As the 2021 NFL Draft nears, let’s take one last look back at the Washington Football Team’s draft history.
Here’s a little light reading as the Washington Football Team prepares to make its selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. The best draft picks, by round, in franchise history.
Round One: Sammy Baugh (1937)
There have been some great ones, but Sammy Baugh, who was acquired the same year the team moved from Boston down to Washington, tops them all. A resume chock full of championships and records and the Hall of Fame.
Honorable mentions: The bar here is high. Only Hall of Famers need apply. Charley Taylor (1964), Art Monk (1980), Darrell Green (1983), Champ Bailey (1999)*
Round Two: John Jansen (1999)
Right tackles don’t always get the love. Jansen teamed with Chris Samuels to form one of the best tackle tandems in the NFL.
Honorable Mentions: Laurie Niemi (1949), John Paluck (1956), Paul Krause (1964)*, Bill Brundige (1970), Chip Lohmiller (1988), Tre Johnson (1994)
Round Three: Russ Grimm (1981)
Another Hall of Famer from the most famous draft class in franchise history.
Honorable Mentions: Charles Mann (1983), Chris Cooley (2004), Jordan Reed (2013)
Round Four: Stephen Davis (1996): 4th-rounder is 4th on the team’s all-time rushing list.
Honorable Mentions: Vince Promuto (1960), Don Warren (1979)
Round Five: Brian Mitchell (1990)
One of the greatest all-purpose yardage players ever, and the heart and soul of the franchise.
Honorable Mentions: Dick Todd (1939) Lou Rymkus (1943)*, Dexter Manley (1981)
Round Six: Alfred Morris (2012)
Didn’t have a long run but he was a revelation playing in those running-back friendly offenses of Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
Honorable Mention: Harold McLinton (1969)
Round Seven: Kelvin Bryant (1983)
Had he not given the first three years of his career to the upstart USFL, Bryant might have been spectacular. As it was, he merely became a very good third-down back on a championship team.
Honorable Mention: Rich Milot (1979)
Round Eight: Wayne Millner (1936)
He’s in the College Football HOF. He’s in the Pro Football HOF. One of the league’s first great ends.
Honorable Mentions: Dick James (1956), Larry Brown (1969)
Round Nine: Len Hauss (1964)
The ironman center played 14 years for the Washington Football Team and never missed a game. Not a single game.
Honorable Mentions: Wilbur Moore (1939), Darrell Grant (1981)
Round Ten: Eddie LeBaron (1950)
The Little General stood just 5’7” but he was one of the few bright spots on the team throughout the 1950s.
Round Eleven: Monte Coleman (1979)
Played more games for the Washington Football Team than anybody other than Darrell Green.
Honorable Mentions: Al DeMao (1942), George Starke (1971)
Round Twelve: Clint Didier (1981)
Played on two championship teams, scoring a touchdown in the famous second quarter of Super Bowl XXII.
Round Thirteen: Charley Conerly (1945)*
Unfortunately, head a great career for the New York Giants.
Round Fourteen: There isn’t one, but had 1976 draftee Quinn Buckner chosen to play football instead of basketball, you never know what may have happened.
Round Fifteen: Eddie Saenz (1945)
Exciting kick returner and DB in the late ‘40s.
Honorable Mention: Clyde Shugart (1939)
Round Sixteen: Dick Farman (1939)
Starting lineman on the 1942 championship team.
Round Seventeen: Gene Brito (1951)
Defensive end was one of the best players the team had in the moribund 1950s.
Round Eighteen: Chris Hanburger (1965)
From the 18th round to the Hall of Fame.
And, as a supplement…
Supplemental Draft: Gary Clark (1984, Round Two): 5’9”, 175 pounds, and as tough as they come.
Let’s hope some of this week’s picks make this list one day.
(* — these are players drafted by the Washington Football Team, but played the majority of their careers for others.)