[Fiche Draft] Darnell Washington (TE): the fantasy


Darnell Washington – Tight-End – 21 years old – Junior – Georgia

Size : 2m04
Weight : 120 kg
Estimated draft position: 20-50
Stats 2022: 454 yards and 2 touchdowns
NFL Comparison: Jelani Woods (Colts)

Darnell Washington offers a profile almost identical to that of Jelani Woods: same size, same wingspan, same speed (4.61 seconds for Woods, 4.64 for Washington over 40 yards). If you can read comparisons to Marcedes Lewis (ex Packers), Jelani Woods’ more athletic profile is a much better projection.

Strong points

– Immense
– High level blocker
– Potential

If he is not yet an accomplished player, Darnell Washington represents a fantasy at the position of tight end for the NFL staffs: the one who can allow favorable matches (advantageous duels): it is too imposing for these adversaries!

In 2022, watching from the stands or on a screen, a view overlooking the field showed a Georgia attack with six players on the offensive line. In truth, the 6th man was a tight end.

Able to protect his quarterback as in 2021 against Will Anderson (Alabama), Darnell Washington is above all very valuable for the ground game: by blocking an opponent on the line of engagement or stalling on the second curtain.

In the air, his size and wingspan make him a prime target for a quarterback. And once the ball in hand, its size that NCAA defenders had a hard time tackling: 16.2 yards per reception.

Size, size, size, Darnell Washington also ticks the physical attribute of « big hands »: of the 319 players present at the NFL Combine 2023, only two offensive linemen had hands larger than his! Enough to catch all the balloons: in theory.

Weak points

– Receiver techniques
– The defects of its qualities

If he is chosen on the Saturday of the draft (rounds 4 to 7), a tight-end can justify this choice by being a good blocker, even if little more. To be selected in the first two rounds, a TE must also bring into the aerial game.

In a Georgia attack that ran more than it threw, Darnell Washington was invaluable at blocking: he was fielded twice as much as In Line TE (next to a tackle to block) than in the slot (to catch the ball).

He was associated with a much faster player in this position: Brock Bowers, future star of the 2024 draft. The latter was twice as targeted by his quarterback as Washington! So inevitably, there is a lack of reception games and therefore of technique to do this: 5 drops in 45 receptions, a percentage that needs to improve to contribute to the NFL.

His size means he has the physical advantage every time. But this template also has its downside: it offers a body surface that a defender cannot miss! If he knows how to advance despite the contact, Darnell Washington, by his size, is a target that a linebacker and a safety will grab every time!

Its potential makes us fantasize but its current level and its atypical size also make it a risk: the higher will be its spot during the draft, the higher the risk.

The course

Experiencing sudden growth at 16, Darnell Washington became the star of his high school in the eastern suburbs of Las Vegas. This year 2018, the football and basketball teams won the Nevada state championship and he was a major part of it in both cases.

University scholarship offers then began to arrive: Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Auburn, Florida State, Clemson, LSU etc. In short, only superpowers!

Darnell Washington was a 5-star recruit in 2020! Behind Bryan Bresee (1st) and Bryce Young (2nd), but still the 23rd high school student in this huge country: just behind linebacker Drew Sanders (his video presentation) and ahead of receiver Kayshon Boutte.

Enough to look forward to better days: growing up in a family of 8 children with a single mother, Darnell Washington experienced many more or less precarious homes, including foster homes for families in difficulty. An NFL contract will then represent an unusual financial windfall for him: enough to be able to take care of his family and in particular his 4-year-old daughter.

Possible destinations

Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys

Darnell Washington is the very definition of the term prospect (project). Its attributes and the potential that it suggests is very attractive. But, there is a but  » ! Any bet carries a risk and the player from Georgia confirms this evidence.

Known for using two tight ends in his attack (12 Staff), Doug Pederson will no doubt want to add a complementary player from Evan Engram, in order to help young Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. The Cincinnati Bengals just let Hayden Hurts go. Joe Burrow has very good receivers but this is less the case for his “close receiver”.

The Raiders must replace Darren Waller and Foster Moreau, while strengthening the power of the 1st offensive curtain: Austin Hooper is especially valuable for his ability to receive and not as a blocker. As a bonus, they would add with choice 38 a « kid » from the area since Darnell Washington was born and raised in Las Vegas. His extraordinary physique could also seduce Mike Vrabel to make him the perfect complement to Chigoziem Okonkwo in Nashville or the Dolphins of an orphan Tua Tagovailoa by Mike Gesicki.

Deprived of Robert Tonyan and starting a new cycle with Jordan Love in the lead, the Packers could provide him with a target he can’t miss. The manager, Brian Gutekunst, seems more interested in young people trained at the University of Georgia (Stokes, Wyatt, Walker).


Laisser un commentaire