football Edit

Darnell Washington "just scratching the surface"

Darnell Washington only made one prediction during his interview session Friday morning at the NFL Combine.

The best is yet to come.

“I feel I’m just scratching the surface,” Washington told reporters. “I feel like I’m a good blocker; I could turn into a great blocker. I feel I’m a good athlete but could turn into a great athlete. As I said, I’m just scratching the surface.”

At 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, Washington has been described as a “unicorn” when compared to others in his position.

That’s a description Washington feels is apropos.

“I feel like I’m the most unique tight end here; I’m not saying I’m the best,” he said. “I’m very humble. It’s just when you talk about size, I’m bigger than most of the tight ends.”

At Georgia, Washington put that size to great use.

Along with Brock Bowers, the Las Vegas native and now a father of two gave opposing defensive coordinators migraines trying to slow each of them down.

As a blocker, Washington essentially served as an extra tackle, a role he grew to enjoy.

“I took a lot of pride in that,” Washington said. “I knew I wasn’t getting 40-50 catches; we had Brock, Ladd (McConkey), guys like that. There’s only one football to go around. You can’t give it to everyone. I embraced blocking. That’s the mindset there.”

Washington smiled when asked about his “favorite block” during his years with the Bulldogs.

“I’d say it was a chip block in the Tennessee game; I did it my freshmen year against Arkansas, too,” he said. “That block … it’s just so satisfying. You feel them, but in a couple of seconds you don’t feel them on your shoulder pads no more.”

That’s not to suggest that Washington does not believe he cannot become a top-flight receiver in the NFL. Last season with the Bulldogs, Washington caught 28 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns, numbers he believes could skyrocket in the NFL.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot of untapped potential when it comes to that area,” he said. “In high school, was getting the ball 50-60 times in a season; in college, not so much in that area. But when I tap into that potential, there’s going to be some crazy potential.”

“I feel I’m just scratching the surface. I feel like I’m a good blocker; I could turn into a great blocker. I feel I’m a good athlete but could turn into a great athlete. As I said, I’m just scratching the surface.”
— Darnell Washington

Washington said he has absolutely no regrets about coming to Georgia.

He credits the opportunity to work against players like Travon Walker and Azeez Ojulari, among others, as being huge to his development.

Being a father matured him, forcing him to focus even more on his game than he might ordinarily have.

“I knew I had to grow up right away,” Washington said. “I couldn’t be staying out all night, things like that. It motivated me more. I had to do it for my daughters.”

They certainly have much to be proud of.

During the 16-minute session, Washington also addressed his high school career, one which saw him play running back, wide receiver, and defensive end before settling on the tight end, the position that come April will make him a rich man.

“(In the Oregon game) I showed physicality. I showed what I can do with the ball,” Washington said. “I’m not saying I was perfect, but physicality-wise, you could tell.”

Playing for Georgia was an opportunity he’ll never forget.

“We loved and we cared about each other,” added Washington, who also credited fellow tight end Brock Bowers for helping with his success.

“We tried to start a trend when it comes to tight ends; we tried to bring Tight end U to Georgia,” said Washington, who said teams have yet to quiz him about his former teammate, who could very well be in his position at the 2024 NFL Combine.

“No team has asked me about him, but I don’t think I have to tell them anything,” Washington said. “Just look at his skill set.”

Darnell Washington spoke with the media on Friday.
Darnell Washington spoke with the media on Friday.