Pick 'Em, Part 2: Ranking the Redskins

Part Two: A ranking of the top dozen Redskins, based on their 2005 performance potential:

12—RG Randy Thomas: Thomas followed up a solid 2003 with a spotty 2004. The return of Jon Jansen to his right and the addition of Casey Rabach to his left will help him regain his form.

11—P Tom Tupa: He excelled in dropping punts inside the opponents' 20, gaining the Skins many yards of valuable field position. There's no reason to think that another year under his belt (this will be his 18th in the NFL) will deter him from doing so again.

10—C Casey Rabach: If there is an interchangeable part on an NFL offense, it's the center. They'll be able to plug him into the middle and he should start contributing at a high level right away.

9—WR Santana Moss: He had better contribute a lot of big plays, as it appears he's not capable of much else.

8—TE Chris Cooley: Has possibilities for moving up the list if he can avoid a sophomore slump after an excellent rookie campaign.

7—LT Chris Samuels: While there have been some complaints about his consistency, when he gives up a sack, it's news.

6—RT Jon Jansen: All reports are that the other half of one of the league's best tackle tandems is fully recovered and ready to resume his role as "The Rock" of the line.

5—S Sean Taylor: Assuming that he'll be able to pay attention to football, not a sure thing, he'll be in the Pro Bowl. Even if he's somewhat distracted he can still dominate from the safety position like very few can.

4—CB Shawn Springs: Five interceptions, six sacks, good run support--what more could you want out of a corner?

3—LB Marcus Washington: If you wanted to know where the ball was last year, all you had to do was locate Washington. He made big and little plays all over the field for the team in 2004.

2—RB Clinton Portis: While he does need to improve his average to much better than 3.8 yards a carry, he will be the reason that the Redskins offense works this year. It's quite a statement to say that he had an off year in 2004 when he ran for over 1,300 yards.

1—DT Cornelius Griffin: Gregg Williams transformed the Redskins defense from one of the worst around to the #1 ranking in the NFC with smoke, mirrors, and Griffin. He was the dominating force in the middle of everything, providing a distraction that allowed blitzers to come in free and picking up a half dozen sacks himself. At age 28, he should be just hitting his prime and we can look for a repeat performance in 2005.

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