In 1962, the Redskins made one of the biggest trades in NFL history, trading No. 1-overall pick Ernie Davis to Cleveland for Bobby Mitchell. Mitchell was often overlooked by the great Jim Brown but was still a key player that posted excellent stats in his four years in Cleveland. He dazzled fans around the league and immediately became a Redskins' fan favorite after the trade.
The athletic Mitchell was converted to flanker by then-head coach Bill McPeak which helped Mitchell reach his full star potential. Mitchell's first year helped the Redskins improve their win total by four thanks to his team-high 72 points scored. The speedy receiver also posted league-highs of 72 catches and 1,384 receiving yards, both of which were also franchise records at the time.
Besides weaving through Cowboys defenders, Mitchell's made national headlines for more important reasons. He was the player that helped the Washington Redskins become the last integrated team in the league. Mitchell was the primary piece for the integration including two other African-American players, John Nisby and Ron Hatcher.
In 1963, Mitchell broke his own receiving record from the year before with a staggering 1,436 yards that was held until 2005.
In his 11-year playing career he gained 7,954 receiving yards and 2,735 rushing yards, plus 2,690 on kickoff returns and 699 on punt returns. At the time of his retirement in 1968, Mitchell ranked third with 14,078 combined yards and fifth in touchdowns with 91. Mitchell inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983, becoming the ninth RedskinS player to do so.
After retiring from his playing career he remained with the Redskins for more than three decades before getting out of the game completley in 2003.
"I'm very, very fortunate to have stayed with the same team for so many years," Mitchell said. "It's something that just doesn't happen. I consider it sort of my reward for staying and handling the tests and being the good guy, the whole works."