Greatest Alabama football career No.15: Chris Samuels
A native himself of Alabama, Chris Samuels stayed in-state to start at Alabama in the late 1990s, becoming one of the nation’s top offensive linemen. After claiming an Outland Trophy and finding himself a unanimous All-American, Samuels was ready to prove himself at the next level.
Samuels became the 3rd pick of the 2000 NFL Draft and was selected by the Washington Redskins, with whom he’d spend his entire ten-year pro career. He became Washington’s starting left tackle from the very beginning and didn’t relinquish that role for nearly a decade.
He was a very important piece in Washington for the coming years, protecting the blindside while also playing a key role in run blocking. It’s hard to show just how vital he was, but he did play in a few playoff games and missed just four games in his first eight seasons.
Across his career, Samuels stood out enough to earn six Pro Bowl nods, including four consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2008. His career would end the following season after a severe spine injury, though his contributions on Washington’s offensive line were clearly significant for quite a period of time.
Samuels was a key blocker for Clinton Portis and other ball carriers all while protecting the likes of Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, and a slew of other quarterbacks. He’s in Washington’s Ring of Fame and would later win a national championship as an assistant coach at Alabama in 2012.