I tuned into the combine yesterday just in time to catch Cornelius Washington’s vertical jump. I had no idea who he was. He was standing there getting ready for his high jump, and I’m just wondering if he might be able to beat Robert Turbin in an arm wrestling contest, because the guy was ripped like an action hero from a comic book. Within half a second I noticed that Washington stood out athletically, just from his build and muscle tone. But even thinking to myself that he looked like the best athlete up there, I had no idea he was just about to destroy the combine to the extent that he would.
Washington posted one of the best vertical jumps of all front seven participants: 39″. He then clocked an official 4.55 forty, which was the best of the entire defensive end group. Officially listed at outside linebacker, Washington is 6’4″, 265 pounds and has 34″ arms. He’s clearly more of a defensive end than a linebacker, although he has the movement skills to play either one. Washington’s 10’8″ broad jump was tied for the best among all defensive ends (Barkevious Mingo, Devin Taylor). His 10 yard split was 1.60, which was narrowly beaten by several ends but is still considered pretty good. Washington then left everyone (except Margus Hunt) in the dust with 36 reps on the bench press, a number that was far ahead of the front seven pack. Washington looked fast during drills. I personally thought that only Auburn’s Corey Lemonier moved quicker during drills.
Basically, Cornelius Washington just had the combine that everyone thought his teammate (Alec Ogletree) would have. Actually, it was probably better than even that.
…Cornelius Washington, the hybrid linebacker/defensive end from Georgia. He had a solid week at the Senior Bowl and an even better Senior Bowl game yet he came to Indy as a sixth- or seventh-round player. He can rush the passer and he just ran 4.50.
He is moving up draft boards. One defensive coordinator said, “This is the kind of guy I came to Indy to find. Now I’ll go back and study him. We’re all looking for the Bruce Irvin in this draft.”
Despite playing for a major program like Georgia and being a phenomenal athlete, Washington has registered only 10 total sacks over four seasons at Georgia. He’s probably been moved around to play linebacker some, which hurts his production, but his tackles and tackles for loss numbers aren’t high either. Georgia is loaded with pass rusher talent, so it’s not unthinkable that Washington could have been buried on that roster to some degree.
As of today, there aren’t any game compilations of Washington on youtube. The best I could find was this brief highlight, and also a team highlight reel that probably give you 20-30 snaps with #83 on it. I guess you could go through Jarvis Jones’ and Alec Ogletree’s videos looking for him too. In a year where even small school prospects are usually getting compilation videos, Washington doesn’t have one. Maybe because he’s never really produced enough in a game to merit the effort?
Grading Washington’s draft stock is really hard to do. Not only is he lacking production, but the games he has played in haven’t given evaluators a ton to go off of. But that said, he sure looked a hell of a lot like Brian Orakpo today.
Washington (2013): 6’4″, 265, 4.55 forty, 1.60 10-yard-split, 39″ vert, 36 reps on bench press, cartoonishly ripped arms
…….Orakpo (2009): 6’3″, 263, 4.63 forty, 1.58 10-yard split, 39.5″ vert, 31 reps on bench press, cartoonishly ripped arms
I’m really looking forward to getting some tape to look at down the road, I think it’s pretty likely we’ll get access to some before the draft. Based on how he looked in the drills yesterday and based on what little I saw on youtube, I think he has some promise and the physical gifts do seem to translate at least somewhat. He has very obvious appeal to the Seahawks, and probably the 31 other NFL teams as well.