Washington Redskins: 15 best first-round draft picks of all time

Trent Williams, Washington Redskins. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Trent Williams, Washington Redskins. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /
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Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The 2018 NFL Draft is fast approaching. And the Washington Redskins need to hit on their first-round pick.

Hitting in the first round hasn’t exactly been a tradition for the Washington Redskins. The Redskins’ first round woes began early, about as early as the franchise itself, in fact. Few of the franchise’s picks in the mid-1900s remained with the team for more than two years, and some, like Michigan’s Forest Evashevski and Baylor’s Larry Isbell, never even played a down with the burgundy and gold.

The Redskins found success at a much higher rate in the first round from 1970 to 1990, but that’s because they only had three first-round picks in that time span. George Allen regularly traded his picks for veteran players; his team was commonly dubbed the ‘Over the Hill Gang’ for this reason. This trend continued into the tenure of Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Bobby Beathard as well.

Despite the lack of opportunities, however, the Redskins found first-round legends in the 1980s; legends who would each go on to help the team win three Super Bowls in the span of merely a decade. Legends who would ultimately receive gilded busts in Canton for their achievements.

The first-round opportunities have increased since then, but the success achieved has not been proportionate. Rod Gardner fizzled quick. Andre Johnson played three NFL games for the Detroit Lions. Don’t even get started on quarterbacks. In that category, you’ll find strangely forgettable names such as Heath Shuler, Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey and Robert Griffin, whose sorrowful tale will continue just a state away in 2018.

It’s safe to say that the first round has not often been kind to the Redskins. But when it is kind, it is very kind. Despite the difficulties in finding consistent star talent, Washington has struck gold on more than one occasion as well, and it’s something they intend to do in this year’s draft as well, with the No. 13 pick.

What kind of player might the Redskins find in the first round this year? To answer that question, perhaps we must look to the past. These are the fifteen best first-round picks in Redskins history.