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Ranking the Redskins #17-#24

Ranking the Redskins #17-#24

Tandler's Redskins Blog Ver. 05.25.06--Who are the Redskins’ best players and who are the ones who are starting just because there isn’t enough talent to push them out? If another team had a shot at anyone on the Redskins’ roster to use for the 2005 season, who would they gobble up and who would they say thanks, but no thanks to?

To help answer these questions I ranked the Redskins starters from the most expendable to the most valuable. Today, numbers 17-24.

In inverse order, here are my rankings of the Redskins starters, including punter and kicker, based on what I think they might do in 2006. Their 2005 rankings here (Part 1, Part 2), where applicable, are in parenthesis:

24. LB Warrick Holdman (NR)—If the weak side position is manned by Chris Clemons or Rocky McIntosh, it’s a wait and see proposition. If Holdman mans it, we’ve already seen what we have. He’d have to improve a great deal to be considered mediocre.

23. P Derrick Frost (NR)--Inconsistency is not what you want from a punter, but that’s what Frost delivered in 2005. He seemed to save his best, most booming punts for when the Redskins were inside their opponents’ territory, resulting in frustrating touchbacks.

22. C Casey Rabach (10 in 2005)—Although he improved as the year went on, Rabach was not the road grader in the middle that the Redskins hoped he would be. He was dominated much more often than he was the dominator.

21. K John Hall (21)—One of the major surprises of the offseason was Joe Gibbs’ announcement that no challengers to Hall or Frost would be brought in. Hall missed a good chunk of the season with a leg injury. When healthy he was accurate (12-14) but he didn’t hit one from over 45 yards all year. His kickoffs were mostly of the maddeningly short variety.

20. CB Carlos Rogers (NR)—While it’s possible, maybe even probable, that Rogers will be very good for a very long time, he hasn’t done it yet. He has to show that he can stay on the field and play consistently for a full 16 games.

19. G Derrick Dockery (23)—This monster project just may pay off for the Redskins, but he still has to prove that he can play up to his size and athletic ability from the first snap of the season through the last.

18. DT Joe Salave’a (20)—He played through some pain that would have had many of us calling in sick to our desk jobs. Salave’a is a solid performer and that fact that he’s #18 on the list is a testament to the strength of the team.

17. QB Mark Brunell (NR)—If healthy, he’s a good fit for this offense. Brunell’s ability to stay healthy, though, is a question mark and one would have to think that if he were to find himself on the open market he might draw as much interest as, say, Kerry Collins is now.

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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lion’s share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allen’s at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

It’s been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesn’t guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.