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Why Darnell Washington Will Go in the First Round

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updated 17 Aug 2023

Darnell Washington, the tight end out of the University of Georgia, coming in at 6'7" and 264 lbs. At Georgia he hauled in 28 catches for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns. He fully acknowledges that his production is below what it should be. He actually went to the University of Georgia to work on his blocking, he wanted to go the brand name school to learn from the best and knew that "there is only one football" and he was going to be competing against the best for the Football. He compares himself to Mercedes Lewis, who just finished up his 17th Season in the NFL. He had exceptional production in highschool and its the part of his game he looks forward to unlocking the most. He believes he could be very dangerous with the ball in his hands.

“I feel like I’ve got lots of untouched talent when it comes to that area. In high school, I was getting the ball 60 times a season. Coming from there to college, not so much in that area. When I tap into that potential, I think it’s going to be crazy to see.”

Darnell Washington is a Monster

Measurables

Darnell ran a 4.64 40 yard dash, with 1.57 splits, and 4.08 20 yard shuttle. The only other player among WR's and Tight Ends that ran a better 20 yard shuttle was Jaxon Smith Njigba, who is the best change of direction player in the draft and 70 pounds lighter. This time ranked 5th all time among tight ends to run the shuttle.

Weight adjusted speed he is in the top 17% of this draft.

He has 11 inch hands.

Darnell Washington Measureables 26:18

Why he belongs in the first round

While this is a loaded tight end draft class with more polished guys like Micheal Mayer and Dalton Kincaid, it is actually considered and fairly weak class on wide receivers. The most receivers to ever go in the first round was 7 and the most tight ends to ever go in the first round was 3. But this years receiving class and quarterback class look weak, with no more then 4 QB's expected to go in first round and no more then 4, maybe 5 receivers to go in the first round. Tights ends like Mayer, Washington and Kincaid do not come around every year, and this years receivers are consensus 2nd rounders in previous years.

Particularly with Washington, while he is unpolished, he has Gronk like potential. He bucks the trend of 6'4 230 lb receiving tight end that line up in the slot and aren't in on run plays or aren't incredibly effective blockers. He is truly 1 of kind with his size. Some people think he could play tackle if he wanted to, and he has the speed measureless of a wide receiver Who is going to tackle this guy?! Yes Mayer runs better routes and can block, Dalton Kincaid is faster and has better hands. But Darnell has size that can't be taught that will be a force to reckon on play action, do you cover, or play the run? He is the only Tight End in this draft with gold jacket potential. Not a glorified big body receiver. Yes his floor is lower, but his ceiling is unmatched by any of the tight ends or receivers in this draft. What linebacker or safety is taking the ball away from him when he settles down in the zone, who is bringing him down. He is truly a matchup nightmare that teams will have to plan for, only player in recent history that compares is Rob Gronkowski.