Cornelius Washington Scouting Report

March 1st, 2013

Washington definitely looks the part, but can he actually play?

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 265
Grade: 5.78 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+has a tremendous physique, almost appears airbrushed even in person
+has long arms and big, powerful hands
+plus speed and explosiveness for his position, ran 4.55 in the 40 w/ 39” vertical jump at Combine
-tight in ankles and appears over-muscled, hurts his flexibility
-lacks quickness and does not have a pronounced closing burst

Pass Rush Ability:
-never shows any real plan of attack or creativity
-has no real go-to move other than an underdeveloped grab/yank move
-below average ability to flatten around the edge, doesn’t lean into turn and takes elongated strides with poor foot frequency
-rarely beats his man off the snap, no suddenness or urgency to his game at all
-poor production, just 2 sacks in final 21 college games and he was second man in on 2 of them (had one solo & 2 half-sacks)

Run Defense:
-struggles to anchor the edge, consistently sets up too high and loses leverage
-not an attack dog, waits for the blocker/runner to dictate action and then he reacts
+squares himself to the runner in space nicely
+tackles with pop and finishes the hit
+fans his arms with great range, gets a hand on the ball carrier a lot even if he’s beaten or partially blocked
-often taken out of games in short yardage or obvious running situations; barely played vs. Georgia Tech’s triple option

-has no real concept of how to use his length or power to his advantage
-weight room strength doesn’t translate to field, doesn’t sink hips or drive feet when engaged
-when lined up in 2 pt. stance is very upright and stays so after the snap
-consistently pops up out of his stance instead of going forward when playing DE

+doesn’t quit on play when run is away from him, finds an angle and keeps trying to close
-does not anticipate plays or blocks well
-comes across as a very passive player on film, doesn’t show much (any?) aggression or passion
+no character flags

Overall:Washington hadn’t made much of an impression on me, but when I saw his name on the Senior Bowl roster I decided to brush up more on him. I still didn’t see much. Then during Senior Bowl week Washington looked much more confident, aggressive, and impressive. He is one of the most physically impressive specimens I’ve ever seen, and he moves well for a bigger guy. So I went back to the tape and looked to see if I missed something. Unfortunately my initial impression was correct; there is very little evidence during games to ever indicate that Washington has much actual football playing ability.

The word that came up over and over was “passive”. He consistently lets the blocker dictate the action, whether lined up at linebacker or end. For a guy with his strength and speed, he doesn’t translate either into production or function as a defender very often. The “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” label is too harsh for Washington because he’s good at positioning himself and tries hard. Btu he’s not an aggressive person, something that comes across when talking to him. He will drive fire-breathing coaches insane because he lacks aggression and attitude. His inability to produce any sort of pass rush despite looking like he does is really quite disappointing. His best fit is as a strongside OLB for a 3-4 team with a very good rushing DE, but that depends on the light switch ever turning “on”. Some team will look at him and reflect on his good week at the Senior Bowl and take him in the 3rd or 4th round in the hope that they can flip that switch. I wouldn’t touch him before the 7th round. The player he most reminds me of is Rahim Slaise from Ohio University in the late 90s. If you’ve never heard of him, there’s a good reason. —Jeff Risdon

Scouting Notes

Georgia vs. South Carolina

-lined up at LOLB, runs head on into RT too high and gets pushed aside
-caught too high while trying to anchor edge, gets shoulders turned aside and Lattimore cuts inside for nice gain
-at 5-technique LDE, gets too far upfield and Shaw runs past his arm tackle for 1st down
-assists on TFL by sidestepping lead block, sits in hole and closes with power
-slips inside poor blocking effort and chases Shaw to sideline but gets outrun by the QB
-consistently taken out of game on short yardage situations

Kentucky vs. Georgia
-primarily lined up at LOLB and LDE
-last player to react to snap, waits for run blocker to come to him
-shows good effort chasing down run from backside, eliminates cutback on Ogletree tackle
-rocked off balance by powerful punch from RT Mitchell
-beats Mitchell quick set outside but cannot flatten around the corner, takes two extra steps to turn inside
-stops feet when engaged by tackle, loses leverage and gets moved from the hole
-attempts an inside loop but doesn’t show any urgency or burst, ball is out before he even engages the guard

Senior Bowl practices–seen in person

-fires out arms and drives back flat-footed Aboushi
-runs smack into Lane Johnson with weak arms
-does a good job stringing out the edge on stretch run in team drill
-late to react to a pass where he was in the lane after being stymied on the rush
-spins too early and gets brushed aside by Mills
-uses a nice inside shoulder dip move to get to the QB

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