Top 32 Draft Classes: Number One Seeds

Posted by Chris Herting on March 19, 2013 – 3:11 pm

march-madness_draft_classesOn Sunday night, we launched a bracket style vote on Facebook for you, the fan, to decide your favorite Redskins draft class of all-time. We seeded each draft class since 1980 (#1-8), divided them into four brackets, and are leaving the rest up to you! And just for participating, we’re selecting one grand prize winner at random to receive a Robert Griffin III autographed jersey!

Of course, we’ll have other prizes along the way at the culmination of each round.

But before we get into our featured matchup of Round 1, including some of the details of how and why we determined the number one seeds, let’s take a look at the voting timeline.

  1. Round 1 – Sunday, March 17th – Saturday, March 23rd at 12pm
  2. Round 2– Saturday, March 23rd – Thursday, March 28th at 12pm
  3. Round 3– Thursday, March 28th – Monday, April 1st at 12pm
  4. Round 4 – April 1st – Thursday, April 4th at 12pm
  5. Round 5 (Finals) – April 4th – Monday, April 8th

The winner will be announced via the @Redskins Twitter account at 3pm on Monday, April 8th. Let the voting begin!

Here’s an overview of our #1 seeds, including the featured matchup of Round 1. Highlighted in yellow are standouts from each class that we think helped make these draft classes so special. Below the graphic are those players stats.

Overview of #1 Seeds

Number 1 Seeds

1981 Draft Class

G Mark May (Pittsburgh, Round 1, #20): 159 career games and part of a dominating offensive line

G Russ Grimm (Pittsburgh, Round 3, #69): 140 career games and in the NFL Hall of Fame

DE Dexter Manley (Oklahoma State, Round 5, #119): 143 career games, 97.5 sacks and 2 interceptions

WR Charlie Brown (South Carolina State, Round 8, #201): 68 career games, 220 receptions, 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns

What makes this class a #1 seed?

The Redskins’ 1981 draft is certainly one of the greatest Redskins drafts ever–if not the greatest. A NFL Network special ranked it the seventh greatest draft class of all time. The class produced three Redskins greats, plus several starters and key role players and the group helped solidify a roster that would go on to win a Super Bowl championship in 1982.

1983 Draft Class

DB Darrell Green (Texas A&M-Kingsville, Round 1, #28): 295 career games, 54 interceptions, 1.0 sack

DE Charles Mann (Nevada-Reno, Round 3, #84): 177 career games, 83.0 sacks

What makes this class a #1 seed?

The 1983 draft helped construct a team that would allow the Redskins to maintain their place as one of the elite franchises in the NFL for the next decade. Two of their first three picks went on to have careers that would rank them among the Redskins all-time greats.  The selections of DB Darrel Green and DE Charles Mann went a long way toward solidifying the team’s defense for years to come.

Green, of course, went on to legendary status in Redskins history. The six-time Pro Bowler famously ran down Cowboys’ running back Tony Dorsett in his first pro game, securing his status as the NFL’s fastest man for the next two decades. Green was instrumental in guiding the Redskins to the 1987 Super Bowl title. On the other hand, Mann’s 83 career sacks rank second-most in franchise history (Dexter Manley, 97.5 sacks).

1999 Draft Class

DB Champ Bailey (Georgia, Round 1, #7):  210 career games, 52 interceptions, 3.0 sacks

T Jon Jansen (Michigan, Round 2, #37): 137 career games

What makes this class a #1 seed?

Champ Bailey spent five seasons with the Redskins, earning four trips to the Pro Bowl. The opportunistic cornerback amassed 18 interceptions during his time with the team and certainly lived up to the billing of his first round selection. Not to mention, he was traded to Denver in return for running back Clinton Portis who became one of the best running backs to ever suit up for the burgundy and gold. Jon Jansen played in 137 games over his career and was a constant and reliable force along the o-line. An All-Pro selection in 2005, his blocking helped the offense gain 2,183 rushing yards on their way to a 10-6 record.

2004 Draft Class

DB Sean Taylor (Miami (FL), Round 1, #5): 55 career games, 12 interceptions and 2.0 sacks

TE Chris Cooley (Utah State, Round 3, #81): 116 career games, 429 receptions for 4,711 yards and 33 touchdowns

What makes this class a #1 seed?

Chris Cooley is the team’s all-time leader in receptions by a tight end and has been a stalwart to the franchise since he was drafted in 2004. On the other hand, who knows how great of a player Sean Taylor would have been, but he certainly left his mark on and off the field while a member of the Redskins. It’s safe to say that his legacy will always and forever be remembered as one of the hardest hitting and instinctual safeties to ever play the game.

In the first round we’ve pitted the 2012 Draft Class vs. the 1989 Draft Class (details below).

Round 1: Featured Matchup

feature matchup in round 1

It’s too soon to grade the 2012 draft class in terms of long-term success but judging by the success of this year’s rookies, particularly QB Robert Griffin III, RB Alfred Morris, and QB Kirk Cousins, we couldn’t help but give them a #2 seed in our bracketed vote. After all, Griffin III made rookie Heisman History and both him and Morris were two of the five nominees for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Following the season, Head Coach Mike Shanahan claimed the team picked up a first round talent in quarterback Kirk Cousins. The rookie came in for relief to lead the team to key victories over Baltimore and Cleveland to help secure a playoff berth and the team’s first NFC East Championship since 1999. The future of the current Redskins is incredibly bright because of the 2012 draft class.

Mark “Stink” Schlereth (Center, Idaho) highlights the 1989 class, one of our four #7 seeds. He helped anchor an offensive line on the Super Bowl XXVI winning team and garnered his first of two Pro Bowl selections that year. TE Jimmie Johnson appeared in 118 games, hauling in 61 receptions for 723 yards and five touchdowns. The rest of the 1989 class was deep and full of talent but never quite lived up to expectations.

Redskins Nation, it’s up to you! Have some fun and vote for your Top 32 Draft Classes of all-time for a chance to win big. Plus, be sure to enter your NCAA Bracket in the Redskins Bracket Challenge. More information at

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  2. Mar 22, 2013: The Redskins Blog | Top 32 Draft Classes: Round 1 Recap

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