Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs that they needed to address. Unlike in 2022, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks without any glaring need on their roster.
With seven total picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: safety, pass rusher, wide receiver and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2023. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.
When the dust settled, the Steelers have selected offensive tackle Darnell Washington out of Georgia with their 3rd Round pick in the draft.
#Steelers draft Darnell Washington, Georgia tight end— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 29, 2023
For more information on Darnell Washington, this is from our BTSC Big Board:
I first took notice of Washington when the Bulldogs played Oregon in the 2022 season opener. On one play, the 6’7”, 270-pounder bulldozed one defender and promptly hurdled the next, an impressive feat of athleticism for a guy his size. Darnell Washington is simply a massive tight end, dwarfing any DBs trying to cover or tackle him and being a formidable blocker at the line of scrimmage. Washington is a fantastic run blocker with great want-to and road-grading efficiency. In pass protection he’s good as well but his lack of great lateral mobility can hamper his effectiveness. Still, he’s leagues above where most rookie tight ends grade out in blocking as a whole. As a pass-catcher Washington displays incredible athleticism for his size, and his long stride makes him faster than you’d expect. Washington isn’t a super twitchy athlete, but he is a mismatch against linebackers with his speed and against corners with his size. He’s sure-handed as well. He does lack the smooth athleticism of a true elite pass-catching tight end like Kyle Pitts, as Washington has more of a lumbering run. His production isn’t stellar either but it seems like that was due to Georgia’s depth and scheme more than anything. Don’t overthink it – Washington is not only one of the best blocking tight ends in this class, but he’s still a very solid receiver with sky-high upside. At the moment he looks like a second rounder, but a good day at the combine could give Washington some first round hype.
As for more of a prospect breakdown, this is what The Draft Network had to say about Washington:
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Outstanding height and weight combination
- Pass catching upside
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Labored out of breaks
- Lack of production
Size (NFL Combine):
Weight: 264 lbs
Arm Length: 34 5/8”
Hand Size: 11”
Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):
40-yard Dash: 4.64s
Vertical Jump: 31”
Broad Jump: 10′ 2”
Bench Reps: 21 reps
Ideal Role: Starting tight end
Scheme Fit: Run-oriented with heavy play-action
What do you think about the pick of Darnell Washington? Let us know in the poll below:
What do you think of the Steelers 3rd Round pick of Darnell Washington?
This poll is closed
For more information on the Steelers 3rd Round pick of Darnell Washington, check out the Breaking News podcast in the player below: