A natural pass-rusher in a 4-3 scheme, Adolphus Washington projects as a 3-technique with starter potential. He has the production (four sacks, seven tackles for loss) and quickness to back up his reputation as a pass-rusher.
Washington is agile and flexible and is able to twist and bend to get past blockers in tight spaces. He’ll flash a head fake, shoulder dip and spin move to create space as a rusher. He has the long arms (34 ½”) to keep blockers off his frame and uses that length to also create separation on passing downs.
Lateral quickness, first-step speed and a big bubble to push the pocket are all positives for Washington. He’s an impressive athlete on the hoof and uses all his tools to get after the quarterback. Stopping the run happens more on the way to the passer for Washington, but he’s able to flash into the backfield and reject ball-carriers.
NFL offensive line coaches will have a headache to deal with if Washington gets dialed in. He’s a gap-shooting star with the athleticism and fundamentals to be an early-impact player.
Washington was picked up on a solicitation charge before the Fiesta Bowl and was suspended by the team for the final game of his career.
On the field, Washington’s effort and lack of lower-body strength are worrisome. Both can be fixed but are immediate flags when watching his film. Washington isn’t a finisher and will too often give up on the play if his path to the quarterback isn’t an easy one. Because of this, his secondary pass-rush moves are not developed.
Playing with consistent leverage will be a key for Washington. At Ohio State he often got high and heavy in his pads and expected to be able to shake blockers off in space. That won’t work in the pros. Getting stronger in the legs and rear, plus keeping those shoulders low, will allow Washington to make an impact against the run.
Weight: 301 lbs.
40 Time: 4.90s
Short Shuttle: 4.79s
PRO COMPARISON: Nick Fairley, New Orleans Saints
FINAL GRADE: 5.75/9.00 (Round 4—Backup Caliber)