clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hogs Haven Presents: The 2016 Ten Most Irreplaceable Redskins

Every year, Hogs Haven lists the ten current Washington Redskins that would be impossible to replace this season. Age and cost matter not...this list is all about the 2016 player.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As the intro says, this list does not take into account how much a player earns in salary. It does not care how many draft picks were burned in the selection of the player. It certainly doesn't pay any attention at all to a player's age. Instead, this list--as it has been for five years running--is all about those players that we could not replace if they were to be unavailable this season for any reason. Of course, we all embrace the "next man up" mentality, and we are extremely confident in the abilities of one Scot "McLovin" McCloughan, but certain players simply can't be replaced midseason. As gibbs4potus previously pointed out, these are likely the best players on the team, but we have already disagreed on which ten guys should make this list, so let's start out with my effort, and then we'll debate from there. (Here's last year's list. It is shocking how much better this year's list is.)

1. Trent Williams

It's kind of hard to imagine this needs much explaining. Trent has been our best player for a few years now, and his presence on our offensive line is the only reason we enjoyed success of any kind at times during some rather dark seasons. Prior to the arrival of the right side of our line last season, defenses would load up on Trent's side, knowing we would force it that way. He's a beast, he plays one of the two or three most important positions in football and he is clearly a leader in the locker room.

2. Kirk Cousins

I took a lot of heat for including Kirk in previous lists, but I am not about to take any victory laps here. As much as I have always liked his game, his prior inclusion said far more about the rest of the team than it did about him. Back to the present: this season very much rides on his ability. If he can come anywhere close to playing the way he did for the last ten games of the 2015 season, the Redskins will win...a lot. This offense doesn't ask the quarterback to be the hero, although his numbers looked heroic some days. Cousins was firmly in control of games last year, doing far more than simply acting as a game manager. His play elevated the play of those around him, and Jay Gruden's offense had a chance to establish some roots. This season's harvest is going to be tasty, but not without Kirk Cousins.

3. Jordan Reed

This guy is no longer our little secret. That ship sailed a season ago. Jordan Reed is regarded as one of the best tight ends in the NFL, possessing the kind of talent you design offenses around. His routes are central to what we are doing or trying to do on most plays. Defensive coordinators struggle with containment strategies, because guys like Reed are always going to get theirs. Reed might be the shiniest symbol of a far more talented roster than the league is used to seeing from Washington. He's a "guy," an elite playmaker that every team would want to have.

4. DeSean Jackson

In years past, I don't recall having very many "locks"--here we are already with our fourth one. While I reserve the right to pen a column before the trading deadline suggesting we should at least consider dealing him (three years in a row), I will never deny that he is an Elite player, you know...with a capital E. He is so in control of his body at lightning speed that it is just about physically impossible to cover him. Physics-ally. He breaks fundamental laws of nature. (Oh, and don't worry, I do see the irony of pre-suggesting we trade away an "irreplaceable" player. But who am I to argue with future me?)

5. Josh Norman

Another no-brainer it would seem, as All-Pro cornerbacks don't just magically appear as if from nowhere, jettisoned into the land of availability by a team that had only recently franchise-tagged him. I am pretty sure that if he were still a member of the Carolina Panthers, Josh Norman would be listed as one of their ten most irreplaceable players. Given our struggle in the secondary in recent seasons, his talent is as meteoric as it was needed.

6. Preston Smith

Pressssss-TONE! Like Reed, this player is not escaping anyone's radar anymore. Even though he tallied three sacks in one of the last three games, he closed out with a five sack run before wreaking some havoc against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. If you were paying attention in the preseason, you saw a player that looked unblockable at times. He was so fast getting behind the line, it looked the film was skipping ahead--but only his body jumped, as if he was the antagonist in a terrifying Japanese horror flick. His size, strength and speed are irreplaceable.

7. Chris Baker

He might not win the Most Talented Guy On This List Award, there are many things irreplaceable about Swaggy. You could start with the fact that he is our most indispensable defensive lineman. He is a leader on the field and in the locker room. Swaggy is the kind of player whose contagious when it comes to "being on." When Swaggy is on, he is having fun and getting his teammates amped up. His sack dances are the football equivalent of watching the sun set over an Italian promenade. They're so breathtakingly beautiful, they make you reflect on your life. They make you openly weep for joy. They make you a better person.

8. Bashaud Breeland

This is a great way to reflect on how much more talent we have in the McLovin Era. Chris Culliver was the sole cornerback on my list at the end of the preseason last year. Breeland is turning into a very classy defender. He is long, he can hit with the best of them, and he is starting to look like one of the smarter guys on the field. I can't understate how amazing it is to be in our current cornerback situation, given its weak link status in the not too distant past. Norman and Breeland are a top corner duo in the league. Top corners are always irreplaceable. I mean, it's not like you get all the way through free agency where teams even kicked the tires on guys like the aforementioned Culliver, only to have a top tier talent shuttle-launched onto the scene by a team that depended on him to make it to a Super Bowl. Stuff like that doesn' know...

9. Brandon Scherff

Yet another player that snuck onto last year's list perhaps one year too early, Scherff makes this iteration easily in my book. I have always said that adding Scherff gave us Moses. That is not to take anything away from Morgan Moses' journey to becoming a very solid offensive linemen--he has earned his spot. If Scherff couldn't play guard (which just sounds silly), he would be playing right tackle (which sounds...sillier). Instead, he made an immediate impact at guard and formed half of the battery that saved our bacon last year. He is mean, nasty, incredibly strong and a major reason Kirk Cousins survived the 2015 campaign. He was worth every bit of the position used to draft him, and I can't wait to see what he looks like in his sophomore effort. Expect him to get better.

10. Ryan Kerrigan

The last is never the least on these kinds of lists. Kerrigan has started 16 games a year the last five seasons (his first five seasons). Kerrigan's annual sack totals have been consistently solid, with almost 50 career sacks under his belt already. He is a tireless worker and he is another player whose success has the ability to infectiously spread to his teammates in games. His leadership is cemented at this point, as everyone wearing burgundy and gold on Sundays looks to him for direction.

Imagine me not putting Jamison Crowder on this list?!?!

Let's call him my hard 11. Kevin? T?