The Redskins announced the signing of cornerback Phillip Buchanon today, providing me with another seemingly simple name to misspell. (One L or two? N-O-N or N-A-N?)
Buchanon will be expected to provide valuable depth for a secondary that’s extremely youthful once you get past the two starters. Byron Westbrook, Justin Tryon, Kevin Barnes, Doug Dutch, and Marcus McCauley have combined for a total of thirteen starts between them, and nine of those come from McCauley’s 2007 rookie campaign with the Vikings. Leaving out McCauley — who a fair number of Redskins fans probably never even knew was on the team — the remaining four guys have appeared in any role in just 48 games, much of that on special teams duty.
Buchanon was the 17th pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, going to the Oakland Raiders. Current Redskins general manager Bruce Allen was the Raiders’ personnel guy then, so he has a history with Buchanon, and the Redskins have a history with reclamation projects from the first round of that draft. Read more »
Tags: free agency, phillip buchanon
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Last week, I got a little cranky when Peter King included Sean Taylor in an argument against taking a safety early in the NFL Draft. The next day, I failed to get un-cranky when King offered an unsatisfactory explanation of his reasoning. Some people seemed to get the impression that I was upset that King was speaking poorly of the deceased, but that was really not what it was about.
Here is my point, much more concisely: the reason that Taylor did not make the contribution you would want from a top 10 pick is because he was murdered three and a half years into his career. Therefore, including him as a datapoint in your analysis of ANYTHING from a football standpoint — not just the 2004 draft or taking a safety in the top 5, as King discusses — is pretty much pointless.
What happened to Taylor didn’t happen because he played safety. Or because he was drafted in 2004. Or because he went to Miami, changed his number, played for the Redskins, or because he didn’t always answer questions from the media, or anything like that. So it probably shouldn’t be factored into conversations about those things.
That was one point that I was trying to make that got a little lost. But another point, and the one that most of the people who emailed me agreed with, is that Taylor was well on his way to being EXACTLY the kind of franchise player that you would want to draft at fifth overall. And it’s not just fans saying that.
Matt Bowen played for the Redskins for three years, overlapping with Taylor for two of them. He saw Taylor’s rookie campaign, saw him change his number, and saw him start to develop into a Pro Bowl player. (That’s him in the background of the picture above, wearing number 41.)
Now Bowen writes for the National Football Post, and today he addresses the same topic that set Peter King off: is Tennessee’s Eric Berry worth the fifth overall pick, where he is widely projected to go. He reaches part of the same conclusion that King did — that safety can be a risky pick in the top 10, although unlike King he believes Berry might be worth the risk — but with one glaring, glaring difference.
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Tags: 2010 nfl draft, Matt Bowen, Media, nfl draft 2010, Peter King, Sean Taylor
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