2021 NFL Draft: Ar’Darius Washington Player Profile

Ar’Darius Washington NFL Draft Overview

Position: Safety
Height: 5′-8”
Weight: 176 pounds
Arms: 29 ¼”
Hands: 9 ½”
School: TCU

Pro Day Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.62
Vertical: 37 ½”
Broad Jump: 127”
Three Cone: 7.06 

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Ar’Darius Washington 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Washington played his high school football in the state of Louisiana where he earned himself a three-star recruitment rating along with being ranked as the state’s fifth-best safety. Washington committed to TCU where he played in four games during his 2018 season in order to maintain his redshirt status. Through those four games, Washington accounted for just three total tackles.

However, the following season as a 2019 redshirt freshman, Washington had a breakout season in which he played in all 12 games and racked up 46 total tackles, five interceptions, and seven pass deflections. The performance earned Washington Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year as well as Freshman All-American honors. Furthermore, Washington allowed just five catches out of his 265 pass coverage snaps throughout the 2019 season. As a 2020 redshirt sophomore, Washington again put together a solid season in which he started all 10 games, accounting for 37 total tackles along with five pass deflections. The performance earned Washington Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 honors.  

Strengths

  • Plays with passion and physicality despite his size;
  • Has a natural feel for pass coverage and thrives in zone coverage where he can read plays;
  • Hips and short area quickness are smooth as he recognizes and breaks on the ball very well;
  • Very willing to contribute in run support and has no fear when attacking the line of scrimmage;
  • Good speed with impressive natural ball hawking skills;
  • Battles at the catch point;
  • Has shown versatility to align within the slot and in man coverage within the redzone.  

Weaknesses

  • Very undersized safety for the NFL level;
  • Does not have eye popping speed and may struggle against the pure speed threats;
  • Can occasionally bite on play and pump fakes when roaming within zone coverage;
  • Is not an elite man to man coverage player;
  • Bigger receivers will give him trouble;
  • Has played just two full seasons of college football.

NFL Comparison: Lamarcus Joyner 

Teams With Need at Position: Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings

Projection: Second to Third Round 

The Bottom Line 

Unfortunately, the NFL places significant value on a player’s height and weight even when undersized players have amazing tape. Washington is certainly a victim of this which has caused his draft stock to fall. While undersized, Washington plays with the physicality and passion of someone twice his size.

Washington possesses a natural feel for the safety position especially when he is dropped within deep zone coverage and allowed to play within a center field type of role. His short-area quickness and fluid hips allow him to break on the ball with determination. Furthermore, his natural hands and intuitive ball-hawking skills make him a big-play defensive threat over the top of any defense.

Additionally, while undersized, Washington competes well at the catch point and has the versatility to align within the slot as well as man coverage. While he does not have the bulk of a Budda Baker or Tyrann Mathieu, he certainly plays the same brand of football and if he hits his ceiling he would easily be mentioned in the same breath as them.

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