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Ranking the Redskins 1-10

Sep 1, 2008, 7:09 PM EDT

Here they are, the top 10 Redskins. The ranking list consists of the 22 offensive and defensive starters, four special teams positions (place kicker, punter, snapper, and kick returner) and a relief running back, third wide receiver, rotational defensive lineman, and nickel defensive back. The list starts with#30 and counts down to the Redskins’ best player. My purely subjective assessment is based on my judgment of their value to the team. You can find the rankings for players 21-30 here and the rankings for 11-20 here.

10. Andre Carter, defensive end—He knocked on the door of the club of elite defensive ends last year with 10.5 sacks and a number of big plays. With Jason Taylor on the other side, he could break into that group.

9. London Fletcher, middle linebacker—Not just a tackling machine but a classy, heady leader on defense.

8. Marcus Washington, outside linebacker—He seems to be healthy after a couple of banged-up seasons. This is another player helped by the acquisition of Taylor as it will allow him to be a three-down standup linebacker instead of putting his hand in the dirt at end on passing downs.

7. Ethan Albright, long snapper—OK, go ahead and blast me for putting a guy who does only one thing. But he did it well enough to earn a trip to Hawaii last year. I hate to think about life after the Red Snapper.

6. Shawn Springs, cornerback—His reputation for being injury prone is way over blown. Except for 2006, when he missed seven games, he’s played in 46 of 48 games. Springs’ ball hawking skills returned to him down the stretch last year.

5. Jason Taylor, defensive end—He has at least one, maybe two top-notch seasons left in him. If he’s not a liability against the run, he makes a good defense even better (see Carter and Washington above).

4. Chris Cooley, tight end—There’s a bit of concern here that his off-field fame could interfere with his on-field play. Just a bit, however. If he could block, he’d be at the top of this list.

3. Clinton Portis, running back—His blocking, especially on blitz pickups, makes him a special back. Less could be more for Portis in ’08 a lighter work load should make him more effective.

2. LaRon Landry, safety—A perfect combination of great instincts and body-rocking hitting ability. The more experience and smarts get added to the mix the better he will get.

1. Chris Samuels, left tackle—Yes, I saw him get jacked up by Peppers last week. There is a lot more of going weeks on end without hearing his name than there are issues like that.

  1. bobmilldevils - Sep 1, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Here is another 20% of the team to go along with Vinny’s draft picks and your optimistic. None of these players are the best at their position in the NFL at this point and time. You need a few studs to get you to the promised land or have an optimistic future. Last years draft is not going to get it done. If Vinny was that bright other teams would be after him. I’m ready for the Cowher era, give him complete control.

  2. Rich Tandler - Sep 1, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    How many 2007 New York Giants were the best at their position in the NFL at that point in time?

  3. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Clinton Portis does not deserve to listed in the top 53 let alone the top 10. He is a prima donna and his best days are long gone. He should have been traded while people are still under the mistaken impression that his skills are of some value. Marcus Mason, who was cut, deserved to make the team and would have been a valuable asset to the team, which Clinton Portis never has been, and never will be.

  4. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2008 at 7:04 PM

    clinton portis will be in the hall of fame. he’s already in the top 20 rushers of all time and he’s only what, 27. Marcus Mason ran good because its preseason and he’s going against the bills third string, and honestly I think my local highschool could put up points against their first string. Don’t you think these guys know a little more about evaluating talent than you? You probably work as a server at applebees and somehow you know more about football than someone that has been doing it for 25 years

  5. bobmilldevils - Sep 2, 2008 at 7:07 PM

    How about Umenyiora for sacks, Buress for TD receptions and Jacobs for yds per carry at 5.0 per behind Peterson.

    My point was, we are worse off now then last year. Due to coaching and personel decisions.

  6. Rich Tandler - Sep 2, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    I thought that this would bring out a Portis hater or two. Listen, if you can call him a prima donna after watching him stick his facemask into so many blitzing LB’s, that’s fine.

    Did Gibbs coddle him? Sure! But in such situations don’t you have to place at least half of the blame on the boss who’s doling out the special treatment?

    And bob, sorry, but no. I like Osi, he plays for my team, but you saw him get about half of his sacks on a hapless Eagle in one game. He was fifth in the NFL in sacks last year, by the way.

    Plax and Jacobs? Come on. Plax was fourth in the league in TD’s and he’s well behind Moss, TO, Edwards, Fitzgerald and a few others when it comes to “best at their position” (your words).

    And Jacobs barely got to 1,000 yards, or about 65 yards a game. Who cares about yards per carry, yards in a game is how I measure productivity. He’s not on anyone’s short list of the “best at their position”.

    The Giants got it done last year without superstars, with zero elite players. That’s not to say that the Redskins will do that this year by any means, but with the salary cap you could be better off gathering a lot of good players rather than a few stars.

  7. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2008 at 9:14 PM

    Anonymous Portis hater:
    You forgot to mention that tailbacks must pass block or the passing game won’t work.

    Portis is one of the best at this.

    Mason, for all of his virtues, still has not learned this vital skill.

  8. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    When doesnt Cooley block? Micheal Strahan said when he retired that Cooley was one of the best TE he faced in blocking.

  9. Warren Montgomery - Sep 3, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    I consider myself a DieHard optimist when it comes to the Skins. But, I season my optimism with a sprinkling of reality, too. Regarding this list, I agree that Fletcher, Portis, Landry, Cooley, and Samuels belong on the list. In fact, that would be my top five, in that order.

    As for the others, I’m not sold. Andre Carter has potential. I think he was “finding his groove” last year. If he does it again this year, okay. If not, well…

    Marcus Washington is on his way out, or should be. He’s lost two, maybe even three steps. His body is old, in football years, and it has begun to take a toll. This is not to say that he isn’t still a good LB, but…

    Ethan Albright…no comment. You gotta play in the game first to make my list.

    Shawn Springs, in my opinion, has had so much off field emotional tugs that his game has suffered. If his mind is clear, I believe he is still the best CB in the NFC East, and that includes the newcomer, Asante Samuel, or the troubled Adam Jones. But, that said, I still believe that Shawn needs to move to Safety next year to maintain his value to the team.

    Jason Taylor has been a stud for Miami for years. I watched him during preseason, and well…I’m not sold yet. I saw him get pushed around. And, I don’t think it’s as easy to move from the right side to the left side as he suggests. He seems to play with a much higher motor on the right side. I do belive he will get some sacks this year. But, I don’t think he will be as dominant as he was with the Dolphins.

    So, who would fill out my top 10.

    Santana Moss
    Randy Thomas
    Casey Rabach
    Cornelius Griffen
    Fred Smoot

    That’s right Skins fans, Fred Smoot in the top 10. I don’t understand what Greg Blache saw to name Carlos Rogers the starter of Smooty. In fact, I believe Rogers has yet to live up to his 1st round draft pick status.

    Warren Montgomery
    http://nfl-redskins.diehardsportsfan.net/

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