The Chicago Bears added some depth along the defensive line by bring in Georgia’s Cornelius Washington. He’s a developmental player who brings elite athleticism to the mix. Chicago is hoping that he can develop into an elite pass-rusher with the right coaching.
At the beginning of his career, Washington will see the majority of his playing time on special teams. His speed gives him the ability to quickly get down the field on coverage teams. He also flashed the ability to get a push on the pocket and block kicks.
Chicago will again put a major emphasis on special teams. They’ve seen firsthand the type of impact a strong special-teams unit can have on the outcome of a game. Washington is one of those players who could produce some game-changing plays in this area of the game.
The Bears will also slide Washington in behind Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin and Kyle Moore at the defensive end position. He’ll need to work on his overall technique and consistency before he cracks the rotation.
Washington found most of his success on the college level because he was just a better athlete than his opponent. This won’t be the case in the NFL, as savvy offensive linemen will easily be able to exploit his weaknesses.
Basically, Washington is a player who’s unlikely to make an impact as a rookie. There’s too much depth in front of him and he just isn’t ready.
With Julius Peppers reaching the end of his career, Chicago needs young players they can develop. Peppers is the perfect mentor for a young player like Washington. He’ll help teach him the ins and outs of the position.
This late in the draft is the time where a team should focus on bringing in players with elite athleticism and potential.