How WFT's top offensive players compare to stars from Ryan Fitzpatrick's past

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How WFT's top offensive players compare to stars in Fitz's past originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Any player that has spent more than a decade and a half in the National Football League has come across a hefty amount of talented folks. That definitely applies to Washington Football quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Now, as fans and pundits discuss whether Washington will be the best situation of his NFL career (Fitzpatrick, for the record, believes it is), looking back at the quarterback's previous stops to see what stars he's overlapped with, and then comparing those guys to the Burgundy and Gold's best, feels like a worthy exercise.

The list below can essentially be dubbed as the All-Fitz Team. The only thing a player needed to be eligible for the squad is to have competed in a season where Fitzpatrick started at least eight games (a designation that wipes out anyone from his stint with the Rams, the 2007 Bengals, his time with the Bucs and the 2020 Dolphins).

Even with that rule, though, there was — and Fitzpatrick's new coach, Ron Rivera, will love this — lots of competition at nearly every position. Here's who made the final cut, plus an analysis of how Fitzpatrick's Washington teammates stack up...

Running backs (2): 2012 CJ Spiller (Bills), 2014 Arian Foster (Texans)

Spiller's experience as a pro was largely a disappointment — except for 2012. That season, he posted 1,244 rushing yards on just 207 attempts, which converts to a yards-per-carry average of 6.0 (to put that into context, Nick Chubb led all running backs this past season with a YPC of 5.6). Oh, and Spiller also added 43 catches for 459 yards, finding the end zone eight times in all. Fitzpatrick likely appreciated all of that help.

Foster, who totaled 1,246 yards on the ground, 327 yards as a receiver and 13 overall scores in 2014, slides in as the No. 2, beating out the likes of Buffalo's Fred Jackson and Tennessee's Chris Johnson, among others.

How Washington matches up: Antonio Gibson absolutely has the talent to produce Spiller- and Foster-like stats. The second-year RB is a nightmare to bring down, and if he does find more comfort in the backfield like many say he will, then it's not outrageous to say he could end up as Fitzpatrick's best tailback. A plethora of smart people has their eyes on Gibson

Wide receivers (2): 2015 Brandon Marshall (Jets), 2019 DeVante Parker (Dolphins)

Of all the names in this story, Marshall's was the easiest to include. He and Fitzpatrick were downright dynamic together in New York, with Marshall grabbing 109 catches, 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns. Hopefully, you nabbed Marshall in your fantasy draft that season.

After Marshall, however, things got super difficult.

Among those who just missed out: 2015 Brandon Decker (80/1,027/12), 2010 Stevie Johnson (82/1,073/10) and 2014 DeAndre Hopkins (76/1,210/6). In a bit of a surprise, Miami's Parker sneaks ahead of all those top-notch targets. He rang up 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine six-pointers with Fitzpatrick, who started 13 out of 16 contests for the Dolphins. 

How Washington matches up: It'd be a huge ask for anyone anywhere to replicate what Marshall did in 2015, but Terry McLaurin can be stellar in his own right. Should Fitzpatrick actually hold down the starting gig for much or all of 2021, it will give McLaurin stability in the huddle that he hasn't had yet with the franchise, and a Decker/Johnson/Hopkins/Parker-y output is easily in range for him. 

Tight end: 2013 Delanie Walker (Titans)

Oddly enoughFitzpatrick hasn't had the privilege of pairing up with many notable tight ends. In starting nine games for the Titans in 2009, though, he did intersect with Walker, who had a career-best year up to that point but still wasn't quite the Pro Bowler he'd become known as later on in Tennessee. 

How Washington matches up: Here's a position that Washington wins, thanks to Logan Thomas. Because Fitzpatrick left the Titans before Walker took off, Thomas — who is on one of the sport's biggest bargains considering how excellent he was in 2020 — figures to be the QB's most enticing option in that slot of the depth chart.

Left tackle: 2014 Duane Brown (Texans)

Brown, who's still active and with the Seahawks now, reached his third-consecutive Pro Bowl in 2014. As a whole, the Texans' offensive line allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL.

How Washington matches up: Charles Leno isn't in the same tier as Brown, but the ex-Bear has a Pro Bowl on his résumé and started every single game for Chicago from 2016 to 2020. He should hold up just fine on the outside.

Left guard: 2011 Andy Levitre (Bills)

Left guard isn't exactly littered with choices when reviewing Fitzpatrick's past, but Levitre was a full-time starter for his first eight go-rounds in the league, including 2011 in Buffalo. He was whistled for just two penalties while blocking for his signal-caller then.

How Washington matches up: Wes Schweitzer and Ereck Flowers are slated to battle for the gig at left guard, and between those two, Rivera likely expects fairly quality play week in and week out. 

Center: 2015 Nick Mangold (Jets)

2015 marked Mangold's penultimate run in the NFL, but he still appeared in 15 matchups and led the second-most stingy O-line in terms of sacks allowed. By the end of the season, he'd receive his seventh invitation to the Pro Bowl.

How Washington matches up: Chase Roullier doesn't get mentioned in the conversations about football's most elite centers (if those conversations actually exist), but he's been quite reliable since taking over the middle of the line in 2018. He doesn't have the pedigree of Mangold, yet Fitzpatrick will trust him. 

Right guard: 2014 Brandon Brooks (Texans)

Brooks didn't emerge as a serious stalwart until later linking up with the Eagles, but the Houston version of him was still effective. In an ironic twist, he's now the second-highest paid right guard (going off of average annual value), and the lone man who's better compensated than him is currently sharing a uniform with Fitzpatrick.

How Washington matches up: Scherff is an All-Pro and grants Washington another win. While paying him $18 million on a franchise tag like Rivera and Co. are doing isn't ideal, Fitzpatrick won't mind. Instead, he'll enjoy watching Scherff clean up his pocket and open up running lanes.

Right tackle: 2014 Derek Newton (Texans)

Newton is the third Texan to qualify up front, but he would've been pushed had Morgan Moses not been released earlier this offseason. After 2014, Newton would sign a lengthy extension with Houston after working his way up from seventh-round selection to regular starter.

How Washington matches up: The reason Moses is no longer with the team, of course, is because of Sam Cosmi's presence. There's definitely a lot to get excited about when it comes to Cosmi's potential, but the rookie has a decent road ahead of him to justify the club's belief in him.