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Great Redskins Drafts: A Look At 1983

Posted Apr 9, 2012

Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald takes a look back at the franchise's greatest drafts. In 1983, the Redskins drafted two all-time greats, plus a running back who helped the franchise win a Super Bowl.


Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald takes a look back at some of the great Redskins draft classes in franchise history:

1983 REDSKINS DRAFT:

1. Darrell Green, CB, Texas A&I
2. Richard Williams, RB, Memphis St.
3. Charles Mann, DE, Nevada
6. Bob Winckler, T, Wisconsin
6. Babe Laufenberg, QB, Indiana
7. Kelvin Bryant, RB, North Carolina
8. Todd Hallstrom, T, Minnesota
9. Marcus Gilbert, RB, TCU
10. Geff Gandy, LB, Baylor

Bold: Named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins


From 1979-81, the Redskins’ front office had constructed a team that would go on to win Super Bowl XVII in the 1982 season.

In 1983, the front office began to construct a team that would help the Redskins maintain their place as one of the elite franchises in the NFL for the next decade.

The 1983 NFL Draft produced two Redskins all-time greats, plus a key contributor to the 1987 Super Bowl team.

The draft also produced a third-string QB who would eventually become a backup for Troy Aikman in Dallas.

With two of their first three picks in 1983, the Redskins went a long way toward solidifying their defense.

With the last pick in the first round of the 1983 draft, the Redskins selected Darrell Green, a 5-8, 185-pound cornerback out of Texas A&I. Green, of course, went on to legendary status in Redskins history.

The six-time Pro Bowler famously ran down Cowboys’ running back Tony Dorsett in his first pro game, securing his status as the NFL’s fastest man for the next two decades.

Green was instrumental in guiding the Redskins to the 1987 Super Bowl title. In the Divisional playoffs against Chicago, he returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown, nursing broken ribs along the way. Then, in the NFC Championship game against Minnesota, he batted away a game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.

Green played 20 years with the Redskins, setting franchise marks for most games played (295) and most career interceptions (54).

By the end of his career, he had earned the nickname "ageless wonder." He also earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Charles Mann

In the third round, the Redskins drafted defensive end Charles Mann out of Nevada. He played 11 seasons in Washington and earned four Pro Bowl trips, evolving into a team leader and dependable presence along the defensive line.

By his second season, he was starting at left defensive end, opposite another Redskins great in Dexter Manley. He logged double-digit sack seasons four times, including a career-high 14.5 in 1985, just his third season in the NFL.

Mann finished his career with 82 sacks, second-most in franchise history (behind Manley), and helped guide the Redskins to two Super Bowl championships.

In the sixth round, Washington drafted quarterback Babe Laufenberg out of Indiana.

Laufenberg never played a down for the Redskins, but he would go on to serve as a backup for three NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys in 1989-90.

In his post-NFL career, Laufenberg has made a name for himself on Cowboys radio broadcasts, serving as an analyst from 1996-2005.

In the seventh round, the Redskins took a chance on North Carolina running back Kelvin Bryant, who had already signed with the fledgling USFL.

Bryant starred with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL for three seasons, but the Redskins retained his rights. In 1986, when the USFL folded, Bryant arrived in Washington, joining George Rogers to solidify the Redskins’ ground attack.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Bryant compiled 1,186 rushing yards on 260 carries, a solid 4.6 yards-per-carry average. He logged six rushing touchdowns. Bryant was perhaps most effective as a pass receiver: he had 154 career receptions for 1,634 yards and 14 touchdowns catching passes out of the backfield.

Bryant’s career was slowed by a knee injury suffered midway through the 1988 season. He was sidelined the entire 1989 season, but he was able to return in 1990. He decided to retire after seven seasons as a pro.

The rest of the 1983 draft class, including second-round running back Richard Williams out of Memphis State, did not pan out.

 

 

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