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Skins stock up on seconds

Jun 30, 2008, 12:21 PM EDT

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I’ve always liked second-round draft picks. First-round caliber talent can slip into the second round of selections for various reasons from drafting for need to bad scouting, but the players don’t have nearly the price tag that first-rounders do. On top of that, a player taken there doesn’t have the expectations that come with the first-round label. Often a second-rounder will play a chip on his shoulder, wanting to prove something to the teams that passed over him. The icing on the cake is that players taken in the second round rarely are involved in contract holdouts.

It appears that the Washington Redskins share my viewpoint here. As I was perusing the makeup of the roster (you can find out how to get the spreadsheet I use to do this here), one number that caught my attention immediately was 15. That’s the number of second-round selections the Redskins have on the roster.

They are, in order of their overall selection numbers, Devin Thomas (34), Rocky McIntosh (35), Jon Jansen (37), Cornelius Griffin (42), Todd Collins (45), Fred Smoot (45), Fred Davis (48), Malcolm Kelly (51), Clinton Portis (51), Todd Wade (53), Eric Shelton (54), Ladell Betts (56), Randy Thomas (57), Marcus Washington (59), and Antwaan Randle El (62).

Since the Skins had three seconds this year, you would expect the number to be a bit skewed in that direction. Still, it’s unusual to find more second-rounders on a roster than firsts (9) and thirds (4) combined. There are more seconds than thirds, fourths (4) and fifths (2) combined.

With the exception of Shelton, all of the second-round players should be on the final 53-man roster. That means that over 25% of the team will be composed of #2 picks.

Of course, not all of the second rounders originally were selected by the Redskins. Eight of them—Griffin (Giants), Collins (Chiefs), Portis (Broncos), Wade (Texans), Shelton (Panthers), R. Thomas (Jets), Washington (Colts), and Randle El (Steelers)—got the call from other teams on draft day. Most of them accepted their relatively modest rookie contracts and played well enough to earn big-bucks deals with the Redskins.

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