The Washington Redskins made a believer out of many last season after winning the NFC East for the second time in four years.
With stability in the front office, the coaching ranks and on the active roster, there's a belief at Redskins Park that the success the team had in 2015 is a precursor for what's to come in the future.
The folks at ESPN seem to be buying into what the Redskins are putting together, as evidenced by them placing the team 15 spots higher in their NFL Future Power Rankings, at No. 12, with an overall score of 74.2.
That's quite a lofty ranking for the Redskins, who haven't been ranked that high on ESPN's list in five years. The No. 12 ranking is also the highest ranking of all NFC East teams. Only one team – the Oakland Raiders – had a bigger jump in the rankings than the Redskins, as they jumped 16 spots from No. 29 to No. 13.
Here are the scores the Redskins got in each category, with the change from last season in parenthesis:
Roster: 71.7 [ 11.7]
QB: 77.3 [ 36]
Coaching: 72.3 [ 11.6]
Draft: 78.3 [ 14]
Front Office: 73.3 [-1.7]
Overall Score: 74.2 [ 14.9]
In the analysis, Washington general manager Scot McCloughan was praised for the fine work he's done so far in the NFL Draft, while ESPN analyst Louis Riddick noted that "the Redskins are a dominant pass-rusher away from having high-quality players at all five of the most important positions on an NFL team [QB, DE, CB, OT, WR]."