Trent Williams Joins Select Company at Pick No. 4

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Trent Williams Joins Select Company at Pick No. 4
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

When the Washington Redskins selected Oklahoma LT Trent Williams with the fourth overall pick in last night’s NFL Draft, they placed quite a burden of expectation on the young man. Williams will enjoy the riches and notoriety that come with being a top selection in the NFL, but will also have to prove worthy of the huge financial and strategic investment the team has made in him.

The fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft comes into the league with expectation, at the very least, of being long-time productive starter. But it's more than that...there is also the general feeling that a player taken that high should become a special player, anywhere from multiple Pro Bowl selections to induction into the Hall of Fame.

Don't take my word for it, though. Below is a list of the last forty number four overall selections, going back to the 1970 draft and the year of the AFL/NFL merger . This is the company young Trent Williams will keep, and against which he will be compared, from this day forward.

Some general notes and observations ...

● There have been eight offensive linemen selected at No. 4 overall since 1970. Some of the names may sound familiar.

2006 - D’Brickashaw Ferguson , NY Jets
2002 - Mike Williams , Buffalo
1996 - Jonathan Ogden , Baltimore (11 Pro Bowls, 8x All Pro)
1988 - Paul Gruber , Tampa Bay (2x All Pro)
1983 - Chris Hinton , Denver (7 Pro Bowls)
1978 - Chris Ward , NY Jets
1977 - Marvin Powell , NY Jets (5 Pro Bowls)
1973 - John Hannah , NE Patriots (Hall of Fame)

● The Redskins have picked twice at No. 4 overall: WR Micheal Westbrook (‘95) and WR Desmond Howard (‘92)

● Names on the list of No. 4 overall picks range from Who’s Who? (Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton ) to Who’s He? (LB Waymond Bryant ). Interestingly, both taken by the Chicago Bears in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

● By Position:

Defensive Linemen - 9
Offensive Linemen - 8
Linebackers - 7
Wide Receivers - 6
Running Back - 6
Quarterbacks - 2
Defensive Backs - 2

● Hall of Famers: 4 (LB Derrick Thomas, DT Dan Hampton, RB Walter Payton, OG John Hannah)

● Multiple Pro Bowlers: 13

● Coolest Name: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (not even close)

● Tragedy: three players taken at No. 4 had lives/careers dramatically, and twice tragically, cut short:

DE Gaines Adams - deceased
LB Derrick Thomas - deceased
QB Art Schlichter - legal issues

And on that happy note...

Congratulations and welcome to the NFL and Washington DC, Trent Williams. Redskins fans have high expectations for you, as you will soon discover. They will also love and support you like their own if you work hard, play well, and wear the colors proud.

So if I may be so bold...enjoy the celebrity over the coming days and weeks; you have earned it and no one will begrudge it to you. 

Then get serious, kick some ass, and go earn your place alongside the greats who have come before you.

*


(* = active player)

* 2010 - OT Trent Williams , Washington

* 2009 - LB Aaron Curry , Seattle
(1 yr, 12 starts, 2 sacks)

* 2008 - RB Darren McFadden , Oakland
(2 yrs, 12 starts, 856 yds, 5 TD)

2007 - DE Gaines Adams , Tampa Bay (deceased)
(3 yrs, 29 starts, 13.5 sacks)

* 2006 - OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson , NY Jets (1 Pro Bowl)
(4 yrs, 64 starts)

* 2005 - RB Cedric Benson , Chicago
(5 yrs, 35 starts, 3591 yds, 18 TD)

* 2004 - QB Phillip Rivers , NY Giants (traded to SD) (2 Pro Bowls)
(6 yrs, 64 starts, 14,951 yds, 106 TD)

2003 - DT Dewayne Robertson , NY Jets
(6 yrs, 90 starts, 16 sacks)

* 2002 - OT Mike Williams , Buffalo
(6 yrs, 8 starts)

* 2001 - DE Justin Smith , Cincinnati (1 Pro Bowl)
(10 yrs, 139 starts, 56.5 sacks)

2000 - WR Peter Warrick , Cincinnati
(6 yrs, 60 starts, 275 recs, 18 TD)

1999 - RB Edgerrin James , Indianapolis (4 Pro Bowls, 3x All Pro)
(11 yrs, 135 starts, 12,246 yds, 80 TD)

* 1998 - CB Charles Woodson , Oakland (6 Pro Bowls, 5x All Pro)
(13 yrs, 165 starts, 45 INT)

1997 - LB Peter Boulware , Baltimore (4 Pro Bowls, All Pro ‘99)
(9 yrs, 102 starts, 70 sacks)

1996 - OT Jonathan Ogden , Baltimore (11 Pro Bowls, 8x All Pro)
(12 yrs, 176 starts)

1995 - WR Michael Westbrook , Washington
(8 yrs, 72 starts, 285 recs, 26 TD)

1994 - LB Willie McGinest , New England (2 Pro Bowls)
(15 yrs, 184 starts, 86 sacks)

1993 - LB Marvin Jones , NY Jets (All Pro, 2000)
(11 yrs, 129 starts, 9 sacks)

1992 - WR Desmond Howard , Washington
(12 yrs, 29 starts, 123 recs, 7 TD)

1991 - LB Mike Croel , Denver
(7 yrs, 84 starts, 24 sacks)

1990 - DE Keith McCants , Tampa Bay
(7 yrs, 35 starts, 13.5 sacks)

1989 - LB Derrick Thomas , Kansas City (Hall of Fame)
(11 yrs, 126 starts, 126.5 sacks)

1988 - OT Paul Gruber , Tampa Bay (2 All Pro’s, 2nd team)
(12 yrs, 183 starts)

1987 - RB Brent Fullwood , Green Bay (1 Pro Bowl)
(5 yrs, 1702 yds rush, 18 TD; 370 yds rec, 1 TD)

1986 - DE Jon Hand , Indianapolis
(9 yrs, 110 starts, 35.5 sacks)

1985 - DE Chris Doleman , Minnesota (8 Pro Bowls, All Decade 90's)
(15 yrs, 232 games, 150.2 sacks)

1984 - WR Kenny Jackson , Philadelphia
(8 yrs, 126 rec, 2170 yds, 11 TD)

1983 - OG Chris Hinton , Denver (7 Pro Bowls)
(13 yrs, 177 games)

1982 - QB Art Schlichter , Baltimore
(3 yrs, 1006 yds, 3 TD, 11 INT)

1981 - DB Kenny Easley , Seattle (5 Pro Bowls) (NFL All-Decade Team 80's)
(7 yrs, 32 INT, 8 sacks)

1980 - DT Bruce Clark , Green Bay (1 Pro Bowl)
(8 yrs, 113 games, 39.5 sacks)

1979 - DT Dan Hampton , Chicago (4 Pro Bowls, Hall of Fame)
(157 games, 12 yrs, 57 sacks)

1978 - OT Chris Ward , NY Jets
(8 yrs, 100 starts)

1977 - OT Marvin Powell , NY Jets (5 Pro Bowls)
(11 yrs, 133 starts)

1976 - RB Joe Washington , San Diego (1 Pro Bowl)
(10 years; rushing 4839 yds, 12 TD; receiving 3413 yds, 18 TD)

1975 - RB Walter Payton , Chicago (Hall of Fame)
13 yrs; rushing 16,726 yds, 110 TD; receiving 4538 yds, 15 TD)

1974 - LB Waymond Bryant , Chicago
(4 yrs, 0 starts, 0 sacks, 4 INT)

1973 - OG John Hannah , NE patriots (Hall of Fame)
(13 yrs; 183 games; no stats on starts)

1972 - WR Ahmad Rashad , St. Louis Cardinals (4 Pro Bowls)
(10 yrs, 495 catches, 6831 yds, 44 TD)

1971 - WR J.D. Hill , Buffalo (1 Pro Bowl)
(7 yrs, 185 rec, 2800 yds, 21 TD)

1970 - DT Phil Olsen , Boston Patriots
(6 yrs, 68 tackles, 5 sacks)


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