Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 30, 19 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from Twitter:
That’s a great question and I plan to fully examine the subject between now and the draft. But that will be a multi-part series and not something I can do justice to in the AM post. But to get an idea here, lets take a look at his first-round picks while he was the GM in San Francisco from 2005-2009.
So we don’t get too numbers heavy here in the morning, each player’s name is linked to his career stats page.
2005: QB Alex Smith (1 overall)—It’s easy to knock this pick since Smith struggled for a number of years and even when he started playing better he didn’t justify his draft position and the salary that came with it. But if you look at the players drafted immediately after Smith, a lot of other GM’s blew that draft, too. Impact players weren’t taken until pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman went back to back at 11th and 12th. But the best player in the first round was another QB, Aaron Rodgers, who lasted until No. 24. I think you have to score this as a moderate bust.
2006: DE Manny Lawson (22)—Converted to a 3-4 edge rusher and had 14.5 sacks in five years before the 49ers let him walk after his first contract was up without much of a fight. Center Nick Mangold went to the Jets seven picks later. They did get a lot of snaps out of Lawson so this is another moderate bust.
2006: TE Vernon Davis (6)—After his blowup with coach Mike Singletary he became one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the game. A solid extra base hit.
2007: T Joe Staley (28)—Other than 14 games missed due to injury between 2009 and 2010 he has been the starter at left tackle since he walked in the door, making the Pro Bowl each of the last four years. Another extra base hit, maybe a triple considering the value of the position and the draft slot where he was obtained.
2007: LB Patrick Willis (11)—An immediate impact player, Willis was first team All-Pro as a rookie and then for four straight years from 2009-2012. If he has a few more good years left in him he is a Hall of Fame candidate. McCloughan knocked it out of the park with this pick.
2008: DT Kentwan Balmer (29)—He didn’t start a game for the 49ers in two seasons before they dumped him via a trade with the Seahawks for a 6th-round pick. Yes, he’s the same guy who spent part of 2011 with the Redskins before going AWOL during training camp in 2012. Even though he was taken fairly late in the round McCloughan swung and missed on this pick.
2009 Michael Crabtree (10)—With only two seasons with as many as 800 yards receiving in six seasons in the league, it’s hard to say this was a great pick. Although Crabtree has been competent, he hasn’t been what you want from the 10th pick. Call it a single.
So out of seven picks we have one strikeout, three singles, a double, a triple, and a home run. I don't know what average you want to assign to that but that’s certainly better than the Redskins did during that same time period and likely better than most.
—It’s been 33 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 226 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL free agency starts 39; 2015 NFL Draft 90
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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