5 lessons the Commanders should learn from recent first-round draft blunders

Lessons must be taken...
Dwayne Haskins
Dwayne Haskins / Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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What lessons must the Washington Commanders' new regime learn from countless first-round draft blunders over the last two decades?

Every fan can drive themselves crazy by simply scanning the draft picks in a given year and lamenting all the quality players their team passed on to take a flier on an NFL Scouting Combine warrior or long snapper. But alas, this isn’t an article about Camaron Cheeseman.

Teams make mistakes in the draft all the time. Even good ones. Quality organizations tend to make fewer mistakes. They also stockpile selections instead of frivolously trading them away, thus creating a simple numbers advantage.

At the end of the day, they may still make mistakes. What separates them is they also gather better players than their less successful rivals.

The Washington Commanders - throughout much of the 21st century - have been one of those. We're going to feature five major mistakes the franchise has made in the first round of the draft since 2000 and examine what lessons general manager Adam Peters can learn from them.  

Before that, I am going to begin with a move that was not a mistake. Even if it is typically considered their biggest draft blunder this century.

The 2012 trade with the Los Angeles Rams that resulted in Washington selecting Robert Griffin III was a bold move. Tracing the outcome of that exchange requires an advanced degree in combinatorics. Suffice it to say, the four actual draft picks they gave up did not result in any future Pro Football Hall of Famers.

Griffin won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and took Washington to the playoffs. The problem was not the pick - it was the management of the player. We’ll come back to that, but not about the Griffin selection.

There are so many other mistakes to learn from. Here are five prime examples.