Washington Redskins: 15 best draft day steals of all-time

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) /
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Monte Coleman, Washington Redskins
Monte Coleman, Washington Redskins. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport /

Sometimes, it’s not simply quality of play that earns value, but also longevity itself. The equation to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is excellence plus longevity. But when a late-round pick gives you at least one of those, in spite of the NFL’s treacherous landscape, credit must be given.

Thus, credit must be given to the Redskins’ iron man of the 1980s: Linebacker Monte Coleman, who gave the Redskins a pinch of excellence whenever they needed it, for the better part of two decades.

Coleman was drafted in the 11th round (yes, the 11th round) of the 1979 NFL Draft. He’s the second-latest selection on this list. Yet, he provided more value than many in the rounds before him.

For almost his entire 16-year career with the Redskins, Coleman was at least a key special teamer. At his best, he was a premier sack artist with blazing speed and a veteran moxie, as he logged 10.5 sacks in 1984. He eclipsed 1,000 total tackles in his career, with 999 solo takedowns, good enough for second place in team history.

In a sport where even seeing out a rookie contract is uncertain for late-round rookies, Coleman defied the expectation for his draft stock. He provided the Redskins with extraordinary value. While he was never a dominant player, he gave them a safety blanket, and a leader, to rely on for years.