The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted Georgia TE Darnell Washington with the No. 93 overall pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Standing at 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, Washington is a mammoth at the tight end position. He should quickly become a great run blocker in the NFL next season, and his peerless route-running ability makes him one of the most underrated at his position in this year’s draft class. At Georgia, he was a key member of one of the best TE trios in NCAA history that included Brock Bowers and Arik Gilbert, so he’s clearly no stranger to excelling in a co-tight end role. That said, he’s more than capable of establishing a larger role in the future if given the opportunity.
He has great speed and athleticism for his size, posting a 91 athleticism score (second-best among TEs). His presence should provide various advantages for the offense, even when he doesn’t receive targets.
Washington produced well for the Bulldogs throughout their repeat as national champions in the 2022-23 season. He appeared in 15 games — catching 28 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns. Not the most eye-popping numbers, of course, but pretty impressive nonetheless competing for snaps with talented players like Bowers and Gilbert.
Earning second-team All-SEC honors last year, Washington was a consistent figure in the Georgia offense, and very likely could’ve done a whole lot more if his team wasn’t always playing with a positive run script. He ended his three-year college career with 45 total receptions, 774 yards and three touchdowns.
How can Darnell Washington impact the Steelers in 2023?
Washington fell in the third round due to an apparent knee injury. This could sideline him for the start of 2023, but we really just don’t know the extent of the issue. Regardless, he will be slotting in behind Pat Freiermuth whenever he is healthy. Washington is a physical player that has upside as a blocker. This could get him on the field to help protect quarterback Kenny Pickett and open up the run game for Najee Harris.