Darnell Washington, TE Georgia
As mentioned earlier, I believe many of the highly rated tight ends in this year's class will be gone by this selection. The only tight ends I believe could be available at this spot are Washington, as well as someone a few slides from now.
I'm going to be honest, I'm very bullish on Washington. I think his floor is that of Mercedes Lewis while his ceiling I think could be a whole new style of tight ends that we've never seen. He's going to come in day one and be a sixth offensive lineman whenever he's out there, as his 6'7 275-pound frame is going to help open up rushing lanes for Dameon Pierce and provide one of the best red zone targets any quarterback could ask for.
I also think Washington's weaknesses are his low usage in the passing game at Georgia, as well as his lack of an understanding of a full route tree for a tight end. These match perfectly with current Houston Texans tight end, Dalton Schultz's strengths. I believe they complement each other very well and can learn from one another. He showcased his potential as a receiver at the combine and boy oh boy is it a good view of potential.
DeMeco Ryans has talked over and over again about how he wants to be physical at the line of scrimmage, as well as players who are dedicated and want to work hard. That's Washington right there. At his floor, Washington is a great sixth offensive lineman every time he is on the field, and that continues to build an identity in the mold DeMeco is looking to achieve.
The tight end position has historically been one of the steepest learning curves and hardest transitions from college to the NFL. Washington can step in as the number two tight end behind Schultz and learn his way slowly with lower expectations. I would expect him to excel as a blocker and red zone player in his first season and a breakout in his second season.