Commanders best-ever picks in franchise history at 2023 draft spots

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Trent Murphy
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Trent Murphy /
3 of 5
(Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images) Jerry Smith /

Eddie Saenz – Former Commanders RB/KR

  • No. 150 overall – 1945

I never saw Eddie Saenz play. But I trust franchise historian Michael Richman, who writes glowingly about the player’s electric performances as a kick returner and receiving running back.

He is tied with Mike Nelms for fifth in return average with a minimum of 80 kickoff returns. Saenz also matched Brian Mitchell, Bobby Mitchell, and Andy Farkas for first in kickoff returns for touchdowns with two.

His punt return average exceeded Nelms, Eddie Brown, and Herb Mul-Key.

Jerry Smith – Former Commanders TE

  • No. 118 overall – 1965

Jerry Smith arrived from Arizona State in 1965 to complete the most exciting receiving corps in the league. Washington already had future Pro Football Hall of Famers Charley Taylor and Bobby Mitchell on the outside so the tight end’s arrival saw the offense boast an embarrassment of riches.

The smooth, undersized, sure-handed Smith patrolled the middle of the field, and Sonny Jurgensen spread the ball to all of them. He still ranks sixth on the franchise’s all-time receiving list, trailing only Chris Cooley among tight ends, and his 60 touchdowns rank third behind Taylor and Art Monk, who is also enshrined in Canton.