5 greatest-value NFL Draft picks in Washington Commanders history
By Jonathan Eig
Chris Hanburger – Former Commanders OLB
- 18th-round, 1965 NFL Draft
- Pick No. 245 | North Carolina Tar Heels
Chris Hanburger was taken with the No. 245 overall selection in the 1965 NFL Draft. No fewer than 46 years later, he would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In the history of the NFL, the New York Giants’ Rosey Brown is the only lower draft pick to be enshrined in Canton. Though there are 17 undrafted players enshrined as well.
Hanburger was a somewhat undersized outside linebacker out of North Carolina who played 187 games for the Washington Commanders. He was barely 215 pounds, but he played with quiet violence.
His striking clothesline tackle would be outlawed in today’s NFL. But in the 1960s and 1970s, it was a lethal weapon, earning him nine trips to the Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors five times.
For the second half of Hanburger’s career, he played in front of free safety Ken Houston. The prolific defensive back was another player drafted in the 200s who would make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
However, Houston was a draft pick of the old Houston Oilers. Hanburger was drafted by Washington in the same year they found honorable mention Jerry Smith in the ninth round – not a bad haul by any stretch.