NFL Draft 2023: Darnell Washington would be a perfect fit for the Eagles offense

Howie Roseman
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 24: Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is pictured during the National Football League game between the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles on November 24, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

With a pressing need at TE2, there is one prospect who ticks every single box the Eagles could possibly have – Darnell Washington.

The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching and it feels like a special one if you’re an Eagles fan. The Birds are sitting on a nest including two first-round picks which should give them their pick of the litter. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be value in the rounds beyond, and Darnell Washington is a name that has to have caught the eyes of Howie Roseman.

Who is Darnell Washington?

While he’s slated to go in the late-first round, Washington isn’t an overly popular name among casual circles. It might have something to do with the fact he only had 454 receiving yards for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2022 in comparison to the likes of Michael Mayer who put up close to double that for Notre Dame. But make no mistake, Washington is somewhat of a Unicorn.

Standing at 6’7, 264 lbs, Washington is an absolute behemoth. This is especially helpful in run-blocking, where his monstrous frame is able to rip through linebackers and edge-rushers with ease. On pins and pulls, Washington is borderline unstoppable and with the Eagles having such an aggressive focus on running the ball, his dominant frame would be an excellent addition.

He does lack as a receiver, but does it really matter? Washington posted a RAS grade of 9.88 and ran a 4.65 40-yard dash…as a 6’7, 267 pounder. He’s a freak athlete and if there’s one thing that Howie Roseman loves, it’s an athletic anomaly.

Why Darnell Washington fits the Eagles

The two-time national champ is still very much growing as a receiver. He won’t be breaking ankles anytime soon as much as he will simply be tearing down a seam and mauling over anyone that gets in his way, but the Eagles don’t need a 500+ yard receiver. They already have an elite receiving TE in Dallas Goedert.

Goedert was special because he could block as well as he could catch. This allowed Zach Ertz to maintain the TE1 spot while the SDSU product grew behind him. Where Washington is special is the fact that he’s not only a dominant blocker, but he has the frame of someone who could maybe, just maybe, transition to a tackle spot in the future.

Darnell washington
Dallas Goedert has been a staple of the Eagles offense since he was drafted back in 2018 Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

He’s around 70-80 lbs lighter than would be optimal, but there’s a lot of growing room in the body of the 21-year-old if he so choose to bulk. It’s a slim possibility, but one that has to intrigue a coaching staff that grows enamored with versatile players who can cross-train.

They’ve already experimented with a bigger TE in Tyree Jackson, but they’re yet to see anyone his size who can block like a tackle.

The impact Darnell Washington could have

The presence of Washington would allow the Eagles to run far more 12-personnel, which is lethal in its own right. Having 3 wideouts on the field and what feels like an extra lineman is basically a cheat code when you’ve got an offense that’s already incredibly dynamic.

Should the Eagles target Darnell Washington?

Darnell Washington wouldn’t be a guaranteed home-run pick, but you’re taking a stellar blocking TE who can potentially cross-train under Jeff Stoutland and who can refine his receiving tendencies and increase his understanding of route-running under Dallas Goedert.

It’s also worth noting that he would be reuniting with both Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis. The Eagles showed an affinity for pre-existing chemistry last year and if that theme continues, then adding Darnell Washington would be a no-brainier.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire