Players will show up at Redskins Park in a matter of hours, and in the days, weeks and months that pass between the draft and the regular season, one of the most popular pastimes is evaluating the draft picks and projecting what they will accomplish in the NFL.
Earlier today I put up a short article glancing back at 2007, and the decision to draft LaRon Landry over Adrian Peterson. With the benefit of 12 football seasons having passed, we all know what happened to the two players - though Peterson’s NFL story is still being written right here in Washington, interestingly enough.
With that article, I really just wanted to give people a chance to remind themselves of the circumstances that surrounded that draft a dozen years ago.
Prior to that, I had been looking back through some old Hogs Haven articles, checking out the styles of the writers of years past, looking at the themes under discussion, and possibly even looking for some ideas for articles.
I came across a 2007 piece titled, Redskins poised for a turnaround in 2007?
I read it with interest, and was surprised to see a pair of contrasting opinions about the decision to draft Landry over Peterson. There were two sides to the discussion, passion was strong, and — judging by the comments in this morning’s article — feelings still run deep when the question is asked a dozen years later.
I thought I’d share a large part of that 2007 article with you. Seen in the retrospective light cast by a dozen years, some of the thoughts from the article are surprising (for me, seeing Peterson described as a “3rd down back”, “injury insurance” and “a backup running back” was shocking; I had thought he was seen as a sure-fire NFL star from the moment he was drafted).
Part of what makes the NFL such a great sport is that you never really know how players are going to handle the transition from college to professional ball, whether they outperform or underperform expectation.
With players like Dwayne Haskins, Montez Sweat, Terry McLaurin, Wes Martin and Kelvin Harmon, it’s impossible to know right now whether any one of these individual players will turn into the next Adrian Peterson, LaRon Landry, or Ryan Leaf. The NFL quickly separates the great from the very good, and it chews up and spits out those who aren’t ready.
They say that hitting a pitched ball in the major leagues is the most difficult feat in all of sports, but I might contend that successfully drafting a college player into the NFL is even harder. Trying to hit 10/10 seems impossible.
Passions and opinions run deep about Washington’s new young players, and they should. We want to be a passionate fan base.
The Redskins are lucky to have ten young draft picks and another eight undrafted college free agents to add some interest to the long off-season. It’s easy to anoint some as future Hall of Fame players while consigning others to the scrap heap before they’ve even arrived at the team facility — after all, that’s what fans do — but we never really know what’s ahead.
Living through the 16 games per year and finding out what these players can do is what makes the NFL so much fun to follow.
Let’s go to the Hogs Haven 2007 throwback article:
Redskins poised for a turnaround in 2007?
Q: Why did the Redskins pass up on running back Adrian Peterson for a secondary player when they already have Sean Taylor and company and could really use a young and talented running back to replace Clinton Portis and to develop along with their up and coming new quarterback, Jason Campbell? To me Peterson was the best player in the draft. I felt they missed a great opportunity there.
-- Josh Phillip, Sparks, Nev.
I’m sure there exist those Redskins fans who considered Adrian Peterson a reasonable selection, but don’t count me among them. In fact I hadn’t heard that rumored extensively anywhere, really, as running back was one of the places we were actually just fine.
We had two 1,000 yard rushers on the roster at the time of the draft, both of whom were young and under contract through this decade (remember that Ladell Betts signed an extension in December). So I was shocked to not only see an “Expert” field this question, but grant it legitimacy, emphasis mine:
A: Hadn’t thought of that, but you’re probably right. Portis is still young, but he’s been around for five years and has had injury problems, so maybe he’s past his prime. As much as Joe Gibbs loves to run, Peterson would have made at least as much sense as LaRon Landry, who plays essentially the same way Taylor does.
Apparently Ladell Betts doesn’t exist.
If there were any doubt about the Redskins selecting Adrian Peterson, it disappeared on December 8th when we extended Ladell -- there’s simply no way the Redskins are investing Betts’ extension, along with Clinton Portis’ contract, one of the largest for a RB in the NFL, along with the 6th pick money we’d have to pay Peterson. And why? So that we can have three potential 1,000 yard rushers on the team? That’s overkill for a team that finished 31st defensively in 2006.
So Adrian Peterson, who would effectively become a 3rd down back or else injury insurance for CP, makes as much sense as LaRon Landry?
I had no idea that Pierson Prioleau was held in such high regard per the Experts. I consider a possible DB starter on a defense that was horribly bad as far more valuable than a backup running back in a unit that had literally just proven capable of withstanding injury to its marquee RB. But again, I am no expert.
No disrespect intended towards Don Pierson, but I that Q/A was redonkeylegs.
Well, the Redskins got Adrian Peterson in the end, and didn’t even need to part with a draft pick to get him.
He may not have started his career as a Redskin, but there’s a good chance he may finish as one.
How many touches will Adrian Peterson get against the Eagles in Week 1?
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less than 6
20 or more
We know Landon Collins will start (assuming he remains healthy). Is the other starting safety under contract to the Redskins at the moment?
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