Fitting the Bills: Darnell Washington TE Georgia
Updated: Mar 30
Height: 6065 Weight: 264 RAS: 9.85
Washington is a massive traditional in line TE with freakish athletic ability. He is by far the best blocking TE in the class with a huge catch radius with oven mitt hands and an elite combination of size and athleticism. Given the wealth of weapons at Georgia, Washington was underutilized as a receiver but when targeted he was effective, boasting a 17.2 yards per catch average over his career.
Darnell is a walking mismatch that will stress defenses out trying to decide whether to add personnel to the box to stop the run or to stop the run or pass, given his true dual threat ability as a blocker and receiver. The fact that he has had to fight his way through to get the ball and more playing time, has given him that edge to fight to compete. His excitement and love of the game comes through when watching him play. As Beane said, when talking about Allen, you can see he has that "Gives a Shit" attitude. He loves being playing physical and takes as much pride in running through or, jumping over and opponent as a receiver as he does burying them on a block. A player of his size and athleticism who plays with that kind of passion and nastiness is a future star in the making. Off the field, he is humble and soft spoken but between the white stripes he is an intimidator.
The Bills could pair him with Knox, and utilize much more 12 personnel. He has an near identical athletic profile as OJ Howard, who they had visions of pairing with Knox last season. I still think they would like to add a TE, like Washington, who will effectively extend the line of scrimmage, but also could be that X factor in the passing game. Howard would free up Knox to be more involved in the passing game, and both are versatile enough to give the Bills multiple options with the same look, thus forcing teams to commit to stop the run or pass. It is important, given Allen's desire to roam the backfield, and run, and James Cooks ability to spread the field out wide, to elongate the line of scrimmage. Washington, when in-line will serve as that 6th offensive lineman. The Bills deployed Bobby Hart to do exactly this to help the run game, but when he came in the game, teams knew the Bills intended to run the ball. With Washington, the threat of pass will still in play.
I have beaten the drum that the Bills need to find a play-maker for the offense that will strike fear in opposing coaches, so they can't simply focus on pressuring Josh and jamming Diggs. That added weapon can be a WR, RB or in this case, a dual threat giant Tight end who has incredible upside potential. While OJ Howard is the physical comp for him, there are times on tape, you can see a young Antonio Gates type ability. Darnell Washington is going to make some GM look brilliant, lets hope it is BBB.