5 greatest-value NFL Draft picks in Washington Commanders history

(Photo via Getty Images) Brian Mitchell
(Photo via Getty Images) Brian Mitchell /
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(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Monte Coleman /

Monte Coleman – Former Commanders LB

  • 11th-round, 1979 NFL Draft
  • Pick No. 289 | Central Arkansas Bears

Monte Coleman made about a thousand tackles for the team now known as the Washington Commanders. Historical tackling stats are notoriously sketchy, but it’s safe to say that no player has ever made more tackles for the team other than Darrell Green.

Coleman is also second to Green for most games played in franchise history.

Despite this, Coleman was not a regular starter at outside linebacker. For much of his career, he was a special teams ace and an outstanding coverage option who played primarily in passing situations.

But Coleman was the heart and soul of the team during its finest years. He was a member of all three Super Bowl-winning teams. His famous quote after the team avenged the “body bag” loss by upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs in January 1991, captured the attitude:

"“People threw dirt on us all year. They didn’t know we had shovels.”"

Coleman was taken with the No. 289 overall selection in the 1979 NFL Draft. That year, the No. 1 overall pick was another linebacker – Ohio State’s Tom Cousineau.

After a couple of years playing in Canada, Cousineau had an NFL career that lasted 66 games. Coleman played in 217.

When his long playing career was finally over, Coleman returned to his alma mater, Arkansas Pine Bluff, where he would serve as a coach for 15 years.