Dwayne Washington, RB
School: Washington | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21? 22?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 226 lbs
Projected: Late Rounds or UDFA | Actual: 7th Round (Pick 236) by the Detroit Lions
Dwayne Washington is basically a wide receiver playing running back. Nearly everything about his style of play is unorthodox from the way he makes his cuts to the way he holds the ball but that is what makes him so fun to watch. Washington's career with the Huskies has been up and down. After catching on in 2014 and rushing for nearly 700 yards Washington came into his junior year and had his carries drastically cut because the Huskies liked freshman Myles Gaskin more. Washington was somewhat relegated to a specialty role in the offense but played second fiddle to Gaskin all year before his season ended with a knee injury.
Despite Washington being raw at the position his athletic talent is clear. Washington has great speed he ran a 4.4 40 at his pro day and has a track background. He also is elusive and has a nice lateral step. He is physical and is willing to stiff arm and power through would-be tacklers. Washington also has impressive hands. If a team decided to use him in an H-back role his value could be maximized through mismatched against linebackers.
New Detroit Lions RB Dwayne Washington learning playbook from afar - Detroit Free Press https://t.co/y6FMZ30Ksq— Lions Addicts (@LionsAddicts) May 18, 2016
How He Makes the Lions Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
It’s interesting that the Lions have put Washington at running back. While of course he has some rushing skills and has the potential to break one if he has some room he lacks some of the nuances that make a successful NFL running back such as vision, lateral quickness, and cutback ability and elusive moves. On paper, I also think Washington has a better chance at making the final 53 as the 5th or 6th WR. Even with the retirement of Calvin Johnson the Lions have the first 4 WR spots locked up with Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin, and TJ Jones. But there is competition at the 5th and 6th spot with former Redskin Andre Roberts, Corey Fuller, and half a handful of other rookies.
The Lions must like what they see in Dwayne Washington rushing the ball but he will have a hard time making the final 53 behind guys like Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Stevan Ridley, and Zach Zenner. Washington will have to show a lot in the Lions’ training camp or else he could find his way on the practice squad or even the casualty of final cuts.
The Redskins likely won't see Washington at all this year, if he somehow makes the final 53 he may make an appearance on special teams.