Coming out of the 2009 season the Washington Redskins had failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season and logged their worst record in 15 years.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Redskins are coming off their first division title in 13 years thanks to the efforts of the 15th best player in the NFL (quarterback Robert Griffin III), the most unexpected record breaker in franchise history (running back Alfred Morris) and a defense that is headlined by three Pro Bowl linebackers.
Predicting the future is not easy (just ask the Mayans that), but over on ESPN they are looking into their “barometer tracking” crystal ball of how all 32 franchises will look during the 2016 season.
While the rankings themselves require an Insider subscription, NFC East blogger Dan Graziano gave a sneak peak at how the Redskins fared.
Here are the results.
The Redskins ranked 16th based on the following evaluation points:
Roster, quarterback, draft, front office and coaching.
Only the New York Giants at seventh rank higher than the burgundy and gold in the division.
On a scale of one to 10 the Redskins roster barely graded above average with a 5.5. Matt Williamson’s reasoning behind the grade is “”much of Washington’s roster is composed of players either past their prime or who have yet to reach the apex of their careers.”
While I realize that it is difficult to know how a player will perform three seasons from now, isn’t it a good thing that a majority of the Redskins haven’t reached their full potential yet?
By the time the 2016 rolls around Griffin III (the Redskins got an eight on their quarterback evaluation) will be 26 years old and just approaching his prime.
Super Bowl XXXI-winning quarterback Brett Favre was 26 when he won NFL MVP while others (Boomer Esiason, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers) won the prestigious award just one year later at 27.
Speaking of 27 years old, that was the age of the most recent Super Bowl MVP (Joe Flacco) during the 2012 regular season. 27 was also the age of 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson.
Guess who will be a 27 year old running back in 2016?
I’ll give you a hint—his last name is Morris.
The Redskins lowest grade came courtesy of the draft with a 5.3. According to NFL Draft “expert” Mel Kiper Jr., the low grade is due to the Redskins not holding a first round pick until 2015.
“And yet draft returns from both this year and next year are simply going to lag behind other teams — there’s no way around it. It certainly affects their ability to find significant impact at a low cost over the next few seasons. The Skins are again without a first-round pick in 2014, but return to normal in 2015.”
17 players to include five starters from the 2012 NFC East winning squad were drafted after the first round in the last three drafts.
The success of the Redskins recent draft history doesn’t stop there, though. Sure the Redskins don’t currently possess a first round pick next year, but that doesn’t mean that their previous first round picks are void. After all the last four first round picks (Griffin III, Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo) have made the Pro Bowl.
While predicting the future is an impossible science, it’s fair to say the Redskins will add a few more Pro Bowl draft picks by the time 2016 rolls around.
Regardless of how 2016 unfolds, all that matters right now is bringing the fourth Lombardi Trophy to our Nation’s Capital at next year’s Super Bowl.
Tags: Alfred Morris, Brian Orakpo, Dan Graziano, ESPN, Robert Griffin III, ryan kerrigan, trent williams
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