No matter what happens from here, Daniel Jones will always be part of an ultra-exclusive club. The NFL has been conducting its annual draft of college players since 1936. A year later, Sammy Baugh became the first quarterback ever drafted in the first round, when the Redskins drafted him out of Texas Christian.
It can be argued, quite reasonably, that every club for the rest of time has tried to do precisely what Washington did that day at the Hotel Lincoln (later the Milford Plaza, now Row NYC Hotel) on Eighth Avenue and 44th Street: identify a franchise quarterback and pluck him out of the early portion of the draft. Slingin’ Sammy was the prototype, collecting almost 22,000 passing yards and 187 touchdowns on the way to the Hall of Fame.
Since then, pro football teams have expended 168 other first-round picks on quarterbacks, each of them hoping that they’ve selected another Sid Luckman (1939) or Bobby Layne (1948) or Terry Bradshaw (1970) or Peyton Manning (1998), hoping to avoid another Ernie Case (1947) or Don Allard (1959) or JaMarcus Russell (2007) or Johnny Manziel (2014).
Fourteen times New York’s teams have dipped their toe in those critical waters, starting with Paul Governali, whom the old Brooklyn Dodgers took out of Columbia in 1943 (though by the time he debuted in 1946, the Dodgers — later the Tigers — had vanished from the NFL landscape, so he never actually played a down here).