Rick Snider: This year's incoming class one of best ever for Redskins

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A standout quarterback, running back and kicker have given the Washington Redskins their best incoming class in 29 years and fourth best ever.

First-round quarterback Robert Griffin III and sixth-round running back Alfred Morris, plus first-year kicker Kai Forbath may even merit careers that eventually make them the second-best group since the team's 1937 arrival.

The three classes ahead of the trio contain Super Bowl rings and Pro Football Hall of Famers. The three groups behind the 2012 class include Canton inductees past and future.

But the team has never gained a quarterback and running back in the same year, much less a kicker, too. The trio has already combined to keep Washington in the playoff race over the final weeks for the first time since 2007, while setting several team rookie records.

The three positions are among the game's more important, giving these rookies a chance at one day replacing 1981 as the team's best talent influx. But it will take a lot given that season saw first-rounder Mark May, Russ Grimm (third) and Joe Jacoby (undrafted free agent) form the Hogs that won three Super Bowls. Grimm is a Hall of Famer, and Jacoby will be considered in February. Dexter Manley (fifth) is the team's career sack leader, while Charlie Brown (eighth) and Clint Didier (12th) were solid starters.

The second-best class ever is a toss-up between Darrell Green (first) and Charles Mann (third) in 1983, and Jerry Smith (ninth) and Chris Hanburger (18th) in 1965. Green and Mann won two Super Bowls. Green and Hanburger are both Canton residents. Smith was the team's best tight end ever until Chris Cooley arrived 40 years later, while Mann is second in career sacks. Ultimately, winning breaks the tie with 1983 ranking second.

After the current group, the 1964 draft ranks fifth, even if second-rounder Paul Krause played only four years in Washington. First-rounder Charley Taylor and Krause are Hall of Famers, while center Len Hauss (ninth) was a five-time Pro Bowler.

The 2004 draft, which includes Sean Taylor (first) and Cooley (third), slightly beats out the 2000 pairing of LaVar Arrington and Chris Samuels. Taylor might have become a superstar if not murdered in his fourth season. Unfortunately, potential can't be included. Cooley is the team's leading tight end in receptions.

Arrington and Samuels were the second and third overall picks respectively. Samuels was a six-time Pro Bowler, and Arrington made it three times before a contract dispute sent him to New York after six seasons. The 2004 draft gets the nod for sixth.

The 1937 draft certainly earned some attention by simply taking the greatest Redskins player ever -- quarterback Sammy Baugh. Given Baugh also played defensive back and punted, it was like getting three top players.

Just like the Redskins did this season.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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