0% 12.9%

The numbers in the table directly above may very well be the most instructive ones in this post.  Basically, they are telling us that the chances of acquiring a perennial starter and a pro bowler are about 50%.  I will certainly take those odds; although, I wonder if how closely theses numbers align with the perception held by the public at large.  I would suspect that they would assume that the rate of success with a pick like this would be a higher; perhaps around 75%.

Finally, when you consider how difficult it is to make an all pro team and to get into the hall of fame, the percentages in those categories are also very encouraging.

Five for Trading

Here is a list of every time that the fifth overall pick has been traded since 1994, when the current seven-round format was adopted for the draft.  You can see more information here on PFR.

Date From Traded To Received
4/26/2012 Buccaneers 2012 1st round pick (5th overall, Justin Blackmon) Jaguars 2012 1st round pick (7th overall, Mark Barron)
2012 4th round pick (101st overall subsequently traded, Omar Bolden)
4/25/2009 Browns 2009 1st round pick (5th overall, Mark Sanchez) Jets 2009 1st round pick (17th overall subsequently traded, Josh Freeman)
2009 2nd round pick (52nd overall, David Veikune)
Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam and Brett Ratliff
4/20/2001 Falcons 2001 1st round pick (5th overall, LaDainian Tomlinson) Chargers 2001 1st round pick (1st overall, Michael Vick)
2001 3rd round pick (67th overall, Tay Cody)
2002 2nd round pick (48th overall, Reche Caldwell)
Tim Dwight
4/17/1999 Falcons 2000 1st round pick (5th overall, Jamal Lewis) Ravens 1999 2nd round pick (42nd overall, Reggie Kelly)
4/17/1999 Redskins 1999 1st round pick (5th overall, Ricky Williams) Saints 1999 1st round pick (12th overall subsequently traded, Cade McNown)
1999 3rd round pick (71st overall subsequently traded, D'Wayne Bates)
1999 4th round pick (107th overall, Nate Stimson)
1999 5th round pick (144th overall subsequently traded, Khari Samuel)
1999 6th round pick (179th overall subsequently traded, Desmond Clark)
1999 7th round pick (218th overall subsequently traded, Billy Miller)
2000 1st round pick (2nd overall, LaVar Arrington)
2000 3rd round pick (64th overall, Lloyd Harrison)
4/22/1995 Bengals 1995 1st round pick (5th overall, Kerry Collins) Panthers 1995 1st round pick (1st overall, Ki-Jana Carter)
1995 2nd round pick (36th overall, Shawn King)

There is the only other number five pick that the Redskins ever had.  In one of the most uneven trades in NFL history, Mike Ditka and the Saints traded essentially their entire draft to move up to select Ricky Williams.

The Redskins ended up selecting Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington, Derek Smith and Lloyd Harrison with the resulting picks.  I told you that the Redskins have had a lot of luck with this pick.  If only they could make a trade like that tonight.

Get Your Draft Pick's Worth

In the sortable and searchable table below you will see the famous Jimmy Johnson trade chart values for each pick.  I've also included Chase Stuart's value chart, which uses a modified version of approximate value to more accurately put a value on each draft pick.

You can use this table to determine who is getting a steal and who is getting ripped off in tonight's trades.  If you don't want to scroll down to find a specific pick, then just type it in the search bar.

And if you're too lazy for that, then there are a number of trade calculators that you can use like the ones here, here and here.

That's all for today, but be sure to come back tomorrow for the Day Two version.