The Washington Commanders own the No. 11 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is somehow just two weeks away. It’s a weird spot to be in, but pretty much a base-case scenario considering the team was in the playoff hunt up until the final few weeks of last season.
If the draft’s history has taught us anything, it’s that all of the generational talents will have been taken by that point.
That’s what makes this year’s draft so unique. Rather than boasting a handful of surefire future superstars, the 2022 class is lauded for its depth According to draft experts, teams should be able to find impact players, if not starters, through at least the first three rounds. That’s hardly ever the case.
With that said, the Commanders should still be able to draft a franchise cornerstone and future All-Pro at pick No. 11. In taking a look at the draft’s history, that pick has produced some great players and future Hall of Famers.
Between Dwight Freeney, DeMarcus Ware, Michael Irvin, Patrick Willis, Ben Roethlisberger, Doug Atkins, Frank Gifford, Ron Dayne and Paul Warfield, no shortage of stars and legends have been drafted No. 11 overall.
If you take a look at the players taken with that pick since 2010, you’ll realize the Commanders need to hit at least a triple, if not a home run.
Commanders Draft: Best No. 11 pick’s since 2010
JJ Watt (2011)
The 2010 decade started off on a ridiculously high note, as the Texans made then-Wisconsin superstar JJ Watt the No. 11 pick in 2011.
Looking back on it, it’s crazy to think Watt didn’t lasted that long, as he is arguably the most decorated pass rusher of his generation. In a draft that featured Cam Newton, Von Miller, AJ Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones and Tyron Smith taken within the top 10, we suppose it’s not overly criminal Watt dropped as far as he did.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time first-team All-Pro, a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner and a deserving member of the Hall of Fame’s 2010s All-Decade Team.
Watt is one of the best No. 11 picks of the last two decades.
Taylor Lewan (2014)
With so many stars at the position, Taylor Lewan has become one of the most underrated left tackles in the league. From the time he was drafted up until the 2020 season, Lewan owned the 16th-best pass-blocking grade and was the 11-most valuable tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Injuries have derailed the last two years of Lewan’s career and there’s some speculation he could be entering his last year with the Titans, but we’re still talking about a borderline top 10 player at a premier position. That’s a solid return on investment from the No. 11 pick.