- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 21, 2007

From 1967-91, the Washington Redskins never had a draft pick in the top 10, a byproduct of their consistent success and willingness to trade first round picks for veteran players.

From 1992-2006, the Redskins have had eight top-10 draft picks, a byproduct of poor on-field performance and, well, poor on-field performance.

As the Redskins ready to draft (in all probability) sixth in next Saturday’s NFL Draft, here’s a look at those eight picks and how they fared, starting with the most current:

2005: CB Carlos Rogers, ninth.

The Redskins needed a cornerback after letting Fred Smoot sign with Minnesota. The jury remains out on Rogers. In two seasons, he has only three interceptions (125 tackles) in 27 games and had a sub-par second season. This coming year is a big one for Rogers, who could lose his starting spot to Smoot.

2004: S Sean Taylor, fifth

Like Rogers, the jury remains out on Taylor. In three years, he has 257 tackles, two sacks and seven interceptions. But he regressed in 2006 (even though he made the Pro Bowl) and made the same mistakes — penalties, bad tackling technique — he made as a rookie. Entering his fourth year and obviously hoping to get a mega contract in the near future, Taylor needs to become a star in 2007.

2000: LB LaVar Arrington, second

For four seasons, Arrington was on his way to a potential Hall of Fame career. The face of the franchise, he had 11 sacks in 2002. But his last two years were a nightmare - he missed 12 games because of injury in 2004 and didn’t crack the starting lineup until midway through the 2005 season. He was granted his release after six years in Washington. After rupturing his Achilles’ last year with the New York Giants, he is currently without employment and contemplating whether to keep playing.

2000: LT Chris Samuels, third

Has been everything the Redskins wanted — a franchise left tackle. A four-time Pro Bowl player, Samuels has played in 108 of a possible 112 games. He will likely play his entire career with the team.

1999: CB Champ Bailey, seventh

This one probably still hurts for Redskins fans. In Joe Gibbs’ first trade upon returning to the team in 2004, he traded Bailey (and a second round pick) to Denver for Clinton Portis. While Portis has been productive, teams don’t often trade Hall of Fame corners. But being the smart guy that he is, Bailey told the Redskins he was finished with them. He never missed a game in five years with the Redskins and had 18 interceptions. He has 21 interceptions in three years with the Broncos.

1995: WR Michael Westbrook, fourth

Ouch. The Redskins could have picked Joey Galloway but instead opted for Westbrook. He somehow stayed seven years (only twice playing in every game). He had 273 catches and 24 touchdowns. His best year was 1999 (1,191 yards and nine touchdowns). He played one year for Cincinnati before leaving the game.

1994: QB Heath Shuler, third

Ouch. Even if the Redskins had taken the other highly-ranked quarterback, they would have been in trouble because that was Trent Dilfer. Shuler stayed three years, throwing 13 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He played one year for New Orleans. The Redskins drafted Gus Frerotte in the seventh round in 1994 and he eventually took Shuler’s job.

1992: WR Desmond Howard, fourth

Ouch. Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Redskins chose the Heisman Trophy winner and he was a complete bust. He had 76 catches for five touchdowns in three seasons with the team. He was the only receiver chosen in the first round of bad draft. Howard went on to play for Jacksonville, Green Bay (where he was Super Bowl MVP), Oakland and Detroit.

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