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Hanging 10

Redskins, Ravens have rare early draft pair

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Posted: Friday April 21, 2000 08:05 PM

  Chris Samuels Alabama's Chris Samuels was picked by the Redskins with one of their two top-three picks. Andy Lyons/Allsport

By Ryan Hunt,

If the best way to build a Super Bowl champion is at the top of the draft, the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens were in mighty good position.

Both the Redskins and Ravens had a pair of top-10 picks in Saturday's NFL Draft. Since 1970, only 12 teams have been so fortunate.

But of those previous 12, only the 1976 Bengals had a .500 or better record the previous season. The Redskins were 10-6 in '99, while the Ravens finished 8-8.

So for Washington, the word "fortunate" takes on a different meaning.

The Redskins became only the fifth team in 30 years to make two picks in the top five. Washington owned the second and third picks -- neither of which was originally its pick.

Draft Duos
Teams with two top 10 picks since 1970
Year  Team  Pick No. 1  Pick No. 2 
2000  Redskins  LaVar Arrington (2)  Chris Samuels (3) 
2000  Ravens  Jamal Lewis (5)  Travis Taylor (10) 
1997  Seahawks  Shawn Springs (3)  Walter Jones (6) 
1994  Colts  Marshall Faulk (2)  Trev Alberts (5) 
1992  Colts  Steve Emtman (1)  Quentin Coryatt (2) 
1990  Patriots  Chris Singleton (8)  Ray Agnew (10) 
1988  Raiders  Tim Brown (6)  Terry McDaniel (9) 
1982  Colts  Johnie Cooks (2)  Art Schlicter (4) 
1979  Bills  Tom Cousineau (1)  Jerry Butler (5) 
1979  Bears  Dan Hampton (4)  Al Harris (9) 
1977  Bengals  Eddie Edwards (3)  Wilson Whitley (8) 
1974  49ers  Wilbur Jackson (9)  Bill Sandifer (10) 
1973  Colts  Bert Jones (2)  Joe Ehrmann (10) 
1973  Eagles  Jerry Sizemore (3)  Charles Young (6) 

The 'Skins acquired the No. 2 pick (LaVar Arrington) from New Orleans in the Ricky Williams deal, then picked up the third choice (Chris Samuels) from San Francisco this offseason.

Indianapolis was the last team to have two top-five choices -- picking Marshall Faulk with the No. 2 pick and Trev Alberts at No. 5 in 1994 - marking one of three times the Colts have had two top-five picks. The Colts had the top two picks in the '92 draft, selecting eventual busts Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt.

But at least short term, the windfall had a big impact. Three of the four teams that have had two top-five picks have improved by at least two games the following season. When the Colts had the top two picks, they had eight-game improvement -- from 1-15 to 9-7.

That should concern the rest of the NFC East.

Most Improved
One-year improvement of
teams with two top-five picks
Draft Yr.  Team  Before  After 
2000  Redskins  10-6  ??? 
1994  Colts  4-12  8-8 
1992  Colts  1-15  9-7 
1982  Colts  2-14  0-8-1* 
1979  Bills  5-11  7-9 
* Strike-shortened season

However, looking back at those '76 Bengals, who were 10-4 and tied for the AFC Central title before picking No. 3 and No. 6 in the 1977 draft, Cincinnati actually finished two games worse and missed the playoffs the following season. Two years later, the Bengals were 4-12 -- and were back in the top 10 in the 1979 draft.

Baltimore, meanwhile, also had two picks in the top 10, thanks to deals with Atlanta and Denver. The Ravens selected Jamal Lewis and Travis Taylor.

The last time two teams made a pair of top-10 picks in the same year was 1973, when the Eagles and Colts did.

Related information
Stories's NFC East Draft Preview
Redskins in draft's driver's seat with Nos. 2-3's Alberts: Thoughts on the Top 5 picks's NFL Draft Coverage
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