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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(Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images) Sammy Baugh and Bob Hope /

Sammy Baugh – Former Commanders QB

  • Round 1, 1937 NFL Draft

The first NFL Draft was in 1936 and the now Washington Commanders got a good player in Riley Smith. The following year, they got arguably the greatest player in franchise history.

Sammy Baugh was excellent right from the start, helping the team win its first championship during his rookie season – also the team’s inaugural year in Washington. He was a good defensive back, the best punter of his generation, and an outstanding single-wing halfback.

A few years later, after the Chicago Bears popularized the T and Split-T formations, Baugh transitioned to a full-time quarterback and became the game’s first dominant passer. He played 16 seasons in Washington, led them to its first two championships, and was an eight-time All-Pro.

It would be decades before anyone began challenging some of his records. And how the Commanders could use someone of Baugh’s stature under center during the 2023 season.

Here’s some trivia for you. Baugh, who was drafted No. 6 overall in 1937, completed 1,693 passes in his NFL career. Only one quarterback, Ray Buivid, was selected ahead of him, by Chicago. He completed just 34 passes.

Safe to say Washington made the right call with Baugh. A true franchise legend the likes of which we might never see again.