Texas Christian Senior
PROS: Has good speed and range, and can make plays in pursuit. He moves well in space and has the speed and quickness to match up in man coverage with most backs and tight ends. Gets good depth on his zone drops and comfortable there in coverage. Does a good job shooting gaps and making stops in the backfield. Flashes potential as a blitzer in that regard. Has a good nose for the ball, and can make the tackle at the point of attack. Has decent pop as a tackler, with good closing burst. Is tough, tenacious.
CONS: Struggles at the point of attack too often. Has trouble getting off blocks and limited vs. the inside run. Gets caught up in traffic too often. Will miss some tackles in the open field, and needs to take better angles. Can be a bit undersized as a tackler at times.
OVERVIEW: He impresses with his speed, range, and potential in coverage. He's a smart player that works well as a rangy, playmaker in TCU's hybrid scheme.
NFL FORECAST: Washington has the potential to fit in a variety of schemes. He needs to bulk up as he measured 8 pounds lighter than what he was listed at TCU. But if he does so, he should be able to fit in most schemes. I think he'll have the best fit in a 4-3 scheme on the weakside. He's best working in space and in pursuit. But he could also work in the middle there, because teams will like his speed, range, and coverage ability. He'll flash Nick Barnett-like skills there, but I think he'll be most effective in the middle if he plays in a Tampa-2 scheme and has big defensive tackles to keep blockers off him. He'll just be too inconsistent defending the inside run unless he bulks up significantly. He won't be on par with a player like Barnett, instead he'll probably be more like Will Witherspoon as a MLB. Witherspoon was effective for a year, but it's obvious that he's better outside than inside. He could also work in the 3-4 at inside linebacker, but agains he's undersized for that role. He'll play a fast, rangy player in the same mold as Jerod Mayo, but like Mayo will have issues at the point of attack. With his smarts, speed, range, and toughness, he'll manage to stick somewhere. But I'd want him to be at least 15 pounds bigger in order to play inside at the next level. He won't be a top linebacker, but if he'll be a good running mate for a top-level guy.
ATL FORECAST: Washington would fit nicely in Atlanta. He could play the weakside behind Peterson. He could use his rookie year to put on some muscle, all the while spelling Lofton or Peterson in nickel situations. He's good enough to be able to play as a starter in 2011, and would be a nice teammate for Lofton. HIm putting on the 10-15 pounds of muscle as a rookie I think would be critical for his future success. He can be a solid starter, a guy that could routinely give the Falcons 80-100 tackles. He won't be a great playmaker, but can be active, and offset other guys deficiencies in coverage.
VALUE: Washington is a nice mid-to-late second round pick. If he was 10-15 pounds bigger, he'd make a solid Top 50 guy.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 2.5
PASS RUSH: 2.5
Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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