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Has Mike Shanahan redeemed himself as a personnel evaluator?

In the past there’s been no shortage of people who criticized Mike Shanahan for the players he drafted and signed in Denver. Remember former Bronco Mark Schlereth ripping Shanahan’s moves?

Shanahan left Denver with failed draft classes (2003, 2004) and had several free agent flops (Travis Henry and Daryl Gardener.) He always had a knack for finding running backs late in the draft, but burned a third-round pick on Maurice Clarett.

While Bruce Allen wears the GM tag in Washington, at the end of the day Shanahan decides which players come and go. We knew he could coach, but would he pick the right players in Washington?

Aside from trading for Donovan McNabb, I’ve seen a lot of smart moves from Shanahan.

Seventh-round pick Chris Neild had two sacks in his first game. Brandon Banks, who wasn’t even drafted, is electric. Anthony Armstrong, who no other NFL team wanted, is contributing. Roy Helu looks like a great use of a fourth-round pick, and acquiring Tim Hightower was a steal (with apologies to the aging Vonnie Holliday). Plus, Ryan Kerrigan is on his way to a fine rookie season.

Have you been as impressed with Shanahan’s personnel decisions? — Matt McFarland

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