Enough with the jokes and the hyperbolic jinxes that are affiliated with this franchise.
In a Class of His Own
1. Sean Taylor, 2004
The 2003 Redskins finished 5-11 and ranked 25th in total yards allowed. Taylor was the defibrillator that the team desperately needed.
With the fifth-overall selection, the coach Joe Gibbs and Co. brought in the ballhawking free safety from Miami (Fla.) to salvage a disconcerted secondary-he delivered the boom immediately.
The rookie played an instrumental role, bolstering the front seven and leading the vanguard by kept opponents out of the end zone. That defense ranked 5th in points allowed, and 3rd in total yards allowed-a 180° turnaround the franchise sought after.
Taylor became the focal point of the offensive game plan. Teams routinely failed to execute their plays before the hardhitter came flying in on a blitz to disrupt an offense's tempo. His imposing style of play got him two Pro Bowl selections in 2006 and in 07.
The Redskins earned a playoff berth in 2006, and went on to win their Wild Card match in Tampa Bay before getting knocked off by the Seahawks.
2. LaVar Arrington, 2000
3. Chris Samuels, 2000
The 2000 Redskins struck gold and burgundy with their 2nd- and 3rd-overall draft picks.
The offensive tackle from Alabama played in 141 regular-season games. The reliable tackle developed into a six-time Pro Bowl selection and retired after 10 seasons in the Nation's Capital.
Penn State's Lavar Arrington started 11 games in his debut season and yes, famously retired Troy Aikman after launching himself into the legend along the sidelines on December 10, 2000.
The Glass is Half-Full
4. Robert Griffin, 2012
5. Trent Williams, 2010
6. Brian Orakpo, 2009
7. Ryan Kerrigan, 2011
8. Laron Landry, 2007
Any rookie quarterback that can lead his team to a Wild Card playoff game has my vote. RGIII now has a good mentor in head coach Jay Gruden, who is also a quarterback at heart, to travel the inroads of young signal-caller’s development.
Any offensive lineman who can smack Richard Sherman in the face has my vote. After the Seahawks defeated the Redskins in the 2012 Wild Card battle, Williams dome checked Sherman after being antagonized by the loudmouth cornerback.
The tackle played two consecutive full seasons, and is a natural beast on the line when healthy.
'Borakpo' and Ryan Kerrigan are twin towers off the edge. At 6'4", both wreak havoc in passing and running lanes. The edge rushers have a knack to spot the ball quickly, registering a total of 31 passes defensed. Kerrigan defended 16 passes in three seasons, and Orakpo recorded 15 in five (four if you don't count the season he missed due to a pectoral injury.)
Laron Landry flashed signs of promise early on his career, however, due to injuries, his production grew stagnant in his final two seasons.
At Last, but Not At Least
9. Carlos Rogers, 2005
10. Jason Campbell, 2005
11. Patrick Ramsey, 2002
12. Rod Gardner, 2001
Ramsey's four-season stint in D.C was strenuous. The quarterback was sacked 75 times in 33 games, threw 29 interceptions and 34 touchdowns during that stretch. Never playing a full season, the quarterback out of Tulane spilt time with other backups in Steve Spurrier's 'Fun and Gun' offense, and got the short end of the stick when Joe Gibbs came in and promoted Mark Brunell as a starter.
Currently, Carlos Rogers is on the market after being cut by the 49ers, and Jason Campbell is trying to cling on to a second or third string opening on the Cleveland Browns. Rogers is/was/will be a great cornerback and will thrive if he finds the right system.
Both Auburn alumni are 32, an unattractive number for third-tier players in their respective positions.
At the peak of Gardner's career, he surpassed 1,000 yards receiving and scored eight touchdowns. The receiver out of Clemson prospered in Spurrier's 'FnG' offense, but his production, like Landry's, faded into black after major changes were made in the front office.