Washington Redskins: The 10 Biggest Draft-Day Steals in Team History

Korey BeckettContributor IIIApril 18, 2011

Washington Redskins: The 10 Biggest Draft-Day Steals in Team History

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    Yes, yes, we all know the Redskins aren't the best team in the NFL at drafting. But there once was a time though that showed the Redskins ability to draft solid players, even in the later rounds.

    Here is a look at the Top 10 Draft Day Steals in Redskins History. Oh, a heads up, there aren't many from the last 20 years.

    Note: To be considered a draft steal, the player had to have been taken in the third round or later (Gary Clark gets a pass because he was in a supplemental draft).

10. Raleigh McKenzie (11th Round, 1985)

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    When Raleigh McKenzie was drafted in 1985, he was just supposed to be a depth addition to "The Hogs." At first, he was.

    Then, as it were in the NFL, he found himself filling in at literally every position on the offensive line, but he excelled at center.

    McKenzie played for nine years as the wild card of the Hogs, and won Super Bowls XXII and XXVI in the Joe Gibbs era.

    Notable Accomplishments: two-time Super Bowl Winner (XXII, XXVI), 70 Greatest Redskins

9. George Starke (11th Round, 1971)

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    Everyone remembers the Hogs, but the die-hards really remember "Head Hog" George Starke.

    Starke was a five-time captain of the Redskins and showed the ropes to the other Hogs like Grimm, May, Jacoby, Bostic, and Dean.

    Since his retirement, Starke has still been involved in the D.C. community, opening vocational schools for adults, a public relations firm, a car dealership, and even a B.B.Q. chain named...what else...Head Hog B.B.Q.

    Notable Accomplishments: Super Bowl Champion (XVII), 70 Greatest Redskins

8. Monte Coleman (11th Round, 1979)

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    Monte Coleman was a Redskins for a long time. A really long time. Only Darrell Green was a Redskins for longer, in fact.

    He played on all three Super Bowl champion teams and was a very solid defensive player throughout his career, totalling 58.5 sacks. Good enough for fourth all time on the Redskins sack list.

    His best season was 1984 when he gathered 10.5 sacks with an interception to go along with it.

    Notable Accomplishments: 70 Greatest Redskins, three-time Super Bowl Champion (XVII, XXII, XXVI)

7. Chris Cooley (Third Round, 2004)

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    Not a whole lot of people knew who Chris Cooley was coming out of Utah State in 2004.

    Back then, he was the second pick of the "Draft that we got Sean Taylor" as it was first referred to by Redskins fans, but Cooley has been a pleasant surprise.

    He has been proven to be a big-play tight end that can spread the field and still bowl over defenders. He's coming off arguably his best year in 2010 with a tie in career high yards (849) and three touchdowns. Should be four.

    Aside from the field, Cooley is the most endearing athlete in the D.C. area that really connects with the fans.

    Not since John Riggins has there been a Redskin that is this popular with fans, although we could have gone without the penis pic on his blog.

     Notable Accomplishments: 2005 All-Pro, three-ime Pro-Bowler, This and This.

    

6. Charles Mann (Third Round, 1983)

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    On the other side of Dexter Manley was Charles Mann. Another sack artist, Mann was a mainstay for a perennial powerhouse defense.

    After totaling 82 sacks in his 10-year Redskins career, Mann ranks second on the all-time franchise sack list (behind Manley).

    Mann's post-football career has been more pleasant than Manley's, as he actively involved in many charities, is happily married with three children, and has appeared on multiple forms of media as an analyst.

    Notable Accomplishments: Four-time Pro Bowler, 70 Greatest Redskins, Redskins Ring of Fame, three-time Super Bowl Champion (XVII, XXII and XXIX with the 49ers)

5. Dexter Manley (Fifth Round, 1981)

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    Dexter Manley couldn't pass a drug test, but he could pass through an offensive line. He racked up 103.5 sacks (unofficially) and gave quarterbacks nightmares.

    In 1986, Manley had his top season with a stunning 18.5 sacks (it would be nice if a Redskin could do that now) and was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams.

    Despite his tough life, including being illiterate and having a cyst on his brain, Manley will always be remembered as one of the best Redskins to ever play on the defensive side of the ball.

    Notable Accomplishments: 1986 Pro Bowl, two-time All-Pro, 70 Greatest Redskins, Redskins Ring of Fame, two-time Super Bowl Champion (XVII and XXII)

4. Chris Hanburger (18th Round, 1965)

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    Chris Hanburger may be the most decorated Redskin of all time. Multiple Pro Bowls and a defensive player of the year award to go with the fact that he is finally going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Hanburger spent his entire career with the Redskins from 1965 to 1978 and led the Redskins defense to Super Bowl VII.

    He may have had to wait a long time to get into the Hall of Fame, but for an 18th-round pick, it was still worth the selection.

    Notable Accomplishments: Nine-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, eight-time All NFC, 1972 Defensive Player of the Year, 70 Greatest Redskins

3. Larry Brown (Eighth Round, 1969)

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    Larry Brown was drafted low because of his late movement after the snap. Well, luckily for the Redskins he was right on time in the pros.

    He was consistently one of the best runningbacks in the first half of the 1970's and made an appearance in Super Bowl VII, when the Redskins lost to the undefeated Dolphins.

    That was also his best season as he ran for 1,215 yards and won the NFL's MVP award.

    He will go down as one of the best Redskins runners of all time despite his short career that only lasted seven years.

    Notable Accomplishments: Four-time Pro-Bowler, three-time All-Pro First Team, 1972 NFL MVP, 70 Greatest Redskins

2. Gary Clark (Second Round, 1984 Supplemental Draft)

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    After the fall of the USFL, the Redskins took Clark from the supplemental draft in the second round from the Jacksonville Bulls.

    Right away, he made an impact with 926 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season.

    If his career had started with the Redskins instead of the USFL for the first two years of his career, he would have had to surpass Art Monk as the greatest Redskins receiver of all time.

    His best year came in 1991 with an astounding 1,340 yards and ten touchdowns as part of "The Posse" that tore through NFL defenses in route to a Super Bowl championship.

    Notable Accomplishments: Four-time Pro-Bowler, 70 Greatest Redskins, two-time Super Bowl Champion (XXII and XXVII)

1. Russ Grimm (Third Round, 1981)

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    When you think of the Hogs, Russ Grimm is the first name that usually comes to mind. He's the only Redskin believed to have the ability to out-drink John Riggins.

    A career Redskin (1981-91 as a player and 1992-2000 as a coach), he is still one of the most endeared players in D.C.

    He may not be with the Redskins anymore, but he will always be the most famous of all the Hogs.

    You can believe that when Shanahan is done with the Redskins, that Russ Grimm should be getting a call. He's been waiting too long to get a head coaching job, and I'm sure the fans wouldn't argue.

    Notable Accomplishments: Four-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, three-time Super Bowl Champion (XVII, XXII, XXVI), NFL All Decade Team (1980's), 70 Greatest Redskins, Pro Football Hall of Fame (2004)