In honor of the upcoming fifth anniversary of the 2007 NFL Draft, the fine folks at NFL.com redrafted the first round for what five years of hindsight can offer.
Although the Redskins no longer have any original draft picks still on the roster, NFL analyst Elliott Harrison makes the argument that the team nailed the first pick with LaRon Landry:
6. Washington Redskins
Actual pick: LaRon Landry
Do-over pick: Same
He might be gone now (to the Jets), but Landry was a solid player for the Redskins. Sadly, like Gaines Adams, fellow Redskins safety Sean Taylor died way too young. Had Taylor and Landry been able to play together for several years, this team could’ve imposed its will on divisional foes that feature solid quarterbacks in Eli Manning, Michael Vick and Tony Romo. To say the least, it would’ve been tougher sledding with Taylor and Landry lurking in the secondary.
The thinking was correct, the player was correct, and for three plus years it worked out very well. But after the last two seasons ending in Achilles injuries, he will look to restart with the Jets, and the Redskins will look to find a healthy option at strong safety.
Here’s the remainder of the Redskins’s 2007 Draft class, and a look at other options still on the board when the Redskins made their picks:
Round 5, Pick 143: Dallas Sartz, LB, USC
Round 6, Pick 179: Horatio Benedict Blades, LB, Pittsburgh
Round 6, Pick 205: Jordan Palmer, QB, UTEP
Round 7, Pick 216: Tyler Ecker, TE, Michigan
This was a curious draft class for several obvious reasons, the first being that the team didn’t have a pick from No. 6 to No. 143, a span of four rounds. In that enormous void of picks, 21 Pro Bowl players were selected by other teams, illustrating the emphasis that the current administration has made on gaining and retaining picks.
Not to knock the collective efforts of Sartz, Blades, Palmer and Ecker, but the franchise could have gotten more mileage out of other players taken a few picks later. In the interests of nostalgia, here’s a look back at the 2007 NFL draft board.
Dallas Sartz was a bust and never registered a down in a regular season NFL game, which means that almost anyone that played a down would have been a better pick. The fifth round of the 200 draft was actually stocked with tight end talent, as Kevin Boss (153), Dante Rosario (155) and Brent Celek (162) were all taken within 20 picks.
Horatio Benedict “H.B.” Blades was a special teams contributor on the team for four seasons, appearing in all 64 games during his tenure. The Redskins got quality play from their sixth round pick, but could have plucked a franchise kicker in Mason Crosby (193), who went 14 picks later to the Green Bay Packers.
In terms of quarterback brothers named Palmer, the Redskins appear to have gotten the lesser of the two. Jordan Palmer did throw a 24-yard touchdown in preseason action against the Ravens that year, but never made the team, and wound up in the Arena Football League. Although there were no true studs left on the board, the Redskins could have addressed some defensive depth with linebacker Prescott Burgess (207) or other quarterback Tyler Thigpen (217).
Tyler Ecker is another player who never played a down in the NFL, making any player who did more appealing. Even though he was a mid-seventh-round pick, three players came after him that could have been impact players on offense: receiver Chansi Stuckey (235), running back Jason Snelling (244) and running back Ahmad Bradshaw (250).
That worked out for Bradshaw, but not so well for the Redskins. Isn’t hindsight 20/20?
It should be noted that the Redskins may have had limited picks to find talent, but they did not have the worst draft class (see “JaMarcus Russell” or “Oakland Raiders”). They have since acquired multiple members of the 2007 Draft class, including two former first-round picks in Adam Carriker and recent signee Brandon Meriweather.
Perhaps fittingly, Meriweather may be tabbed to replace Landry in the lineup.
What do you think? What would you change? Share your thoughts below.