Asking "Who is the best Redskins player drafted in the 1st round?" is a loaded question that I find difficult to answer. The names that stand out among first round picks include Mark May, Art Monk, Darrell Green, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Sean Taylor, Trent Williams, Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, and Robert Griffin III. Even Norm Snead was a great 1st round pick. However, that is mostly because he was traded for Sonny Jurgensen. Even though I am a big fan of Sonny, saying Norm Snead is our best 1st round pick because he was traded seems mean spirited, even if it is true. Some of these players were studs and fan favorites when they played for the Burgundy and Gold. Fortunately, some of these players are studs and fan favorites now. But picking one of these players as the best Redskin drafted in the 1st round ever is difficult when one of the all-time greats of the NFL was a 1st round pick by the Redskins.
While I think there are plenty of right answers to this question, I believe Sammy Baugh stands out as the best 1st round selection in Redskins history. While not many current Redskins fans, myself included, can remember Sammy Baugh, he had a tremendous impact on the franchise and NFL history. "Slinging" Sammy Baugh played Quarterback, Defensive Back, and Punter for the Redskins from 1937-1952. Baugh was one of the first quarterbacks in the NFL to throw out of design, not in desperation. He threw for 22,085 passing yards and holds the team record for highest passer rating for a single season at 109.7. He was voted first-team all-pro seven times and second team all pro twice. He led the Redskins to two NFL Championships in 1937 and 1942 against Chicago in both games. Sammy Baugh was voted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and is now in the Redskin’s Ring of Fame.
Sammy Baugh passed away December 17, 2008 at the age of 94. After his football career, he spent most of his time on his ranch in Texas. While he did not adopt D.C. as his home after his playing days, he is still a tremendously important figure in the franchise’s history. Baugh was an extremely talented football player and is considered by many to be the best Redskins player of all time. While many recent 1st round players have had a large impact on me as a fan, "Slinging" Sammy Baugh is the best 1st round pick in Redskins history in my mind. Even though I’m sticking with the safe answer of Sammy Baugh for now, I really hope a certain quarterback will replace Sammy as the best Redskin drafted in the first round.