The NFL Draft is a crapshoot. No matter what the film and stats show, so many variables go in to determining whether a player will succeed at the highest level. The Washington Redskins have tried their best at this glorified guessing game through the years -- with notable booms and busts along the way. In the first part of this series, Breaking Burgundy takes a look at the franchise's three best first-round draft selections of the 21st century.
3. Sean Taylor - 5th overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft
One could argue that LaVar Arrington, Ryan Kerrigan or Brian Orakpo is more deserving of this spot than Taylor, who played only 57 games in the NFL. But you can't discount how great Taylor was for those 57 games. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and recorded 12 interceptions. His fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs and his blocked field goal return against the Dallas Cowboys to set up a walk-off victory are the stuff of Redskins lore. Potential Hall of Fame candidate London Fletcher played with Taylor for only a short time but said he would have been a Hall of Famer himself. An extraordinary player gone too soon, Taylor's greatness will live on forever.
2. Trent Williams - 4th overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft
When Samuels announced his retirement in March 2010, the Redskins went hunting for their next blind side protector immediately. And Bruce Allen's first pick as general manager has not disappointed. Williams is a decorated four-time Pro Bowler and still a top-notch player in the pass and the run game. The athleticism contained within his 6-foot-5, 320-pound body is beyond belief. It's what continues to make him a premier left tackle in the eyes of his peers.
1. Chris Samuels - 3rd overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft
It is hard to quantify the value of an offensive lineman due to the position's lack of meaningful statistics. But whenever this Alabama stud suited up for Washington, you saw his dominance over defenders as he cleared the way for Stephen Davis, Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and others during his decade in the NFL. Samuels went to six Pro Bowls, was a 2001 All-Pro selection and started 88 percent of the potential 160 regular-season games he could have played in.
Former Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel put it best years ago:
"Excellent athlete, good run man and pass blocker, and can run like a deer."
Five years from now, we may be able to look at Brandon Scherff and Josh Doctson as being worthy of this list, but their careers are just beginning as they look to make current GM Scot McCloughan proud.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
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