Ranking the last 10 Commanders first-round NFL Draft picks

It's been a mixed bag overall...

Daron Payne
Daron Payne / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Jonathan Allen

  • Defensive Tackle | Alabama Crimson Tide
  • No. 17 overall | 2017 NFL Draft

Jonathan Allen is a difference-maker in every sense. The defensive tackle remains one of the Washington Commanders' standout performers despite becoming increasingly frustrated during the 2023 season. Hopefully, the new coaching staff can reinvigorate him to the form fans are more accustomed to seeing from the player.

Allen's been a high-level disruptor from the interior almost from the moment he arrived in the league out of Alabama. His run defense is superb and matched by enough ability to get after the quarterback in obvious pass-rushing situations. However, his evolution into Washington's undisputed locker room leader is arguably the most impressive element of all.

It wasn't hard to see why Allen became so disillusioned last season. The defense lacked imagination and was constantly exposed. He's sick of losing and being around a running joke. But after some outstanding appointments and a fresh direction under Josh Harris' ownership group, any slim trade rumors seem to be gone for good.

This is a big year for Allen, who's got no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. Playing well under head coach Dan Quinn this year means an extension in 2025 is a genuine possibility. Anything less might see the Commanders go in a different direction entirely.

Regardless of which way things pan out moving forward, Allen deserves his spot at No. 1 on this list.