History of Washington Commanders First-Round NFL Draft Picks All Time

It's fascinating to look at how the Washington Commanders' strategy with first-round NFL Draft picks has evolved over the years. Here's their full history.

Team draft philosophies are always evolving throughout the league, but no team has a more fascinating history with their first-round picks in the NFL Draft than the Washington Commanders. Here’s a look at that history in detail. How often have the Commanders used their picks, how often have they traded them away, and how often have they been successful?

Washington Commanders First-Round Draft Picks Throughout History

In their full history dating back to 1936, the Commanders have made five future Hall of Fame picks in the first round of the NFL Draft. This is even more impressive when you realize that there was a stretch from 1965 to 1990 where the Commanders only made six total picks in Round 1. From 1969 to 1990, they only made three — two of which (Art Monk and Darrell Green) were Hall of Famers.

Across that stretch in the 20th century, Washington was known for trading away its first-round picks for established veterans, and that strategy bore fruit for them. Washington won three Super Bowl titles under head coach Joe Gibbs. Since 1990, the team has had far less success. They could soon add another Hall of Fame Round 1 pick to their tally in Trent Williams, however, who’s very likely a resident in Canton once he retires.

2024

  • Jayden Daniels | Pick 2
    QB, LSU

2023

  • Emmanuel Forbes | Pick 16
    CB, Mississippi State

2022

  • Jahan Dotson | Pick 16
    WR, Penn State

2021

  • Jamin Davis | Pick 19
    LB, Kentucky

2020

  • Chase Young | Pick 2
    DE, Ohio State

2019

  • Dwayne Haskins | Pick 15
    QB, Ohio State
  • Montez Sweat | Pick 26
    DE, Mississippi State

2018

  • Daron Payne | Pick 13
    DT, Alabama

2017

  • Jonathan Allen | Pick 17
    DE, Alabama

2016

  • Josh Doctson | Pick 22
    WR, TCU

2015

  • Brandon Scherff | Pick 5
    OT, Iowa

2014

Washington traded the second pick to the St. Louis Rams.

2013

Washington traded the 22nd pick to the St. Louis Rams.

2012

  • Robert Griffin III | Pick 2
    QB, Baylor

2011

  • Ryan Kerrigan | Pick 16
    DE, Purdue

2010

  • Trent Williams | Pick 4
    OT, Oklahoma

2009

  • Brian Orakpo | Pick 13
    LB, Texas

2008

Washington traded the 21st pick to the Atlanta Falcons.

2007

  • LaRon Landry | Pick 6
    DB, LSU

2006

Washington traded the 22nd pick to the Denver Broncos.

2005

  • Carlos Rogers | Pick 9
    DB, Auburn
  • Jason Campbell | Pick 25
    QB, Auburn

2004

  • Sean Taylor | Pick 5
    DB, Miami (FL)

2003

Washington traded the 13th pick to the New York Jets.

2002

  • Patrick Ramsey | Pick 32
    QB, Tulane

2001

  • Rod Gardner | Pick 15
    WR, Clemson

2000

  • LaVar Arrington | Pick 2
    LB, Penn State
  • Chris Samuels | Pick 3
    OT, Alabama

1999

  • Champ Bailey* | Pick 7
    DB, Georgia

1998

Washington traded the 17th pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.

1997

  • Kenard Lang | Pick 17
    DE, Miami (FL)

1996

  • Andre Johnson | Pick 30
    OT, Penn State

1995

  • Michael Westbrook | Pick 4
    WR, Colorado

1994

  • Heath Shuler | Pick 3
    QB, Tennessee

1993

  • Tom Carter | Pick 17
    DB, Notre Dame

1992

  • Desmond Howard | Pick 4
    WR, Michigan

1991

  • Bobby Wilson | Pick 17
    DT, Michigan State

1990

Washington traded the 20th pick to the Atlanta Falcons.

1989

Washington sent the 12th pick to the Chicago Bears as compensation for signing Wilber Marshall.

1988

Washington sent the 27th pick to the Chicago Bears as compensation for signing Wilber Marshall.

1987

Washington traded the 25th pick to the San Francisco 49ers.

1986

Washington traded the 17th pick to the Atlanta Falcons.

1985

Washington traded the 24th pick to the New Orleans Saints.

1984

Washington traded the 27th pick to the New York Giants.

1983

  • Darrell Green* | Pick 28
    DB, Texas A&M-Kingsville

1982

Washington traded the 14th pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

1981

  • Mark May | Pick 20
    G, Pittsburgh

1980

  • Art Monk* | Pick 18
    WR, Syracuse

1979

Washington traded the 12th pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.

1978

Washington traded the 19th pick to the Arizona Cardinals.

1977

Washington traded the 19th pick to the Arizona Cardinals.

1976

Washington traded the 17th pick to the Miami Dolphins.

1975

Washington traded the 22nd pick to the San Diego Chargers.

1974

Washington traded the 20th pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

1973

Washington traded the 25th pick to the Baltimore Colts.

1972

Washington traded the 20th pick to the New York Jets.

1971

Washington traded the 10th pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

1970

Washington traded the 17th pick to the San Francisco 49ers.

1969

Washington traded the 10th pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

1968

  • Jim Smith | Pick 12
    DB, Oregon

1967

  • Ray McDonald | Pick 13
    RB, Idaho

1966

  • Charlie Gogolak | Pick 6
    K, Princeton

1965

Washington traded the sixth pick to the Chicago Bears.

1964

  • Charley Taylor* | Pick 3
    WR, Arizona State

1963

  • Pat Richter | Pick 7
    TE, Wisconsin

1962

  • Ernie Davis | Pick 1
    HB, Syracuse

1961

  • Norm Snead | Pick 2
    QB, Wake Forest
  • Joe Rutgens | Pick 3
    DT, Illinois

1960

  • Richie Lucas | Pick 4
    QB, Penn State

1959

  • Don Allard | Pick 4
    QB, Boston College

1958

Washington traded the fourth pick to the Los Angeles Rams.

1957

  • Don Bosseler | Pick 9
    FB, Miami (FL)

1956

  • Ed Vereb | Pick 12
    HB, Maryland

1955

  • Ralph Guglielmi | Pick 4
    QB, Notre Dame

1954

  • Steve Meilinger | Pick 8
    DE, Kentucky

1953

  • Jack Scarbath | Pick 3
    QB, Maryland

1952

  • Larry Isbell | Pick 7
    HB, Baylor

1951

  • Leon Heath | Pick 4
    FB, Oklahoma

1950

  • George Thomas | Pick 6
    HB, Oklahoma

1949

  • Rob Goode | Pick 8
    HB, Texas A&M

1948

  • Harry Gilmer | Pick 1
    QB, Alabama
  • Lowell Tew | Pick 4
    FB, Alabama

1947

  • Cal Rossi | Pick 4
    HB, UCLA

1946

  • Cal Rossi | Pick 9
    HB, UCLA

1945

  • Jim Hardy | Pick 8
    QB, USC

1944

  • Mike Micka | Pick 8
    FB, Colgate

1943

  • Jack Jenkins | Pick 10
    FB, Vanderbilt

1942

  • Spec Sanders | Pick 6
    HB, Texas

1941

  • Forest Evashevski | Pick 10
    QB, Michigan

1940

  • Ed Boell | Pick 8
    QB, NYU

1939

  • I.B. Hale | Pick 8
    OT, TCU

1938

  • Andy Farkas | Pick 9
    FB, Detroit Mercy

1937

  • Sammy Baugh* | Pick 6
    QB, TCU

1936

  • Riley Smith | Pick 2
    QB, Alabama

*Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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