2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Adolphus Washington
Adolphus Washington, 6-3/297
Adolphus Washington Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Quick, disruptive defender
Interior pass-rush skills
Fast to fire his gap
Gets a lot of pressure on the quarterback
Can bull rush
Closes well on the quarterback
Can hold his gap against runs
Skilled at shedding blocks
Can split two blockers
Speed to the flat
Stays low out of his stance
Can swim off blocks
Good fit as a three-technique in a 4-3
Fits as a five-technique in a 3-4
Needs more active hands
Could get stronger for runs coming straight at him
Summary: In 2015, all the attention was on Joey Bosa because of what he did during Ohio State's National Championship run in 2014, but Washington was arguably the Buckeyes most consistent defensive lineman last fall. The previous year, teammate Michael Bennett also received more acclaim, but NFL teams have really liked what they've seen from Washington.
Washington totaled five sacks over his a sophomore and freshman years as a backup for Ohio State before becoming a starter as a junior. In 2014, he had 48 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes batted and one forced fumble. As a senior, Washington recorded 49 tackles with seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, a forced fumble and a pick-six. Bosa had all the attention, but on a weekly basis, Washington was causing havoc at the line of scrimmage.
At the Senior Bowl, Washington had an impressive week. He dominated the first practice, killing the offensive linemen in the one-on-ones with explosion out of his stance, speed to close, strength to shed blocks and speed-to-power. In the following days, Washington wasn't as overwhelming, but he still won a lot of reps and was very tough on offensive lineman.
From a skill-set perspective, Washington has excellent speed at the point of attack. He bursts out of stance with explosion to fire his gap. His quickness often takes offensive linemen by surprise, which puts them in a bad position to prevent him penetrating the backfield. That speed makes Washington an effective interior pass-rusher, a tough commodity to find for the NFL.
As a pro, Washington will be on the field to get after the quarterback. With his quickness at the point of attack and ability to get to the signal-caller, he has Pro Bowl potential and could produce quality sack totals in the NFL.
Washington is at his best when he uses his speed to get upfield. He needs to get a stronger for defending downhill runs coming straight at him. On some plays, Washington can hold his ground well, but others, he can get held up from making a play. Getting stronger to defend the run is the biggest point of improvement for the NFL.
In terms of scheme, Washington's best fit would come as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense, but he also has enough length to play end in a 3-4 defense. He could kick inside in passing situations.
Off the field, Washington did some damage to himself with an arrest for solicitation before his final college game. He was suspended as a result. In speaking with team sources they didn't think the incident would hurt him significantly by the time of the 2016 NFL Draft, but some teams could be more strict. Washington is on the bubble of the first and second round.
Player Comparison: Kawann Short. I really liked Short in the 2013 NFL Draft and thought he was a first-round-caliber prospect. He's turned into an excellent defensive lineman for the Panthers. Washington and Short (6-3, 315) are similar size. After spending time in a NFL strength program, Washington could play at a similar weight to Short. I believe that Washington will be similar with an ability to immediately contribute to putting heat on the quarterback, but not be as good as Short has become for Carolina. Both players have the speed to be impact three-techniques that fire past guards to get to the quarterback. Short went in the second round of the 2013 draft and Washington shouldn't go any lower than the second round of this year's draft.
NFL Matches: Arizona, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Detroit, New York Giants, Cincinnati, Oakland and New Orleans
There are a lot of teams that could take Washington in the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft. Late on Day 1, Cincinnati could be a fit. The Bengals could use another tackle to pair with Geno Atkins. Brandon Thompson and Devon Still didn't turn into starters, while Domata Peko is aging and declining. Cincinnati also has taken a lot of players with off-the-field issues.
Washington could also be in play for the Cardinals. They have to replace Darnell Dockett and want to improve their pass rush this offseason. Washington could form a nice duo with Calais Campbell. The Seahawks could use an interior pass-rusher as well. Both Arizona and Seattle have been willing to take players with off-the-field issues.
The Broncos locked up Derek Wolfe, but they will be looking hard at defensive line talent in this draft. Antonio Smith and Vance Walker aren't long-term players, while some other defensive lineman aren't far from free agency. Considering Denver took Shane Ray a year ago, Washington could be a fit for the Super Bowl champs.
In the second round, there are a lot of options for Washington. The Cowboys could grab some interior defensive-line talent and Washington would be a good fit for Rod Marinelli. The Lions badly need to upgrade their defensive tackles. Even if Detroit takes a tackle in Round 1, the team, could double up at the position in Round 2.
Oakland could use an interior pass-rusher to pair with heavy nose tackle Justin Ellis. The Giants, meanwhile, need to get more pass rush out of their defensive line. End is a bigger need than tackle, but Washington could be tempting for New York to upgrade its pass rush in the second round.
The Saints have to upgrade their defense, and Washington would give them an interior rusher, which they don't really have.