This might explain why former Georgia tight end Darnell Washington fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round.
Darnell Washington was always a mountain of a man coming out of Georgia, but it was still strange to see him slip down the draft board on Friday all the way to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At times, Washington was a fringe, first-round pick, in a similar vein as college teammate in new Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Kelee Ringo. Truth be told, Washington always had a high, second-round grade. The thought was he would be a top-50 pick, but he fell to Pittsburgh at No. 93 in the third round. His game is very different, but there may be more at play as to why he fell.
NFL insider Aaron Wilson explained a knee issue was the primary reason why Washington slipped.
Now that Washington is in Pittsburgh, he forms an elite tight end tandem once again, this time with Pat Freiermuth, hoping to help bring Kenny Pickett along in year two out of Pittsburgh.
NFL Draft: Why Darnell Washington fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Georgia
From a matchup standpoint, there is no stopping Washington. He projects as the next Marcedes Lewis. As Big Dog is in the twilight of his illustrious career, we have a new Big Dawg to enjoy. Are they related? Should they be related? That’s better the better question here! What this all boils down to is Georgia players may come into the NFL a bit more banged up than we ever expected.
With Kirby Smart taking the Nick Saban blueprint from Tuscaloosa back with him to Athens, are you even the least bit surprised? When Mark Richt was the Top Dawg, NFL teams loved Georgia players because they knew he and his staff didn’t fully develop them, meaning there was juice left to be squeezed. Though Washington is a tad raw, his sheer size can make him a star in the league.
Regardless of how good Washington’s knee is, he is going to play a huge part in Steelers culture going forward. He joined UGA teammate in book-end tackle Broderick Jones in Pittsburgh. Given their elite blocking nature, this is going to be massive for Pickett’s continued growth and Najee Harris’ soon-to-be excellence. Hopefully, they can give Pickett enough time to find George Pickens.
Pittsburgh is not Philadelphia, but all of Pennsylvania is going to the Dawgs this 2023 NFL Draft.