The 2016 NFL Draft will soon be upon dynasty fantasy football owners, so it is important to get to know many of the potential assets. Today I will be discussing the former Texas Tech running back, DeAndre Washington. Some fantasy pundits may discount him due to his size, but this is a talented back who might make an impact year one. After reviewing his games against TCU, Oklahoma State (2014), UTEP (2014), and the Senior Bowl game and practices, here are my thoughts him.
RB-DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech 5′ 8″ 204 lbs.
Cons: The first thing that jumps out is his size. Washington is not a large man at 5′ 8″ 204 lbs and he is physically maxed out of his frame. Will he have enough quicks in the NFL to make up for his size? It depends if he is in a zone blocking offense or not. He has some ball security issues fumbling five times his senior year. That wasn’t an issue until this season (one fumble per season before this one), but it is concerning. How much of his production is a result of the Texas Tech offensive scheme versus the back’s natural talents? The major thing that concerns me is Washington goes down quickly once a defender makes contact. NFL rushers need to always keep their legs churning.
Pros: Washington has amazing balance with great body bend that makes it easy for him to squirt out of small openings in the line of scrimmage and run to daylight. He got blessed with quick, bouncy feet that help him accelerate out of breaks which makes it harder to contain him. The back moves with amazing lateral agility (might be faster side to side than straight ahead), jump cuts with ease, and has the vision to find the cutback lane to make defense pay. The start/stop ability that he has makes him extremely dangerous in the open field or following his blockers. Washington sets defenders up with spins, hurdles, shoulder shakes, and even stiff-arms to create separation in space.
Despite his size, he is a solid goal-line/short yardage back who gets low in the hole and find a way to fall forward. When it comes to the passing game, this runner has great experience. He anchors and steps up to take on defenders rushing the passer. As a receiver, Washington has soft hands and can get into the flat in a hurry. The young back has over 120 catches in his college career, so he is more seasoned than most in the passing game.
Overall thoughts: There is a lot to like in Washington’s game, but his size and inflated college scheme cause some concerns. I still have him in my top fifteen rookie backs and his value could rise or fall depending on the situation. He reminds me of a bigger Chris Thompson (Washington’s third down back).
Thanks for reading.
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