How Commanders recent first-round disasters stack up around the NFL

Is there a worse team when it comes to finding first-round talent?

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders first-round picks compared to the worst

All right - enough of the easy ones. Let’s look at the absolute worst drafters in the NFL. Let’s compare the Washington Commanders to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Raiders have always prided themselves on not following the crowd. As such, have been proving how mindlessly stupid that philosophy can be.

They have selected even more players in the first round than Washington over the last five years. Of their seven selections since 2019, only two remain with the franchise. Two others are out of football altogether. And two others were waived before their rookie deals ended. The Raiders have been truly awful.

They did manage to select Josh Jacobs. Say what you want about the value of a running back in today’s NFL, but he's made two Pro Bowls in his first four seasons. That’s two more than any remaining Commanders first-round pick. Chase Young did make it as a rookie, but as we know, he's no longer a Commanders player. He is currently a third-round draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

So would you rather have Jamin Davis, Jahan Dotson, Emmanuel Forbes, along with a second and third-round pick, or Jacobs and Tyree Wilson - currently a disappointing backup - or, in other words, the equivalent of Forbes? Maybe the Commanders eke that one out.

To be fair, Washington selected better players in the first round over the last five years than at least one other NFL team. That’s because the Los Angeles Rams have not had a first-round pick since 2016, having pursued a radically different strategy over the past decade.

That strategy resulted in two Super Bowl trips and one victory. Even today, despite forfeiting so much draft capital, they have a better roster than the Commanders. I’d say their strategy has paid off rather well.

Therefore, I declare that the Commanders may not have the absolute worst recent track record in the first round of the draft. They’re just really, really close. Regardless of who they pick at No. 3 in 2024, they had better begin reversing that trend this year.

For those of you who were wondering, “faux pas” is indeed the plural form of “faux pas.” They’re just pronounced differently.