Projected 40-Time: 4.60
Star Rating: Grade: 90
Draft Projection: 2nd Round
Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:
85-100 = 1st - 2nd
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th
_55-69 = 5th - 6th
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA
Strengths: Washington is an explosive, hardworking defender who, despite his size, can play all three linebacker positions. He possesses outstanding straight-line speed and the lateral agility to alter his path of attack instantly. He quickly diagnoses the action and is forceful at the line of scrimmage. He has great awareness and recognition skills, as well as the closing speed to pursue sideline-to-sideline. He’s effective in space, gets good depth on his drops, has the athleticism to defend receivers that come through his zone and reads the quarterback to make a play on the ball. He displays patience and intelligence as a blitzer, uses his narrow frame to blade through the gap and is able to generate pressure on the quarterback. He will not only be a valuable linebacker at the next level, but he will provide great coverage on special teams. He’s a high character individual and a team leader.
Weaknesses: He lacks prototypical size for a linebacker and has to improve his upper-body strength. He plays overly aggressive at times and tends to get caught out of position. He has to improve his tackling technique; he must learn to go low, rather than attacking high. He reacts well in coverage, but doesn’t have the consistent ball skills to create turnovers. He has limited experience as a starter.Steuber Says: Washington has been a solid contributor during his four-year career at TCU, but has just one-year of starting experience, which came during the 2009 season. The 6-foot-2, 226-pound Washington had a breakout season this past year and recorded a team-high 109 tackles, 11 for a loss, two sacks and three interceptions. Washington’s speed and versatility will make him an attractive option for teams in the second round, but it’s his size that’s concerning. Prior to the ’09 season, Washington was known for his tremendous special teams play, and, while he had the ability to be a starter, he was buried on the depth chart and starred in a situational role. Moving forward, Washington can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3 at the next level because of the intangibles he brings to the field. But it’s likely that he will start his career in the NFL the same way he did in college, as a situational defender and a special teams ace.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: email@example.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.