[Editor’s Disclaimer: This is a story based on a fun fact, and contains speculation that is not meant to reflect that actual thoughts of Redskins’ executives. Any words from Redskins’ executives are clearly defined and attributed.]
Let’s set the scene: The Redskins brass are huddled around one of 32 tables at the NFL Draft. Last season didn’t go as expected, and the team needs to beef up an offense that ranked in the bottom of the league. It’s time for a new look and a new face, as the team aggressively tries to dig out of the bottom of the NFC East.
In the first round, the team bolstered the offense with what they hope to be a franchise player and leader in the locker room. The Redskins traded away their second round pick, and wait around until No. 69 overall in the third round.
With that pick, the Redskins select a future Hall Of Fame offensive lineman in Russ Grimm.
The year is 1981, and the table is located in the conference room of a New York hotel. The team had finished 6-10 in 1980, causing owner Jack Kent Cooke to find a new franchise leader in Joe Gibbs. The first overall selection was future Pro Bowl offensive tackle Mark May, who played nine strong seasons in Washington.
But the Redskins arguably found their best overall value with their second pick at No. 69–the same selection they will have in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. With 30 days to go before the third round of the NFL Draft, the Redskins find themselves in an eerily similar situation as they were in the spring of ’81.
The Redskins finished 5-11 last year, and are presumed to be seeking a face-of-the-franchise playmaker with the No. 2 pick. While the offense finished in the middle of the league for yardage last season, it failed to protect the quarterback, protect the ball, or produce the points needed to win.
The Redskins have been linked to quarterback prospects for their first pick, which could leave them open to address the holes and depth along the offensive line. But with no second round pick, the Redskins will be looking for a similar third-round steal like they found in Russ Grimm.
If they can find Hall Of Fame talent just sitting around.
In 2011, the Redskins started a total of nine different players along the offensive line this year, including leaning on a pair of players that were not on the 53-man roster at the start of training camp. At the end of the season, head coach Mike Shanahan cited a lack of depth on the roster, particularly on offense.
With seven picks in next month’s draft, the Redskins can address both depth and talent. In particular, they have an opportunity to channel the success of prior No. 69 overall picks.
And just for reference: the Redskins improved from 6-10 to 8-8 in 1981. The offense improved from 25th overall to 10th overall with the help along the line. In 1982, the Redskins won their first franchise Super Bowl. Just saying.
Tags: Draft, Hall of Fame, Mark May, russ grimm, washington redskins
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