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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Washington Commanders

Updated on March 6, 2022

The team has made a name for themselves for their free agency fails, but have also had their fair share of draft failures. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Washington Football Team

5. Jason Campbell

He had to learn a new offense every year and he never found success.

As a starter at Auburn, Jason Campbell had a different offensive coordinator every year until finally finding success in his senior year when he led the Tigers to an undefeated season in 2004 and was named the SEC Player of the Year and MVP of the SEC Championship Game. He previously held the record for the longest touchdown completion in Auburn history.

Campbell was selected 25th overall in 2005. Much of what happened to him wasn't his fault. He was surrounded by poor talent, a bad offensive line, and a different offensive coordinator each year. When Mike Shanahan became head coach in 2010, Campbell was released almost immediately. His career since has been that of a journeyman's.

4. Malcolm Kelly

He was the product of a failed draft class.

At Oklahoma, Malcolm Kelly was a tall lengthy target for Heisman winners Jason White and Sam Bradford. As a true sophomore, he became the fastest Sooner player to reach 1,000 career receiving yards. Towards the end of his college career, he injured himself during the Fiesta Bowl and it caused him to perform poorly at the Combine and his pro day.

Kelly was one of three second round draft picks by Washington. He missed much of his rookie year due to his injury and only recorded 28 catches in his three years in Washington. The funny thing is the GM wanted to draft Jamal Charles but was overruled by owner Dan Snyder and head coach Jim Zorn.

3. Tom Carter

He put up numbers thanks to the talent around him.

In his time at Notre Dame, Tom Carter was a three year starter at free safety. He gained national attention playing for the Fighting Irish during their first years being broadcast by NBC.

Carter was selected 17th overall in 1993. He intercepted 18 passes in four years in Washington, but that was mostly due to teams refusing to throw at Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green. He also received a reputation from teammates and opponents for being soft and he didn't impress the team enough for them to resign him after his rookie contract expired. He ended up playing five more unimpressive years with Chicago and Cincinnati before calling it quits.

2. Desmond Howard

He is one of the best return specialists in history, but as a receiver he was a failure.

During his college career at the University of Michigan, Howard set or tied five NCAA and 12 Michigan records. He also led the Big Ten in scoring with 138 points during the 1991 season on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy.

Howard was selected fourth overall in 1992. Howard's performance as a receiver was secondary to his skills as a punt and kick off returner throughout his career. Though he recorded just 92 receptions in his first four seasons, he excelled as a punt and kickoff returner throughout his career. When he couldn't prove himself as a receiver, Washington released him after the 1994 season. He went on to be a two time All-Pro and Super Bowl XXXI MVP as a member of the Packers.

1. Heath Shuler

The now congressman was a dismal NFL quarterback.

At Tennessee, Heath Shuler gained national attention as one of the SEC's top quarterbacks. He held nearly all Volunteer passing records at the end of his career. In 1993, he came in second in the vote for the Heisman Trophy.

Shuler was third overall pick in 1994 by Washington. He held out of training camp due to Shuler's agent and the Redskins general manager discussing the parameters of the option buyback contract. The Redskins had fallen on hard times since winning Super Bowl XXVI, and he was looked on as the quarterback of the future. However, Shuler's poor play contributed to a quarterback controversy with fellow 1994 draft pick seventh rounder Gus Frerotte. Public and fan sentiment soon came to back Frerotte as was evident when Shuler threw five interceptions in a game against the Cardinals. He started 18 games in his first two years with the team and was benched in his third year, as Frerotte became the starter. He spent his final season in New Orleans before retiring in 1997. He was 8-14 as a starter and threw just 15 touchdowns against 33 interceptions.

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