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Daryl Washington (TCU)
Height: 6-2 Weight: 226
40 Time: 4.57
Like safety Kyle Wilson of Boise State, Washington's greatest obstacle is the fact that he plays for TCU.
Some argue that his lack of elite competition has boosted his abilities, but regardless, the TCU middle linebacker will be a highly sought after commodity in April.
Washington was TCU's most consistent defensive player in '09, a big year for the defender after Jason Phillips was drafted the previous year.
He did not fail to impress. He ended his senior campaign with 99 tackles and three interceptions.
More a dart of rare speed than strength, it's unclear how Washington will fare at the next level.
He has uncanny recognition skills at the line and has the lateral speed to go from sideline to sideline and disrupt the play. His long arms placate to his speed in stopping low, underneath throws from the quarterback.
He has a tendency to get sucked in with play action, but when the quarterback is throwing, Washington has the straight-line speed to get after him with force. He is very effective from a stack formation and gets inside with daring speed.
He has the awareness to evade cut blocks and a change-of-direction ability that allows him to make mistakes.
As a run blocker, Washington lacks the size needed to bull run the line but he runs the field like a safety, darting through holes on stretch plays and taking flawless angles of pursuit to bring down the fastest ballcarrier.
The former Horned Frog is more effective as a cover guy. He operates fluidly in open space and reads the quarterback with ease. His backpedal runs higher than most scouts would prefer, but he has the quickness to make up for it.
He has the straight-line speed to keep up with most wide outs and tight ends and utilizes zone coverage like a cover corner. He does well to protect the underneath routes from becoming big plays and keeps a blind eye on the soft zone behind him.
Again, Washington's size prohibits his tackling ability at times, but he uses his length to drag down the carrier and is effective with his hands to disengage the ball.
Washington served as a dangerous contributor in special teams in Fort Worth, and his willingness to continue at this capacity will be a welcome change for interested teams.
He isn't a power-hungry linebacker; rather, he has a solid understanding of both the field and the big picture.
His high football IQ and intangibles on special teams will make him a contender next year, there's no doubt about that.
Look for a team like Miami to address their linebacking issues by picking up Washington. The possible departures of Jason Ferguson and Jason Taylor will open up the door for the former TCU star to make an immediate impact in 2010.
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