2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Darnell Washington

  • Darnell Washington, 6-7/270

  • Tight End

  • Georgia

  • Darnell Washington Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Phenomenal blocker
  • Developed blocking technique
  • Huge frame
  • Leaping ability
  • Red-zone weapon
  • Reliable hands
  • Soft hands
  • Mismatch size
  • Too big for safeties to cover
  • Dangerous at running after the catch
  • Breaks tackles downfield; gets yards after contact
  • Tough to get on the ground
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Athletic for his size
  • Adjusts well to the ball
  • Solid route-runnner
  • Finds the soft spots in zone coverage
  • Fearless in the middle of the field
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Adequate speed, although not overwhelming
  • Good, but not great, athlete

  • Summary: Georgia tight end Brock Bowers was one of the best players in college football over the past two seasons, and as a result, Washington went under the radar. However at just about any other school, Washington would have been the three-down starter and a consistent receiver in the passing game. As a rotational tight end for the Bulldogs, Washington flashed receiving ability with 28 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns. He had 10 catches for 154 yards and a score in 2021. Washington was a tremendous blocker for the Bulldogs, helping to open holes in the ground game and to protect quarterback Stetson Bennett.

    As a blocker, Washington is a force and is very special. He is like an extra offensive lineman with his ability to tie up and handle defenders. He has enough size and strength that he should win his blocks at the NFL level as well. Washington gives a relentless effort and demonstrates excellent technique. His blocking should improve with pro coaching, but he enters the NFL as a plus blocker and significantly better than most tight ends in the league. Washington is going to be a real asset to help open up running lanes and protect his pro quarterback.

    Washington possess mismatch potential for the passing game. With his height and length, he presents a size mismatch that makes him a valuable red-zone player. Washington does a nice job of using his frame to shield defenders from the ball and win on contested catches. He has reliable hands and is dangerous after the catch. Washington runs through tackles and picks up yards after contact downfield. In the open field, he will hurdle defensive backs, but he may want to generally avoid about that in the NFL because it will leave his body in a vulnerable state.

    Washington is dangerous at working the middle seam with quickness to get to the second level. Aided by solid route-running and his feel, he does a nice job of getting open. Washington tracks the ball well, adjusts to passes well, and is a real asset in the red zone. His NFL team is going to have Washington as a main stay in the red zone through his blocking and receiving ability. With his athletic upside, Washington’s best football is in front of him because he should improve as he gains experience.

    In the 2023 NFL Draft, Washington could be a first- or second-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Marcedes Lewis. Washington compares well to Lewis. They are almost identical in size, and Lewis (6-6, 267) is a superb blocker. Both have some receiving ability, but they are not prolific at racking up catches. Lewis has had an extremely long NFL career, and Washington could as well because of his prolific blocking skills.


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