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As the NFL Draft comes to Kansas City it’s fun to look back on the Metro players who have been drafted in the past.

For this RE/MAX Big 3 we will look at the three highest draft picks from the Kansas City Metro since the common draft began in 1968.

Russ Washington – Southeast High School/University of Missouri Rd. 1 Pick 4 1968 San Diego Chargers

Washington was one of the best football players ever to come out of the Kansas City Metro. He was a 1964 graduate of Southeast High School where he was one of the most feared linemen on both sides of the state line.

He played college football at the University of Missouri where he was named the Big Eight Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-American in 1967.

Washington was drafted fourth overall in the 1968 AFL/NFL Common Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played 15 seasons for the Chargers on the offensive line. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl five times while earning second-team All-Pro honors twice in 1979 and 1982.

He is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame. Washington passed away in 2021.

Isiah Simmons – Olathe North/Clemson Rd. 1 Pick 8 2020 Arizona Cardinals

Simmons has spent the last three seasons as one of the best players for the Cardinals defense. The hybrid linebacker/safety is one of the most athletic players at his position in the NFL.

He played at Olathe North from 2012-15 before signing to play at Clemson in 2016. He played four seasons for the Tigers winning national championships in 2016 and 2018. During his junior year in 2019 he won the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the nation after finishing the year with 104 total tackles, with 28.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks.

He is heading into his fourth season with the Cardinals. His best season was 2021 when he finished with 105 tackles which was third best on the team.

David Verser – Sumner/Kansas Rd. 1 Pick 10 1981 Cincinnati Bengals.

Verser led the Jayhawks in receiving his senior year with 21 receptions for 463 yards and five touchdowns.

In the NFL he was primarily a kick returner and backup receiver. His rookie year Verser returned 29 kicks for 691 yards. During the AFC Championship in his rookie season he had a key 40-yard return that set up a Bengals TD in the famous Freezer Bowl Cincinnati won as it advanced to the first Super Bowl in Franchise history.

Verser would see time with Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns.

After his career he was a social worker and police officer and is currently retired.