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Washington Redskins: A Recent History of the No. 51 Overall Pick

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly #12 of the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 4, 2017

For the first time in five years, the Washington Redskins are without a first-round pick, leaving lots of fans in the dark regarding the kind of player that they might end up with when their team is finally on the board in the second round. 

They also picked 51st the last time they didn't have a first-round selection, back in 2008, but they picked 34th and 48th that year, too. Their first pick hasn't come this late since 1989. 

In order to give you a feel for what has happened in this spot in the past, let's look at the last 13 No. 51 overall picks...

I've color-coded the above chart, placing those who met or exceeded expectations in blue and those who failed to live up to expectations in red. The jury's still out on the three most recent picks, who are in green.

Denver held three No. 51 overall picks in a row, sandwiching a star running back with two busts. But there's been only one other obvious bust since, and that came when Washington picked Kelly in 2008.

Unfortunately, nobody picked here before 2010 is still with his original team, but six of the last eight are still productive NFL players. And Collins might have been the best of the batch had a serious neck injury not abruptly ended his career in 2011.  

In a perfect world, the Redskins end up with a player of the same caliber of Levitre, Collins or Portis, but guys like Smith, Cook, Edwards and Coleman wouldn't wind up as terrible additions, either. 

The fear, of course, is winding up with another Kelly, who was released after spending the entire 2010 season on injured reserve. He was a non-factor as a rookie and didn't make enough of an impact in 2009 to save his career. 

Kelly, however, was drafted by the last regime, and this front office has done a much better job evaluating talent and selecting quality players.

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