NFL, Read

NFL Draft Profile: Darnell Washington

School: Georgia

Position: TE

Year: Junior

The Good: Washington is absolutely enormous at 6’7”, 270lbs, and his play strength matches his measurables. Washington is an incredible lead blocker, and he’s a reliable blocker on the line of scrimmage too. He has a sturdy base, effectively seals the edge, and can smoothly work off one block to another. Washington has a surprising amount of twitch for his size, and the results were terrifying when Georgia was able to get the ball into his hands. He’s laughably hard to tackle. I also loved to see that he worked to get open when given reps as a receiver. 

The Bad: Washington isn’t nearly as instinctual as a receiver compared to his instincts as a blocker. He doesn’t have the softest hands, and he didn’t look natural in the few chances he got on the receiving end of quick timing throws. Despite his height, Washington isn’t exactly the “throw it up” type; he can win contested catches but he isn’t Jimmy Graham out there. Washington is plenty effective as a blocker from the Y alignment, but he’s got more to clean up there compared to how he plays from the H-back setup. He can tend to lock his knees once engaged, and there were times where he looked slow to down block. 

The Bottom Line: Washington’s skillset and versatility make him genuinely unique, so whoever lands him will have a player in their offense that requires specific gameplanning. He’s like Vonta Leach as a lead blocker meets Martellus Bennett as a ball carrier. Despite a middling stat line as a receiver – 28 receptions/454 yards/2 TDs – Washington was extremely productive during Georgia’s most recent championship season. I cannot stress enough how many big plays and TDs his blocking or merely his presence sprung in that offense. Washington might not log a 100% snap count at his size, but there’s a place for him across multiple personnel packages and he plays extremely hard. You can tell that he’s a beloved teammate. Washington definitely won’t be every team’s cup of tea as a first round prospect, but he’ll rank very highly on certain draft boards so he’s going to be selected in the first round – as he should.

Grade: Mid First Round

Pro Comp: Marcedes Lewis

Games Watched:

  • Oregon 2022
  • Missouri 2022
  • Mississippi State 2022
  • LSU 2022

Plays That Matter [LINK]


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