Examining Commanders' unhappy draft hunting ground at No. 2 overall

Will general manager Adam Peters have more luck in 2024?
Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III / Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Lavar Arrington - 2000 NFL Draft

As in 1961, the now-Washington Commanders had both the second and third selections in the 2000 NFL Draft. Unlike the previous occasion, this was not because the team was among the league's worst.

Washington had stockpiled draft picks through several shrewd trades and was able to manipulate the board to get two highly coveted players. Chris Samuels - the No. 3 pick - would be a perennial Pro Bowl left tackle for the next decade. The No. 2 pick, linebacker Lavar Arrington, had a somewhat more complicated career.

At Penn State, Arrington was Superman. Almost literally. When he leaped over the line to stop Illinois running back Elmer Hickman on a key fourth down play in 1998, his legend was born. The thought of adding him to a defense that already had two future Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerbacks - Darrell Green and Champ Bailey - had fans drooling.

Arrington was a very good player. For a while. He made the Pro Bowl three straight seasons. In his fourth year, he forced an extraordinary six fumbles and was credited with 11 passes defended. But the expected sack bonanza never really came. He only cracked double figures once, with 11 in 2002.

Nonetheless, Arrington seemed on the verge of long-term stardom when his career tanked after the 2004 season. Injuries played a part in this, but a bigger culprit was a clash of wills between a brash young player and an egotistical defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

By lasting six full seasons in Washington, Arrington is the most successful No. 2 overall pick the team ever made. Even so, his career remains vaguely disappointing. So much more was expected.