The Redskins are not known for drafting talented running backs: John Riggins was drafted by the New York Jets, Clinton Portis was passed on in the draft, then later acquired in a trade with the Broncos. There are a few bright spots in the franchise’s RB picks: Brian Mitchell and Alfred Morris.
Brian Mitchell became synonymous with the Redskins throughout the 1990s. Picked by Joe Gibbs, the 5th round, 130th overall offensive stalwart returned kicks and was the main back for the Redskins, and even played quarterback during the infamous “Body Bag Game” vs. the Eagles. (He went 3-for-5 for 40 yards passing, and ran for a touchdown). In 1999, with the arrival of Dan Snyder, Brian Mitchell was unceremoniously dumped from the team, and subsequently resigned with the Philadelphia Eagles and became a permanent thorn in the Redskins’ side for the remainder of his career. Mitchell ended his career with 23,330 all purpose yards, good for second all time in the NFL behind the great Jerry Rice.
The next greatest running back’s car wasn’t born yet when Brian Mitchell was drafted. Alfred Morris, fresh out of his sophomore season, has already solidified himself as one of the greatest running backs the Redskins have drafted. The explosive diamond in the rough was exposed by Mike Shanahan after he drafted Morris in the 6th round, 173rd pick overall. In two seasons, Morris has not missed a single game, racked up 2,888 yards (for an impressive average per game of 90.25), and 20 touchdowns. The young back also has a work ethic to be envied, showing up early in his 1991 Mazda 626 and staying late. The most exciting prospect of Alfred Morris is the dazzling potential he has; as dire as last season was, it’s hard to fathom the duo of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris ever put forth such a sorrowful display of offense.
In the end, you have to side with Mitchell as the greatest Redskin, if only because Morris still has a few years to continue to match Mitchell’s statistics.