Darnell Washington, TE
School: Georgia | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21 (Week 1)
Height / Weight: 6’7” / 264 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late-1st to 2nd round
Player Comparison: Darren Fells / Mercedes Lewis
A two-sport athlete (basketball and football) coming out of high school, Darnell Washington was a 5-star recruit splitting time at tight end and defensive end. Washington was able to stand out in a loaded Georgia tight end room. He played in tandem with teammate Brock Bowers, who made for a 1-2 punch where Bowers was the primary receiver and Washington was primary blocker. But Washington was able to make the most of his opportunities as a receiver displaying great hands and catching capabilities.
Washington projects as an in-line traditional Y tight end. He’s an outstanding asset on running downs due to his blocking prowess and massive frame, but still has room for improvement. Scouts believe Washington can work in both gap and zone-blocking schemes. Even with a limited work as receiver, there are tools that make teams believe Washington can become a TE1.
- Mammoth body frame for the position.
- Impressive power, great at moving defenders in the run game.
- Great focus when catching the ball. Good body control to go with exceptional hands and catch radius.
- Tough to bring down after the catch,
- Receiving upside.
- Sloppy technique overall. Needs better footwork and hand-placement.
- Plods as he runs his routes.
- Unable to break off or sink into routes.
- Limited role as a receiver, only 45 targets in 3 years of playing time.
- Doesn’t create separation.
- Can improve in pass blocking.
Let’s See His Work
Darnell Washington runs a 4.65— Matt DeBary (@MattDeBary) March 5, 2023
There’s really nobody like him.
Darnell Washington pushing the sled then other TEs for reference.— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) March 5, 2023
Some GM is gonna get an extra OL who is also fast and can catch. pic.twitter.com/lIU20evvxV
Darnell Washington is a TE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.90 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 11 out of 1020 TE from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/nuPxNPNuDU #RAS pic.twitter.com/lhXwQE9qtg— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2023
How Will He Fit On The Team
Darnell Washington would have been the kind of tight end Rivera would have wished he had last season when the offense became more run-focused. It remains to be seen how Eric Bieniemy will reshape the offense but the tight end room could use another run blocker and receiving threat. Washington would give the Commanders another 6’6”+ TE with Cole Turner to abuse mismatches. Washington’s combination of blocking with sure hands and wide catch radius could separate him from the competition to be a TE2 in his rookie season. With more playing time and development, Darnell Washington can be a feature TE1 and matchup nightmare for years to come.