"Of the four top-10 safeties this decade, none has had franchise-player impact: Sean Taylor (Washington, fifth overall, 2004), Michael Huff (Oakland, seventh, 2006), Donte Whitner (Buffalo, eighth, 2006), LaRon Landry (Washington, sixth, 2007). Taylor might have had franchise-player impact if he had not been gunned down three-and-a-half years into his career. But overall, the position justifies the caution lots of teams are taking with it."
You see Mr. King, Sean Taylor and his death is still a pretty sore spot for many Redskin fans. Never have I seen the fan base more united after his murder and this includes the times when the Redskins were an actual winning franchise that dominated the NFC in the 80's and early 90's. Was Taylor a franchise player? You bet. The man was a play maker and fans came to games to see what he was going to do whether it was make an INT, recover a fumble (or blocked FG) or lay a massive hit. This was a kid who could actually cover Randy Moss 1 on 1 when Moss was at his best and win those match ups. This is a guy who owned TO. A guy who made Todd Pinkston develop "alligator body" (Joe Theisman's comment from MNF) at the thought of being hit by Sean Taylor (Ed. Note, it was Ryan Clark however that was going to make the hit). This was the guy that made the Pro Bowl watchable with the hit on Mooreman. This was the guy that owned your pal Brett Favre with 2 INTs (could have been more like 3-4 that day) in their last meeting.
Now these comments weren't close to the horrible comments made by Colin Cowherd (how does this creep still have a job?) after Taylor's death but I don't think they're correct either.
Matt does a better breakdown of why Taylor was a franchise player and it's a bit nicer than I would have approached it (of course, I'm just a fan who does this in his free time. Matt Terl is the pro here). But nonetheless it's a good read. So I'll leave you with the highlights of Mr. Terl's comments and the link to the article over on the Redskins blog.
From Matt Terl:
"First of all, I would argue that Taylor was already well on his way to being a franchise player. Between his statistics (which I've already enumerated), the anecdotal impact he had on his teammates, and his undeniable popularity with the fans, he already was at the time of his death just about everything you want in a franchise player."
Peter King Is Skeptical Of The Sean Taylor Draft Pick (Redskins Blog)