Chiefs Most Curious Pick: CB Donald Washington, Ohio State

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via media.scout.com

With the first two selections in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected LSU DE Tyson Jackson and Purdue DT Alex Magee.  Both are considered, by all accounts, to be "high character" guys (Still trying to figure out if you get a high character rating by simply going to Church.)

The Chiefs fourth round pick was Donald Washington, defensive back out of Ohio State.  This selection raised a few eye brows because of not only the position but also the person.

Is defensive back really a fourth round priority?

Head coach Todd Haley said the Chiefs thought about trading back up into the third round to snag him so this tells us that this is one of those instances where they took the best player available.  The Chiefs liked him and were "excited" that he fell into their lap.

NFL Draft Scout had a third round grade on him.

I don't necessarily think this is an indictment on our current secondary but more that you can't have too many good players at one position.

Reported character issues

Maybe I'm different than you all but a reported "team rules violation" doesn't matter to me one bit.  Haley was asked about some reported character issues regarding Washington and responded:

"We really feel like we did our homework on Donald," Haley said. "We have very good relationships with the Ohio State staff from the head coach on down to the position coaches and coordinators. We did a lot of work with them."

Washington came to Kansas City and spent a day and a half here with the staff so if he has major character concerns then he was able to hide it from the coaches. Washington's former high school coach, Lance Scheib, was adamant that he was "just being a kid" and that the rules violation is not an indication of him as a person.

Year TKL SOLO AST SACK FF INT
2008 22 18 4 0 0 1
2007 39 29 10 1 0 1
2006 41 28 13 0 2 1

 

Even though he came out early, Washington has a lot of game tape.  He red-shirted his true freshman season, then started nine of thirteen games in 2006 (named team's most outstanding player), all thirteen games in 2007 and started all but two games in 2008 (due to a team rules violation).

Washington is only a junior and left Ohio State with a year of eligibility remaining.  It's possible he thought his stock would drop with Malcolm Jenkins also leaving the secondary (14th pick overall) or that he just felt he was ready to go now. 

His Combine numbers were impressive, particularly his leaping abilities:

  1. 40 yard dash: 4.49 seconds (9th)
  2. 225 bench press: 9 reps (27th)
  3. Vertical leap: 45" (1st)
  4. Broad jump: 11'3" (1st)
  5. 3-cone drill: 6.84 seconds (11th)
  6. 20-yard shuttle: 4.22 seconds (15th)

Scott Pioli has become known around Kansas City as someone who isn't looking at Combine numbers but instead the "right football player" for the Chiefs.  In Washington's case, it just so happens that the "right football player" is also the one that jumped higher than any other at the 2009 NFL Combine.

I don't put much emphasis on the "rules violations" and I don't put much emphasis on the Combine.  I trust the that Pioli and Haley saw a value here they couldn't pass up and this will make our secondary that much better.

Pick Player Pos Ht Wt College Approval Rating
Round 1 Pick 3 (3) Tyson Jackson DE 6'4" 295 LSU 40%
Round 2 Pick 2 (34) Traded to NE for Cassel/Vrabel
Round 3 Pick 3 (67) Alex Magee T 6'3" 298 Purdue 35%
Round 4 Pick 2 (102) Donald Washington CB 6'0" 197 Ohio State 23%
Round 5 Pick 3 (139) Colin Brown OL 6'7" 335 Missouri 44%
Round 6 Pick 2 (175) Quinten Lawrence WR/KR 6'0" 184 McNeese State 71%
Round 7 Pick 3 (212) Javarris Williams RB 5'10" 223 Tennessee State 62%
Round 7 Pick 28 (237) Jake O'Connell TE 6'4" 255 Miami (OHIO) 33%
Round 7 Pick 47 (256) Ryan Succop K 6'2" 218 South Carolina 50%
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