The Washington Redskins didn’t have a first-round pick in the NFL draft for the second consecutive year. Sure, their history with those picks haven’t been great and there are plenty of options to fill the team’s needs, but their record in the second round hasn’t been stellar, either: wide receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas quickly come to mind.
However, there have been some hits, starting with defensive back Fred Smoot.
The Mississippi State alum was a second-round pick by Washington in 2001 and remained a cornerstone of the defensive backs from 2001 to 2004 before returning in 2007 after two seasons in Minnesota. During that season, he defended 10 passes and made 44 tackles while ranking 17th in Quarterback Rating Against (74.7) among all cornerbacks who played at least 50 percent of their team’s snaps – effectively turning opposing quarterbacks in Kyle Boller when they threw in his direction.
Over his seven years in Washington, he would defend 71 passes, intercept 18 passes for 147 return yards and a touchdown while making 294 tackles and assisting on 52 others.
Jon Jansen, OL
According to Football Outsiders, during Jansen’s rookie year (1999) the Redskins’ right tackle spot was ranked sixth overall for Adjusted Line Yards (4.6) — which takes all running back carries and assigns responsibility to the offensive line. The offensive line would falter over the next few seasons but would bounce back big in 2002 when the right side was again ranked in the top 5 with an ALY of 5.0.
Jansen would start all but 21 games (he suffered a broken and dislocated ankle in 2007, limiting him to one game) in his nine seasons with Washington.
Bill Brundige, DL
Brundige was drafted in 1970, and while defense totals such as sacks and tackles aren’t widely available for that time, he is currently 55th on the Redskins all-time Approximate Value list, which is Pro-Football Reference’s attempt to put a single number on each player-season since 1950.
Tre Johnson, OL
Johnson was drafted in 1994, and from the time offensive line stats are available (1996) the Redskins ran more behind Johnson (58 percent in 1996) than any other lineman. His high point was in 1999 when he started all 16 games for Washington and anchored the top offensive run-blocking unit in the NFL, leading to an invitation to the Pro Bowl.
Andre Collins, LB
Collins, a linebacker out of Penn State who was drafted in 1990, would spend his first five seasons with Washington and rack up 18.5 sacks, 579 tackles and eight interceptions (for 247 yards). He would win a championship with the club in the 1992 season.