NFL Draft 2016 Scouting Report: RB DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech
*Our RB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.
*We use the term “Power RB” to separate physically bigger, more between-the-tackles–capable RBs from our “speed RBs” group. “Speed RBs” are physically smaller, but much faster/quicker, and less likely to flourish between the tackles.
My initial scouting reactions to watching a little tape to get familiar with DeAndre Washington pre–NFL Combine were fairly favorable. Not 'wow', but not bad. Pretty good, solid. His Combine numbers came in a little better than expected, and we felt like he was a decent RB prospect…mid-to-late-draft kind of RB prospect. However, after watching more of his tape in depth and looking over his entire prospect resume…I'm taking a step back and calling Washington 'OK' rather than 'pretty good'.
A reaction note I wrote down during my studies says it all, for me: 'More effort than talent'. It's the Branden Oliver syndrome. Mildly talented athlete who gives 150% effort. In college, 'mildly talented athlete' for the NFL is better than 99% of their opponents in college. A guy like Washington can out-hustle everyone, use his college+ skills to produce some nice numbers pre-NFL. The college game tape reveals the mediocre side – if you're looking deep enough.
He had some nice 2015 efforts against UTEP, TCU (in a shootout), Texas, and his best effort – 248 yards rushing and three TDs vs. Kansas State. All 100+ yard rushing games against that group, as well as accounting for 10 of his 14 rushing TDs last season. However, when you watch him against the better defenses he faced in 2015 – Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and LSU…different story. Different running back.
The better defenses had no problem containing Washington…and you could tell he was pretty outmatched and outclassed. Washington didn't have the 'it' to outrun or shift away from would-be tacklers against the better defenses. He's strong (24 bench reps at the NFL Combine), but he isn't a power runner at 5′8″/204…not a power runner in size or nature. He tries to finesse, juke his way through most trouble. It works occasionally versus lesser teams, not as much against the big boys he faced. His tape, against the likes of Baylor and Oklahoma State – it was bland. He worked hard, but just didn't have the 'it'.
People get excited because Washington caught a decent amount of passes out of the backfield – 31 receptions in 2014, 26 catches last year. Washington is nice in the screen game as needed but is not a gifted receiver in my book. I really thought I'd see a more fluid receiver out of the backfield. Washington is 'mediocre' catching the ball. Not a natural hands catcher, he tends to hoist it in to his body. He's not a back you'll send all over the field for inventive pass plays in the NFL. He's not that kind of receiving talent.
Washington is a similar version of Branden Oliver (UDFA from UAB to the Chargers). Coaches are going to love his effort. He's going to make an NFL team. He won't start, but when injuries hit, and he gets a chance, he might do OK for a spell. Over enough time, the mediocrity will be exposed, and the team will realize they don't have 'the next big thing' – just a warm body who tries hard. Force Washington in as a starter in the NFL, and he'll get you 3.5–4.0 yards a carry, maybe. He can catch a pass or two, but you won't mistake him for the team's franchise back in waiting.
Nice college talent. Average pro talent at best.
DeAndre Washington, Through the Lens of Our RB Scouting Algorithm:
Against Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and LSU last year, Washington posted a lackluster 64 carries for 265 yards (4.1 ypc) and two rushing TDs. 66.3 yards rushing per game.
He also caught 37.5 yards' worth of passes per game against that group of four teams (above) – a nice tally. Texas Tech went 0–4 against those four teams and lost by an average 27.5 yards…so stats were available, and Washington benefited from some simple dump-offs in heavy pass-attempt efforts in crushing defeats (Texas Tech attempted 56.3 passes per game in these four contests).
I used to think Washington's numbers were pretty decent, a possible sign of a next-level producer, but after watching him in this offense, and in the context of the games…I think his nice output from 2015 was more a 'crime of opportunity', and actually could be called "lacking" – more numbers/output was left for him to get. I'm not even sure he was the most talented RB on his team.
The most impressive thing about Washington's measurables: 24 reps on the bench press. By far the most reps among RB prospects under 205 pounds at the NFL Combine. He posted a solid 4.49 40-time, and a mediocre 7.03 three-cone. Overall, he's a better-than-average athlete/prospect at RB.
The Historical RB Prospects to Whom DeAndre Washington Most Compares Within Our System:
It's a rather lackluster group that our system sees Washington running with…backing up a theme that Washington is generally a lackluster prospect for the NFL.
I can't help but compare Washington to fellow rookie RB Wendell Smallwood. Very similar sized running backs, both day-three NFL Draft picks. With Smallwood, I was impressed with his instinct and toughness running inside for his size. He has decent hands for the passing game. He won't blow you away with athleticism, but he has a little extra 'it', a knack for the position. I saw none of that, comparing him to Smallwood, from Washington.
**Comparison Table and NFL Outlook comments available on the CFM Scouting Report Archives**
2020 College Football Metrics Season Coming Soon
It’s almost time…
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
More details and specific launch date as we get closer to the end of the 2019 regular season.
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