A year ago, the New York Giants went on a late-season surge and upset New England in the Super Bowl based, to a certain extent, on the contributions of a strong draft class.
This offseason, the Redskins, too, talked a great deal about putting emphasis on their draft selections.
Although the 10 players the Redskins drafted this offseason struggled at times in the preseason, all are still around after Saturday's final roster cuts.
Wide receiver Devin Thomas (2 catches, 7 yards) saw the field sparingly this preseason due a hamstring injury. Kelly did not see action at all in preseason due to a knee injury.
They were able to beat out the likes of veteran Billy McMullen (20 catches).
For now, Thomas and Kelly are part of a five-man unit at wide receiver that is headlined by veterans Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and James Thrash.
Rookie tight end Fred Davis (10 catches, 85 yards) showed enough signs that allow him to join Chris Cooley and veteran Todd Yoder in the tight end corps.
Third-round pick Chad Rinehart, the offensive lineman out of Northern Iowa, had an up and down preseason. But Rinehart's versatility and his competitiveness were enough for him to stay. Veteran Todd Wade did not make the 53-man limit.
Cornerback J.T. Tryon really struggled in the preseason finale, the 24-3 loss to Jacksonville last Thursday night at FedExField. Based on what he was able to do earlier in the preseason, Tryon is a keeper. He had six tackles versus Jacksonville although the Jags challenged him relentlessly.
In the closest competition in camp, Georgia Tech rookie Durant Brooks beat out veteran Derrick Frost, who had served as the team's punter since 2005. Brooks was the Ray Guy Award winner last year as the best punter in college football.
Safety Kareem Moore showed flashes in some games that he can be a hard hitter. But the sixth-round pick out of Nicholls State was slowed early in camp with a knee injury and late in the preseason with a hamstring injury.
The third of the Redskins' sixth-round picks, quarterback Colt Brennan, became a fan favorite even though he often was the subject of Jim Zorn's criticisms.
Brennan did show play-making skills, such as at the Meadowlands in the 13-10 win over the Jets. That's the game Brennan and Maryland tight end Jason Goode connected in the late stages with a 33-yard game-winning TD.
Defensive end Rob Jackson, a seventh-rounder, contributed two preseason sacks, his first coming in the Hall of Fame Game against Indianapolis on Aug. 3.
In that same game, UCLA product Chris Horton, the other seventh-rounder, came up from his safety spot and registered two sacks of Jared Lorenzen.
Everyone realizes cut-down day is the toughest around any NFL team. The Redskins stuck with their draft picks with hopes that their emphasis on youth pays off over the long haul.
As a group, this year's Redskins draft class fell behind, suffered injuries and went through various struggles. But they managed to emerge as a cast of survivors.