Darnell Washington is one of the biggest stories heading into this year’s draft, and it’s fitting, given that he is literally one of the biggest players in this class. Officially measuring in at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 272 pounds at the Georgia Pro Day yesterday, Washington looks like a man amongst boys even when standing around fellow college football players.
His size has always been his X-factor. It definitely contributed to his high school recruitment. Coming out of Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, Washington boasted the highly sought-after five-star status. But it wasn’t just his size that set him apart.
This former five-star has been a father since before his commitment to Georgia. During his commitment at the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game, he had his daughter with him. Since then, he’s had another daughter, he told us yesterday at his Pro Day interview. Washington said, “I’ve been through a lot,” and that’s what has helped him build his maturity and humility, two traits he’s needed to hone in on in his time playing in college.
Even an athlete of his stature had to wait his turn at a place like the University of Georgia. He didn’t put up big numbers until his third and final year with the Dawgs. And when he wasn’t toting the rock, he was blocking. With his size and mobility in the trenches, he’s earned the title “the sixth offensive lineman” because of his relentless effort to get defenders off the ball and on the ground. It’s the dirty work, but to Washington, having the opportunity to play at all means everything.
“I just want to be an impact,” he said.
The juggernaut of a tight took the momentum he had from the 2022 season and brought it to Indianapolis, where he put up stellar numbers in the NFL Combine, a national stage. In the 40-yard dash and shuttle events, Washington ran a 4.64 and 4.08 second time at 264 pounds, nearly unprecedented results for someone of his size. In the drill, Darnell also showed out moving sleds like they were nothing and catching balls one-handedly with ease.
The next step, as mentioned earlier, is the NFL Draft, where Washington could make history as the highest-picked UGA tight end since Benjamin Watson, who was drafted 32nd overall by the New England Patriots. But in the mean time, he’s going to be spending time in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his two daughters and the rest of his family.