This class is filled with talent and will bring great value to your dynasty squad for the foreseeable future. Dave Heilman (@DynastyDorks) and I (@FFBourbonDude) will discuss the following tight ends and if you’re interested in listening in to our initial pre-combine breakdowns, get to our YouTube Channel and check out our 2023 Draft Profiles.
Our pre-draft consensus rankings are as follows:
- Michael Mayer
- Dalton Kincaid
- Luke Musgrave
- Darnell Washington
- Sam LaPorta
This write-up is about our consensus number four tight end in the 2023 rookie class, Darnell Washington. So let’s get into it.
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Darnell Washington – NFL Rookie Draft and Dynasty Watch
Darnell Washington was a highly sought-after five-star TE in the 2020 class. He had offers from 35 teams that included Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson, LSU, and Michigan.
After a commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs, he played very little and then insert Brock Bowers, end of the story. Darnell Washington is a monster from a size and speed perspective. He was a varsity basketball player for Desert Pines in Las Vegas which leads to his ability to use his frame to box out defenders.
Height – 6’7″
Weight – 270 pounds
Darnell Washington never really got the opportunity to shine for the Bulldogs because four-star recruit Brock Bowers became the best TE in college football in recent memory. To no fault of Washington’s, he did lose out on the opportunity but when given it, he shined. He averaged 30 yards per catch his freshman season, 17.5 yards per catch his sophomore season, and 16.1 yards per catch his junior season which was good for 2nd among tight ends with 30 or more targets.
Not only does Washington tower at 6’7″ but he also has the speed to go with being a big guy. I expect his speed score to be off the charts. He also has a massive catch radius to go with his size, which will make him a big-time red zone threat, given the opportunity.
Seems to really be a good pass blocker as he has developed over the years at Georgia. Per PFF, he progressed each year as a pass blocker.
He is an excellent threat to the seams with his large frame, wingspan, and speed. This is evidenced by his massive career yards per catch.
Like a few of the other tight ends in this class, we are projecting what we could see from him at the next level. His production at Georgia was lacking due to the arrival of Bowers.
Washington is a solid run blocker. However, with the size he has and the leverage he could get on linebackers because of his wingspan, he should be better here. I would love to see some additional development here where he is locked in as an every-down tight end.
As stated before, Darnell Washington is huge, which will limit his ability to sink his hips to get into and out of breaks. Coordinators will need to be aware of this limitation and use him accordingly.