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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Trading back is great, when the timing is right

Mike Shanahan arrived in 2011 and immediately began making moves. His first draft maneuver showed why he was so good.

Shanahan traded the No. 10 pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars so they could get quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The now-Washington Commanders moved back to No. 16 overall and also got a pick in the middle of the second round. With the first-rounder, they chose Ryan Kerrigan.

Slam dunk, right? And another high-value pick to come. This is where it gets fun.

Shanahan again traded back, dropping a few spots in the second round and picking up an extra fourth-rounder. Then, he traded both new picks in separate deals. The second-rounder resulted in a new second-rounder and a fourth-rounder. Then - stay with me - he traded both of those.

He parted ways with the second-rounder in exchange for three new later-round picks. Shanahan packaged two of the other newly acquired selections to move up in the third round, and also pick up a new sixth-rounder.

If you didn’t follow all that, here’s the bottom line. After fleecing Jacksonville for Kerrigan, Shanahan made four other deals that resulted in the following players: Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu Jr., Aldrick Robinson, Dejon Gomes, and Maurice Hurt.

I don’t know who he would have chosen with that original second-round pick he got from the Jaguars, but there’s a pretty good chance it would have resulted in a more productive player than those five guys put together. Though Helu still holds the franchise’s single-game reception record.