5 greatest-ever NFL Draft picks in Washington Commanders history

(Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports) Darrell Green
(Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports) Darrell Green /
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Who are the greatest-ever NFL Draft picks made by the Washington Commanders throughout an illustrious franchise history?

With the 2023 NFL Draft fast approaching, I wanted to write a little piece about the greatest draft picks in Washington Commanders’ (and whatever other names the franchise has gone by) history. I immediately hit a wall.

How do you define a great draft pick? Is it the best player? Is it the player that had the most lasting impact on the franchise? Is the best value – the player that overperformed where he was selected by the widest margin.

Since I couldn’t answer that question, I decided to write two pieces. This one selects the five greatest draft picks in Commanders’ history, based on how impactful the player was for Washington. The second one will consider value – the greatest selections based on how much the player overperformed his draft position.

You’ll get five picks for each, plus a dozen honorable mentions. And one special recognition. There will be no overlap, though some of the value picks would easily be honorable mentions on the first list.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jonathan Allen (2017)
  • Champ Bailey (1999 – HOF)
  • Bill Brundige (1970)
  • Chris Cooley (2004)
  • Ryan Kerrigan (2011)
  • Paul Krause (1964 – HOF)
  • Jon Jansen (1999)
  • Mark May (1981)
  • Terry McLaurin (2019)
  • Chris Samuels (2000)
  • Sean Taylor (2004)
  • Trent Williams (2010)

Here then, are the five greatest draft picks in Commanders’ history (value not considered).