Reviewing Washington Football Team drafts over the last 20 years

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The Washington Football Team’s new Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer (L) speaks to the media during a press conference with at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia, 04 January 2001. Schottenheimer signed a four-year, 10 million USD deal to join the team. AFP PHOTO/Leslie E. KOSSOFF (Photo by LESLIE E. KOSSOFF / AFP) (Photo by LESLIE E. KOSSOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

In the run-up to the 2021 NFL draft, let’s take a look at the Washington Football Team has fared over the past twenty years by picking a best, worst, and best value picks from each draft.

2001 NFL Draft (Marty Schottenheimer)

This was Marty Schottenheimer’s one year in charge and the team only had five total picks.

  • BEST: Fred Smoot (2)
  • WORST: Rod Gardner (1)
  • VALUE: None

Smoot had a good career. Gardner did not, especially when you consider that Santana Moss was chosen one pick later. There were no late-round gems to qualify as “value.”

2002 NFL Draft (Vinny Cerrato)

Marty was gone and Vinny Cerrato would hold the keys to the car for the rest of the decade. The franchise is only just recovering from it.

  • BEST: Ladell Betts (2)
  • WORST: Patrick Ramsey (1)
  • VALUE: Rock Cartwright (7)

Betts had a nice career primarily as a backup. He ran for over 1,000 yards in 2006. Ramsey got screwed by having to play for Steve Spurrier, and he never came close to showing first-round production. Cartwright hung around for eight years as a runner and kick returner.

2003 NFL Draft (Vinny)

Somehow, Vinny arranged for a sub-.500 team to only have three picks in the 2003 draft. Bill O’Brien was obviously paying close attention.

  • BEST: Derrick Dockery (2)
  • WORST: Taylor Jacobs (3)
  • VALUE: None

Dockery left and came back. At least he played. Jacobs was one of Steve Spurrier’s Florida guys. None of them panned out. Anquan Boldin was chosen ten picks after Jacobs.

2004 NFL Draft (Vinny)

And this year, Vinny managed to just have four picks. But credit where it’s due. He totally nailed two of them.

  • BEST: Sean Taylor (1)
  • WORST: Mark Wilson (5)
  • VALUE: Chris Cooley (3)

Taylor was becoming the best safety in the league before his tragic death. Wilson played in two games in the NFL. Cooley became one of the best tight ends in franchise history.

2005 NFL Draft (Vinny)

Two first-rounders. Four late rounders. Not much to show for it.

  • BEST: Carlos Rogers (1)
  • WORST: Manuel White (4)
  • VALUE: None

When you consider that Vinny gave up a first, third, and fourth-round pick to trade up and take Jason Campbell late in the first round, that might be your “worst” choice. But at least Campbell played for a long time. White didn’t.

No late-round gems, and when Carlos Rogers is your “best” pick, that’s not what we’d call a good draft.

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