Welcome to the rookie profile for Darnell Washington. Darnell Washington is a highly talented college football tight end from Georgia. With his sheer size and power at the point of attack, he is a force to be reckoned with on the field. With the continued refinement of his skillset, Washington has the potential to become a dominant force in the NFL.
Height: 6′ 7″
Weight: 264 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.64s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: 4.08
Vertical Jump: 31″
Broad Jump: 10-2
Bench Press: 21
*age is at the start of player’s rookie year
Darnell Washington, a 4-star high school recruit, played football and basketball before committing to Georgia. He was also selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and was named to the USA Today All-USA and NIAA All-State Class 4A Second Team offenses in high school. He had limited receptions in his first two years of college but showed strong pass protection skills (he allowed no sacks his sophomore year). In his junior year, he improved with 26 catches for 417 yards and two touchdowns. Before his junior year, he earned a spot on the John Mackey Award preseason watch list.
Washington’s physicality is a standout trait, both as a runner after the catch and as a blocker. He brings a mauler mentality to his blocking game, consistently finishing blocks and redirecting defenders out of running lanes. He excels as a run blocker, with a frame that can carry even more weight, and you could mistake him for a seasoned pulling guard. As a pass blocker, he’s equally impressive, and he easily handles blitzing linebackers on the edge. In his 72 instances of being used strictly in pass protection, he didn’t give up a single pressure.
Despite his size, he displays glimpses of above-average athleticism, including solid long-strider acceleration and flashes of agility. While he can improve his consistency and technique, his physical tools make him a dangerous threat on the field.
Washington’s game appears to lack explosiveness as he struggles to create separation from defenders despite being comfortable in traffic. His average long speed and lack of a second gear make him unable to challenge the defense at the top level. Although he played three years for the Bulldogs, Washington was only targeted 45 times, indicating he wasn’t extensively involved in their offense as a receiver. Moreover, his inability to accelerate out of breaks and limited production makes him an unremarkable short-range threat that doesn’t warrant safety help over the top. These weaknesses could prevent him from becoming an effective player in the NFL.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
After his impressive combine performance, it’s likely that Washington will be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. While he may have some limitations in his game, his agility and explosiveness demonstrated in the combine have caught the attention of many teams in need of a high-upside behemoth at tight end. Ultimately, his draft position will depend on how teams weigh his potential against his limitations, but it’s clear that he has boosted his stock with his combine showing. I predict him landing with the Chargers or even the Texans if they want to trade up from their 2nd rounder.
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Image Credit: Joshua L. Jones – USA TODAY Sports