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Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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Old 07-15-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

They might pick us to make the postseason, but we're pretty darn old. It's from ESPN insider, so I'll copy-paste for those of you who don't have access.
Forgive the length of the post:


Talent is a more fluid proposition in football than any other sport. Consider some of the prominent young wide receivers of last season and where they were before the 2009-10 campaign. Sidney Rice was third on the Minnesota Vikings' depth chart at wide receiver; had the team's pitch to T.J. Houshmandzadeh in free agency worked, Rice would have been buried behind him. Robert Meachem was a colossal bust who had 12 catches in two pro seasons. Miles Austin was stuck behind Sam Hurd as the primary backup for the Dallas Cowboys. Pierre Garcon was a lower-level college star with a cool name.
This past season was nothing new; every year, teams are pushed to new heights by players who were considered to be inexperienced or underprepared only weeks prior. Flaws attributed to talent magically disappear with playing time, first-team practice reps and confidence. Our Top 25 Prospects list attempts to identify those individual players lurking at the bottom of NFL rosters who are likely to emerge as valuable players in 2010, but our Organizational Rankings take a different approach.
Instead of limiting our analysis to players who have yet to emerge in the NFL, these rankings consider all players who will be 25 or younger as of September 1, 2010 -- regardless of where they were drafted or how many games they've started. After compiling a list of eligible players for each team, we compared the groups on a variety of factors. We weighed issues like upside versus established production, quantity versus quality, and current staff versus historical ability to develop rookies when it comes to evaluating the talent available to each NFL franchise.
In the end, we put together these rankings with help from the rest of the crew at Football Outsiders. The capsules represent a synopsis of thoughts as to why the team is ranked where they are and who the important young players are for the franchise. However, we should point out that talent under the age of 25 does not equal talent overall. In the NFL, a couple bounces of the ball can turn an average team into a wild-card contender -- but it takes real time to build a team that can challenge for a Super Bowl title. Some of the teams near the top of our list are still a couple of years away from that point, and their rank is more about promise for the future than promise for this upcoming campaign.
32. Washington Redskins
Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have inherited a wasteland from Vinny Cerrato, who used his draft picks to acquire "has-beens" and "never-weres." As a result, the Redskins only have four "young" starters, and two of them (wideout Devin Thomas and safety LaRon Landry) have been professional flops. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was extremely effective last year, and rookie tackle Trent Williams should start on the left side from Day One. The only notable young players behind them are tight end Fred Davis and backup linebacker H.B. Blades.
31. San Diego Chargers
Since Norv Turner's arrival in 2007, the Chargers have failed to develop much in the way of young talent. First-round picks Craig Davis (2007) and Antoine Cason (2008) do not have good NFL records, and San Diego's only impact player under 25 is criminally underrated safety Eric Weddle. The Chargers hope that Cason grows into a starting role this year, halfback Ryan Mathews improves what was the league's worst rush offense in 2009-10, and middle linebacker Brandon Siler builds off a strong second half.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
General manager Mark Dominik is just beginning the process of rebuilding an organization that was all but gutted when he took over a year ago. The 2006-2008 drafts under Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen were dismal, led by 2007 fourth-overall pick Gaines Adams, who was traded to the Chicago Bears last year and then tragically passed away this offseason. 2008 first-rounder Aqib Talib has shown flashes of brilliance at corner, but the organization will only move forward if Dominik's picks start to develop into elite players -- notably, quarterback Josh Freeman and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
29. Arizona Cardinals
The core of the team that's won two consecutive NFC West titles consists mostly of players in their prime or a little older; the only player under 25 who was really an essential contributor for Arizona last year was cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. With several key veterans departing over the past two seasons, there are holes in the lineup that need to be filled by unproven players like cornerback Greg Toler, defensive end Calais Campbell and wide receiver Early Doucet.


28. New Orleans Saints
Last year's Saints were older than they looked. This year's team may be even older, especially on defense, where they only have two starters who are 25 or under: defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and Super Bowl hero Tracy Porter. The one-two punch of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas holds it down at halfback, but the most important player might be left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who was erratic last year after taking over the starting gig from an injured Jammal Brown. With Brown gone to Washington, the team expects Bushrod to keep Drew Brees upright.
27. Chicago Bears
The Bears have had several draft lowlights over the past few years, noticeably in 2007, when second-round pick Dan Bazuin and third-rounder Michael Okwo struggled through injuries and failed to even suit up for the team. They have little young depth defensively, but they do have two promising starters in the secondary in corner Zack Bowman and safety Al Afalava. Jerry Angelo thought that he'd secured his team's offensive future by taking tackle Chris Williams, halfback Matt Forte, and wideout Earl Bennett with his first three picks in 2008, but Williams is untested at his new position of left tackle, Forte struggled through a dire sophomore campaign, and Bennett has little upside as a marginal possession receiver.
26. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are the NFL's version of the "chicken versus egg" argument: Do they take talented players and suck the ability out of them, or do they just draft the wrong people? Disasters like Darrius Heyward-Bey point to the latter, while the disappointing beginning to Darren McFadden's career suggests the former. Despite themselves, the Raiders have developed a few talented players: Tight end Zach Miller should be a Pro Bowler this year, while defensive end Matt Shaughnessy exhibited signs of physical dominance as a rookie and could end up as an impact pass-rusher.
25. St. Louis Rams
Want to know why the Rams are so bad? Their 2006 and 2007 drafts yielded exactly one 2010 starter: defensive tackle Clifton Ryan, who doesn't even qualify for this list. The jury is still out on 2008 first-round defensive end Chris Long, but FO's Lewin Career Forecast suggests that Sam Bradford's skills should play at the pro level, which would give the Rams a major franchise building block.
24. Green Bay Packers
No team seems to hit higher peaks or lower valleys than the Packers, who alternate busts (A.J. Hawk) with franchise-caliber players (Greg Jennings) during draft weekends. They had eight picks in Rounds 1-3 in 2007-2008, though, and their eventual haul appears to be tight end Jermichael Finley and whoever wins the wide receiver battle between James Jones and Jordy Nelson. A team that currently relies on well-aged tackles Chad Clifton (34) and Mark Tauscher (33) undoubtedly hopes to see signs of development from second-year man T.J. Lang and 2010 first-round pick Bryan Bulaga this year; with the historical injury woes of Clifton and Tauscher, the young guys may need to hold their own at some point this year. Combining that with another great year from linebacker Clay Matthews would help push the Packers well up these charts.
23. New York Jets
Gang Green has arguably the best young player in the league in cornerback Darrelle Revis, a highly touted quarterback in Mark Sanchez, as well as a very promising running back in Shonn Greene. Unfortunately, there's not much young talent behind them; the only other under-25 player on defense besides Revis who is expected to see significant playing time is nickelback Kyle Wilson. Oh, and Vernon Gholston, if you believe he actually exists. If you do, please show your math. Preseason game tape doesn't count.
Getty ImagesShonn Greene is a dangerous young RB -- and as this photo can attest, he's already achieved success in the postseason.


22. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have a lot of young players on offense; unfortunately, none of them appear to be any good. Okay, C.J. Spiller should be the exception, but we don't know anything about what he'll do in the NFL. He has potential, but so did Marshawn Lynch, who failed to develop whatsoever. Buffalo has nearly a dozen qualifying players at wide receiver and tight end, but the best of the group might be 2008 second-rounder James Hardy, who's caught 10 passes in two seasons and showed up to OTAs overweight. Promising guard Eric Wood broke his leg last year and may never be 100 percent again. There is hope on the defense, though, where safety Jairus Byrd tied for the league lead in interceptions as a rookie and cornerback Leodis McKelvin appears to be the next one up in the assembly line of great Bills corners. Unfortunately, those corners all seem to leave. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is a supreme talent, but he struggles to stay healthy, and health is a skill.
21. Seatle Seahawks
Deposed GM Tim Ruskell focused his drafts on defensive players with low ceilings, and that's exactly what he got: Defensive end Lawrence Jackson doesn't appear to have the burst to rush the passer as a pro, and 5-foot-9 corner Josh Wilson lacks the size to compete with taller pro wideouts. Ruskell also spent boatloads of money on offensive free agents, which left little youth beyond running back Justin Forsett, tight end John Carlson and guard/center Max Unger when coach Pete Carroll took over. The organization used its first pick on tackle Russell Okung, but rebuilding the offense will take several years.
20. Dallas Cowboys
Much like Yankees prospects in baseball, the names and reputations of Cowboys prospects tend to outweigh their actual abilities. Take halfback Felix Jones, for instance, who's averaged 6.5 yards per carry as a pro. Some might see him as an elite prospect, but Jones has struggled to stay healthy and is still yet to hit 1,000 career rushing yards; Jamaal Charles did that in half a season last year. Trading away most of their 2009 draft to acquire Roy Williams hurts the most, though. A lot will depend on whether this year's draft class -- notably wide receiver Dez Bryant and middle linebacker Sean Lee -- can step in and take the jobs of overstretched veterans like Williams and Keith Brooking.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers do a better job of developing their young talent than most any team in the game, but there's just not a lot here to work with right now. Their 2008 draft was a huge disappointment by anyone's standards, yielding only Rashard Mendenhall and Dennis Dixon. Wide receiver Mike Wallace is number one on our Top 25 Prospects list, but the team will need to also get a contribution out of the two guys they chose before Wallace during the 2009 draft: defensive end Ziggy Hood and tackle Kraig Urbik. Hood may need to take over for Aaron Smith if the veteran end suffers another injury this year and, while Urbik could be in line to start at guard, there's a possibility he'd start in the stead of injured tackle Willie Colon, but it seems more likely he'd switch over on the line.
18. New England Patriots
The Patriots devoted their top three picks in both the 2008 and 2009 drafts to adding defensive talent. Factoring in their veteran starters on the offensive side of the ball, it's no surprise that the Patriots have the shallowest crop of young talent on offense of any team in the league. They'll hope to get something out of 25-year-old Laurence Maroney at halfback this year, while converted quarterback Julian Edelman fills in for Wes Welker. Those defensive picks have yielded a load of depth and already one obvious star in linebacker Jerod Mayo. The team hopes that competition at virtually every spot in the back eight of the defense will yield one or two more studs, with the favorites including cornerback Darius Butler and rookie linebacker Jermaine Cunningham. Rookie Brandon Spikes will also be worked in here.
17. New York Giants
The Giants got an instant impact out of their legendary 2007 draft class, led by Steve Smith, Kevin Boss and Michael Johnson, but Smith is the only player from that year who still qualifies as young talent by our definition. Since then, the Giants' drafts have been hit-and-miss. Kenny Phillips, who was a first-round pick in 2008, suffered a serious knee injury last year that could jeopardize his future, and while 2009 first-rounder Hakeem Nicks had a very solid rookie season in leading the league in average yards after catch, the team has failed to see much impact from players like Ramses Barden or Clint Sintim. 2010 first-rounder Jason Pierre-Paul also profiles as a likely bust by our SackSEER projection system (explained here), which frowns upon his lack of production in college as well as his junior college pedigree and suggests that his athleticism won't translate effectively to the pro level.
16. Minnesota Vikings
Although every team would undoubtedly like to have young talent coming out of its ears, the Vikings are a veteran team that's playing to win now. With that in mind, dealing a first-round pick and two third-rounders for Jared Allen was a good idea. No team in football has a better core of young skill-position players than the Vikings, who boast Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, but Minnesota is old on defense, where it only has two 25-and-under starters. Defensive end Ray Edwards is overrated because he plays alongside three elite linemen and has yet to see a professional double-team, and the book is still out on strong safety Tyrell Johnson.

Trends Within These Rankings

Looking for a stacked division for the next decade? The AFC North has three teams in the top 10 (Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland).
The AFC West (Chiefs, Broncos) and NFC South (Panthers, Falcons) each have two in the top 10.
Conversely, the AFC West (Raiders, Chargers) and NFC South (Buccaneers, Saints) each have two teams in the bottom 10 of these rankings.
You can follow the NFL divisions in detail year-round with the NFL Nation blog.


15. Jacksonville Jaguars
The throngs of empty seats in Jacksonville have a great young offense to not cheer for. Everyone knows about Maurice Jones-Drew, but the Jags will also start Mike Sims-Walker at wideout and the twin tackle tandem of Eugene Monroe (left) and Eben Britton (right) in Week 1. All should be above-average players at their position this year, and they could be joined by developing wideout Mike Thomas by the end of the season. While the Jags have invested plenty of high draft picks to the defensive side of the ball, their best product might be defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, a third-round pick who stepped in as a rookie last year and helped lead the Jags to the league's seventh-best run defense according to FO metrics. Corner Derek Cox was one of the league's worst starters as a rookie, but he was prematurely thrown into the fire and should improve after the experience.
14. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts don't have much in the way of young star power, but no team does a better job of finding effective, low-upside players to fill roles that they don't want to spend money on. In a given year, the Colts will turn over a spot or two on their offensive line, introduce a rookie into the passing game and start four players making the minimum or close to it on defense. Last year, injuries forced Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon to fill big roles on offense, while the defense had two undrafted free agents at defensive tackle and two rookies at cornerback. These players almost always disappoint when they go play somewhere else, which suggests that it's the system and not the talent, but that doesn't detract from the brilliance of Bill Polian and company.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
The league's most aggressive organization is always happy to churn talent and bring new players into the lineup, but this year will be a make-or-break season for a lot of the organization's young talent. No one doubts wide receiver DeSean Jackson, but there are plenty of question marks surrounding guys like Kevin Kolb, LeSean McCoy and Winston Justice, each of whom will have far more expected of them than ever before. There are three young players competing for a spot across from defensive end Trent Cole. The injury-riddled Victor Abiamiri appears to finally be out of favor, which could open up a hole for former Seahawks end Darryl Tapp or first-round pick Brandon Graham. The team would love for one of the three to unseat veteran Juqua Parker.
12. Tennessee Titans
Here is a rare case where a highly touted player on our Top 25 Prospects list (Jacob Ford) fails to qualify as a valuable young player in our Organizational Rankings -- Ford is 26. The defense has promising talent up and down the lineup, especially on the line, with defensive tackle Jason Jones and rookie end Derrick Morgan. Either Jason McCourty or Ryan Mouton will also take over for the departed Nick Harper at corner. The offense is top-heavy; they have a superstar at halfback in Chris Johnson and a promising wideout in Kenny Britt, but there's no young depth of note on offense outside of athletic tight end Jared Cook.
11. Miami Dolphins
You always bet on the Tuna to rebuild a team through the draft, and his first pick -- left tackle Jake Long -- is among the league's best at his position. He'll play next to either Nate Garner or Donald Thomas, and they'll protect Chad Henne as he throws to, among others, the quietly effective Davone Bess. All of these players are 25-and-under, which is a good sign for the Dolphins' offense going forward. Miami invested two of the first 61 picks last year on cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, but the front seven still was pretty elderly; this year, three of their first four picks were defensive linemen or linebackers. First-round pick Jared Odrick could contribute immediately in the team's rotation at defensive end.
And now, we arrive at the Top Ten

10. Denver Broncos
No team has a more skewed stack of talent than Denver. Despite having one of the league's oldest defenses, the Broncos didn't invest a single pick on that side of the ball until the fifth round. They'll move 2009 first-rounder Robert Ayers into the starting lineup at outside linebacker this year, but Ayers' SackSEER projection (explained here) suggests he'll be a colossal bust. The only other young defender expected to see any playing time is nickelback Alphonso Smith, who lost his job to Ty Law last year. Ty Law. A time machine wasn't even involved. On the other hand, Denver has a devastating crop of young talent on offense before we even consider how Tim Tebow will develop. Although he's coming off of a knee injury, left tackle Ryan Clady is among the game's best offensive linemen, while bookend Ryan Harris is supremely underrated. They could be joined up front by rookie guard Zane Beadles and center J.D. Walton as early as this year to block for second-year running back Knowshon Moreno. By 2011, the Broncos could be fielding an offense with only one starter -- Chris Kuper -- who is older than 26.
9. Detroit Lions
It's a testament to the work of coach Jim Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew that the Lions are even this high. Then again, when you can gut the team you're given and get national attention for merely winning a game, well, let's hope you can find some new young talent to get in the lineup. Matthew Stafford was highly inaccurate as a rookie, which is a disturbing sign, but there are still loads of young talent to go around, especially on defense. Ndamukong Suh will get all the hype as a rookie, but the best player on the Lions' defense in 2011 will be safety Louis Delmas, who was the team's best player at any position as a rookie. DeAndre Levy also looks to be an effective middle linebacker going forward. Meanwhile, the offensive cupboard isn't totally bare: Calvin Johnson is a game-changing talent, while Jahvid Best has loads of potential and should combine well with Kevin Smith when the latter returns from his knee injury. If Stafford takes a big step forward, the Lions could move into the top three of these rankings in 2011.
Getty ImagesThe Lions have had a rough patch the last few years, but if Stafford's development continues, they'll be a dangerous team five years down the road.


8. Cleveland Browns
How could the Browns -- a league laughingstock -- be so high? For one, they have football's best offensive lineman in 25-year-old left tackle Joe Thomas. Center Alex Mack is also promising. They may very well start two second-year wideouts in Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, who should complement each other well. Second-round pick Montario Hardesty should contribute a fair amount to the ground attack. They also have a young cornerback tandem that could rank as one of the league's best as early as 2011: Eric Wright and rookie Joe Haden, with Sheldon Brown tutoring Haden this year. The one thing the defense lacks is a young pass-rusher, a role the organization hopes barely ineligible linebacker Chris Gocong, 26, can fill after moving over from Philadelphia in the Brown trade.
7. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons don't have the league's top crop of young talent, but they may have the league's best young asset in quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan was the lead pick in general manager Thomas Dimitroff's franchise-altering 2008 draft, which brought in virtually all the talent that pushes the Falcons into the seventh spot: Ryan, left tackle Sam Baker, linebacker Curtis Lofton, corner Chevis Jackson, wideout Harry Douglas, safety Thomas DeCoud and sleeper defensive end Kroy Biermann. Ryan and Lofton together should be the faces of the franchise on either side of the ball for the next decade.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
Although the Texans have the league's best crop of impact defensive talent, the Bengals sure come close. They have a big three of 25-and-under talent in middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, weakside linebacker Keith Rivers and cornerback Leon Hall -- who was jobbed on a Pro Bowl spot last year. The problem is that there's not much young talent on the offensive side of the ball; 2009 first-rounder Andre Smith will move into a starting role this year, but he'll take a job away from the only other 25-and-under guy who could start, Anthony Collins. The only other young player expected to play any sort of role on the offense is rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham, and rookie tight ends are usually an invisible species. The Bengals will need to address the offensive side of the ball with a multitude of picks in the 2011 draft.
5. San Francisco 49ers
It all starts with the best middle linebacker in the game -- Patrick Willis -- and goes from there. Behind Willis is underrated safety Dashon Goldson, a playmaker who helped contribute to the fourth-ranked 49ers' run defense a year ago. Promising corner Tarell Brown also lurks in the secondary, although he's trapped as the nickelback behind the contract of Nate Clements. Meanwhile, starting wideouts Michael Crabtree (22) and Josh Morgan (25) combine with Vernon Davis (26, and thus not included as a qualifying "young" player for these rankings) to give the 49ers one of the best trios of receiving talent in the game today. The biggest hole in the organization was on the offensive line, and the 49ers invested their top two picks this year in linemen: Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis and Idaho guard Mike Iupati. With effective 25-year-old left tackle Joe Staley returning from injury, the Niners should have one of the league's better lines by 2012.
4. Baltimore Ravens
Ozzie Newsome is the best general manager in football, and year after year, his drafts deliver promising new players to an organization that seems to have more talent than opportunities. Although the Ravens are known for their defense, it's the offense that has most of the team's young talent these days. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice get the headlines at quarterback and running back, respectively, but no team has a pair of young tackles that match up with Michael Oher and Jared Gaither, both 24. The problem with the defensive talent might just be getting on the field; the Ravens spent their two second-rounders this year on front seven talent, linebacker Sergio Kindle and massive nose tackle Terrence Cody, but those guys will need to serve their apprenticeships before seeing serious snap totals. One player who might break through this season is corner Lardarius Webb, who is coming off of a torn ACL but should be starting by the end of the season.
Getty ImagesJamaal Charles ran for almost 1,000 yards after the midpoint of last season. He could arrive as a household name in 2010.


3. Kansas City Chiefs
The secret isn't out yet in Kansas City, but it's about to be -- the Chiefs have one of the best developing cores of talent in the game. They're deepest in the secondary, where fifth-overall pick Eric Berry will play safety behind a strong young tandem of cornerbacks: Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers. They will be joined by a fourth young starter, but incumbent Jarrad Page has requested a trade, which makes it likely that fifth-round pick Kendrick Lewis will start instead. Even nickelback Javier Arenas is a 22-year-old rookie. The front three features 2009 first-rounder Tyson Jackson and 2008 first-rounder Glenn Dorsey, though Dorsey has struggled to live up to the hype that surrounded him before the draft. The Chiefs also have an underrated group of developing players on offense, led by breakout star Jamaal Charles, who was the best running back in football during the second half of the 2009 season. Dwayne Bowe, for all his off-field antics, has shown a decent amount of promise despite playing alongside a litany of middling quarterbacks. He could be joined by 21-year-old Dexter McCluster, who will play the slot as a rookie after converting from running back during the offseason. Left tackle Branden Albert is a serviceable starter at worst, and third-round guard Jon Asamoah is likely to start in 2011. If Kansas City suddenly emerges in the league this year, guys like Charles, Carr, and Berry are going to be household names.
2. Carolina Panthers
There are currently 81 players on the Panthers roster, 58 of whom are either 25 or younger. That's a sign of how salary cap issues and a veteran roster forced the team to throw a lot of young talent at the wall and see what sticks. The reality, though, is that the Panthers have both quality and quantity. Their best young player, of course, is middle linebacker Jon Beason, who deserves to be in the conversations about the league's best linebackers. No middle linebacker -- not even Patrick Willis -- is better in coverage. Carolina had the league's second-ranked pass defense last year by Football Outsiders numbers, and its oldest starter in the secondary is 27-year-old Chris Gamble. He's the only one of their top six defensive backs older than 25. Defensive end Charles Johnson is 24, and by the end of the year, he'll be starting across from 2009 second-rounder Everette Brown, who is 22. The offense, though, is Carolina's more impressive young unit. Even without including Matt Moore, who turns 26 in August, there's serious talent to be had. The star is halfback Jonathan Stewart, who is every bit the back DeAngelo Williams is, but struggles to stay healthy. The offensive line opening holes for Stewart and Williams is among the league's best, and it features two elite young players in center Ryan Kalil and right tackle Jeff Otah. This year, they'll be joined by guard Geoff Schwartz, who made it to our Top 25 Prospects list and profiles as another excellent masher in the running game. They've even got a viable receiving prospect in tight end Gary Barnidge. With Moore, Jimmy Clausen, and Tony Pike on the roster, they've got three guys to compete for the long-term answer at QB.
1. Houston Texans
Not only are the Texans at the top of our rankings, but they could be even further ahead of the pack if we included players who are currently 25 and turn 26 before September 1. That would allow us to add star middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans to the Texans' haul. Even without him, though, the Texans are downright spoiled for talent. No one can match their one-two punch of Mario Williams and Brian Cushing, the best young players at their respective positions in the NFL. Add Ryans into the mix, and the Texans have three guys in their starting 11 who should be starting in the Pro Bowl every year. They're that good.
Those three players aren't the only talents on defense, either. Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye has been inconsistent as a pro, but consider that he's just 23; Okoye is more than six months younger than Ndamukong Suh, who hasn't played a pro down. Safety Bernard Pollard was gifted by the Chiefs and immediately shored up the team's biggest weakness. The versatile Connor Barwin had 4.5 sacks in limited time last year. Zac Diles benefited from playing alongside two elite linebackers, but held his own in coverage on the weak side. The team may start second-year corner Glover Quin across from rookie Kareem Jackson and would not regret it. The Texans go deep. Throw in their troika of young running backs, led by Steve Slaton, and Houston is an organization at the peak of its developmental work. General manager Rick Smith doesn't get much attention nationwide, but since he took over for Charlie Casserly in 2006, it's hard to find anyone who's identified and acquired young talent as well as Smith has.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

Professional flops?
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

Josh McDaniels has to thank Mike Shanahan for leaving behind a large inheritance for him on offense.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

personally I'd be looking at 27 years old and younger.. give guys 5 years in the league

given how long the average player lasts maybe they have a reason for 25.. or maybe it's just a prettier number.. just remember that average is brought down by injuries and guys who were signed but never made an active roster and the like

looking at some guys like Golston who's a good depth guy that might start a bit, he's only 4 years into the league.. Lorenzo Alexander is only 3 years in

you've got Hall at 26 right now (though he's been in the league for 6 years), a can he turn it around guy in Carriker with 3 years exp at barely 26, their number 5 prospect for the year Tryon at barely 26, left to be determined Kareem Moore nearing 26, Blades who they mentioned nearing 26, if they threw in Blades they could've thrown in 25 year old Horton and an even younger Jarmon (perhaps my mentioning of the last two has more to do with how little H.B. Blades did, not that he had a lot of chances), and I think that calling Thomas a flop is a bit premature.. Landry I understand it more but not fully.. yet...

so we may not have youth superstars, but from an insider view we do have a bit of talent or at the least potential
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

plus look at some of the teams in the top 10.. lot of talk about recent draft picks that COULD become something.. there's a reason why they have those young big names
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirClintonPortis View Post
Josh McDaniels has to thank Mike Shanahan for leaving behind a large inheritance for him on offense.
he's more like the prodigal son. taking his share of the inheritance and selling it for immediate cash. He will probably be eating from the pigs trough at the bottom of the AFC West this year
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:17 PM   #7
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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Originally Posted by tryfuhl View Post
personally I'd be looking at 27 years old and younger.. give guys 5 years in the league

given how long the average player lasts maybe they have a reason for 25.. or maybe it's just a prettier number.. just remember that average is brought down by injuries and guys who were signed but never made an active roster and the like

looking at some guys like Golston who's a good depth guy that might start a bit, he's only 4 years into the league.. Lorenzo Alexander is only 3 years in

you've got Hall at 26 right now (though he's been in the league for 6 years), a can he turn it around guy in Carriker with 3 years exp at barely 26, their number 5 prospect for the year Tryon at barely 26, left to be determined Kareem Moore nearing 26, Blades who they mentioned nearing 26, if they threw in Blades they could've thrown in 25 year old Horton and an even younger Jarmon (perhaps my mentioning of the last two has more to do with how little H.B. Blades did, not that he had a lot of chances), and I think that calling Thomas a flop is a bit premature.. Landry I understand it more but not fully.. yet...

so we may not have youth superstars, but from an insider view we do have a bit of talent or at the least potential
I agree wholeheartedly. I understand the concerns about age, but too much youth and your team is untested. Overall, an average age stat seems really meaningless to me.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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I agree wholeheartedly. I understand the concerns about age, but too much youth and your team is untested. Overall, an average age stat seems really meaningless to me.
Indeed.. I mean you have the Pack which were a pretty young team a couple of years ago and they're coming into contention now but I don't know the exact moves which have enabled this. It's something that I'd have to follow a bit more closely.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

I'd be interested to hear GTripp's thoughts on this. There was so much discussion on FBO predicting the Skins to make the playoffs. Now they're trashing our "youth." Hmmmm.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

I think they basically sum it up with this:

In the NFL, a couple bounces of the ball can turn an average team into a wild-card contender -- but it takes real time to build a team that can challenge for a Super Bowl title. Some of the teams near the top of our list are still a couple of years away from that point, and their rank is more about promise for the future than promise for this upcoming campaign.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #11
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

I bet the Steelers and Pats have been up there in terms of age in the last ten years and look how many championships they have.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:52 PM   #12
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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I bet the Steelers and Pats have been up there in terms of age in the last ten years and look how many championships they have.
Agreed, but both teams also are fantastic at building through the draft process.

The reason I posted this was basically a reinforcement of how we undervalue the draft compared to other teams. It would be sweet to go into a draft with our full allotment of picks. I have no idea when the last time that happened.

Just because FBO's ranking has our youth lowest in the league doesn't mean we won't be competitive. It just goes hand in hand with the team's approach in recent years. Trade away picks for vets ad nauseum and you're gonna have an older team. It's not rocket science.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:02 AM   #13
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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I'd be interested to hear GTripp's thoughts on this. There was so much discussion on FBO predicting the Skins to make the playoffs. Now they're trashing our "youth." Hmmmm.
Justin Tryon is taking us to the big game!

Honestly though what they're talking about here I think it a bit of an aside from what GTripp typically follows from them. By math they expect us to hit the SB, though last year they had us winning.. 7 games I think? And by just judging organizational standings on 25 and under youth I don't think that they're screaming.. YOU CAN'T DO IT!

Honestly I'm not really sure WHAT they're trying to prove with this article aside from potential to have the current crew be the same crew later on and perhaps successful along with it.

It's certainly not a formula for winning in the next year or two for the most part, looks more like an evaluation of how well prospects have evolved and how well they were drafted/acquired.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:05 AM   #14
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

who gives a crap...you think if we do well this year, we will be lamenting the fact that we don't have a bunch of guys under 25. Another BS list which doesn't really mean anything -- are we super old? yes; when's the last time a team won the superbowl b/c they were young? NEVER!!!

Get psyched for training camp, HTTR!!
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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Re: Football Outsiders: Redskins dead last in under-25 talent

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I'd be interested to hear GTripp's thoughts on this. There was so much discussion on FBO predicting the Skins to make the playoffs. Now they're trashing our "youth." Hmmmm.
I have plenty of thoughts on this, but since I'd just be parroting myself from yesterday, this is easier for me:

Washington Ranks 32nd in the NFL in Football Outsiders' "Under 25" Organizational Talent

The crux of the argument is that even the Redskins' cheap developmental talent is either in it's prime or on the downside of their careers. The cost-structure of this team is very, very good. There are no dead weight contracts anymore, and a lot of our very best contributors are making very little money.

But even those players (Lorenzo Alexander, Justin Tryon, Chris Wilson, Carlos Rogers, Rocky McIntosh, Derrick Dockery) are older than you'd think and most are due gigantic raises or will walk in free agency. Either way, the production from that group isn't sustainable over a two to three year period (think about Lemar Marshall or Joe Saleve'a). The type of player whose declines from our 2005 playoff year derailed our 2006 season are the real motor of the 2010 team. So, we have precious few draft picks, and will have to replace both our contributors and our non-contributors over the next few years.

Free agency will be a viable resource for us in the future because we don't have many of Vinnys terrible contract dollars outstanding. We're just unlikely to get a significant contribution from our recent or impending drafts.
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