The key to a successful franchise lies in building through the draft. Teams like the Patriots, Packers, Giants, Ravens and any other perennial playoff contender establish quality depth and talent through careful and considered draft decisions. Unfortunately for the Redskins, that idea was forgotten during the Vinny Cerrato era in favor of a system that valued big-name free agent and trade acquisitions like Jason Taylor at the expense of draft picks.
That trend appears to have come to an end during the Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen regime.
Already the two have made significant strides in overturning the roster through the draft process, allotting 12 picks in last year's draft. By putting a premium on acquiring picks rather than trading them away for aging stars (Donovan McNabb being the exception), the two were able to bring plenty of talent into camp each year, even with the compensation given up in the Robert Griffin III trade.
But with most things, quality is more important than quantity. It is one thing to acquire multiple picks; it's entirely different to put them to good use.
Luckily, the Washington front office has made good use of their draft picks, even hitting on all 12 of last year's picks to find players that would contribute on the field at some point during the year. Shanahan prides himself in finding late-round running back prospects which he accomplished last year with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. While there are still plenty of holes on the Redskins roster, recent drafts should have fans feeling optimistic for the first time in years.
Time will tell how the three drafts under Shanahan will pan out, but for now, we can take a look at some possible breakout players from this year's draft who could make an immediate impact this season.