4. Fabian Washington, Nebraska 5'10", 188 4.29 (40 Time)
NFL Comparison- Fred Smoot, Minnesota
A junior, who was a three-year starter, but could have used an extra season to work on his technique and tackling. Started 11 of 13 games a true freshman in 2002, all 13 as a sophomore and 11 more as a junior. Last year he totaled 41 tackles, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Against the pass-
This is the area where Washington will have to find his niche in the NFL. He is a pure finesse, cover-corner who will use his speed and athleticism while covering wideouts. He lacks ideal height and strength, therefore bigger wide receivers can out muscle him. He has a fluid hip turn and he breaks very well on the ball. His 4.29 speed was the fastest at the combine and his personal workouts have raised several eyebrows in the scouting community.
Against the run-
Washington is a liability plain and simple in run support. He shies away from contact and does not fill very hard. He lacks ideal toughness and doesn't put his body into his tackles, preferring to drag down ball carriers instead of making them pay.
Roster impact on Seattle-
While Washington is a superior athlete, his lack of ideal height, strength and toughness reminds some of Smoot who, while being a coveted cover man, is non-existent in run support. The Seahawks defense relies on its corners to come up against run support and be a presence, Washington does not fit that mold. He is an ideal slot corner, who may never see the starting lineup.
With his speed alone, Washington propelled himself into the late first or early second round. If he was tougher or a little taller, he would be a top ten player, however he isn't so most teams will look at him the second round. His liability as a tackler and in the running game may make teams weary of drafting him. You could see some slippage, but his speed will probably prevent a big fall. Keep an eye on teams like Arizona, Cleveland and Tennessee early in round two, who will likely pass on corners in round one, but would be delighted with an athlete of Washington's caliber in round two.
Cover corners are a dying breed in the NFL. So many of today's defenses rely on corners to be solid tacklers and with big receivers being just as athletic and fast as the smaller ones, a corner who isn't physical usually doesn't make much of an impact. Washington must develop more toughness and better technique if he hopes to be a starter in the league, but even if he doesn't he could be a solid slot corner in nickel situations.
.NET Reporter Scott
Eklund writes for Seahawks.NET every week. Feel free to contact him at email@example.com.
.NET Draft Spotlight: Fabian Washington
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