Ranking the 15 biggest NFL Draft steals in Washington Commanders history

The Washington Commanders franchise has secured some monumental draft steals throughout history.
Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 6

9. Alfred Morris - 2012, Round No. 6

Alfred Morris is the only player on my list from the 21st century. He joined with fellow rookie Robert Griffin III to form one of the league’s best backfields in his rookie season and carried much of the offensive load the following two years as the former No. 2 pick struggled with injury.

Want the definition of a steal? Eleven running backs were chosen ahead of Morris in the 2012 NFL Draft. Over his nine-year career, he outgained every single one of them.

In just the four seasons he played in Washington, Morris outgained all but two. He remains the team's fifth all-time leading rusher, and third in yards per game.

8. Brian Mitchell - 1990, Round No. 5

Brian Mitchell had played quarterback at Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) but he switched to running back in the pros. Though he never was a major presence on offense, he became one of the greatest special teams players in the history of the league.

His total yards - comprised mostly of kick and punt returns - rank second to Jerry Rice in league history. And he wasn’t merely a return specialist. Mitchell did everything on special teams, from covering kicks to serving as the punter’s protector. He was the heart and soul of the franchise for most of his 10 years with the now-Washington Commanders.

7. Jerry Smith - 1965, Round No. 9

Washington already had one of the league’s best passers in Sonny Jurgensen and two Pro Football Hall of Fame caliber wide receivers in Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor by the time Jerry Smith entered the NFL out of Arizona State in 1965. The undersized tight end proved to be the missing piece that made the franchise the most exciting passing attack in the league.

Working the middle of the field, Smith had an exceptional knack for finding the end zone, hauling in 60 touchdowns in his 13-year career. He retired as the all-time leading touchdown-scoring tight end and remains in the top 10 despite the increased emphasis on the position's influence in the passing game over the years following his retirement.