The Pittsburgh Steelers had a big need for a physical specimen at the tight end position.
They needed someone who could excel at blocking and bullying his opposition at the line of scrimmage and someone who could bring back the grit and grind tradition for this organization.
Needless to say, getting an opportunity to get TE Darnell Washington out of Georgia seemed a little too good to be true, and the team might still feel that way.
According to a report by Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the team had its fingers crossed when they drafted him because of his well-documented knee issues (via Steelers Depot).
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) January 27, 2024
Apparently, the reason he fell all the way to the third round despite his physical traits and proven skills is that most medical staffers around the league thought he wouldn’t even be able to sign a second contract in the league with those knees.
Per the report, the team is still crossing its fingers and hoping the stellar physical specimen can shake off his injury woes.
Then again, he did show up in the injury report with knee ailments in his first season in the league.
He missed a couple of practices, but fortunately, he was still able to make an impact on the field.
Washington played 511 snaps on offense and 141 on special teams, which proves that the team believes in his durability.
He expects to have a bigger role as a pass-catcher after being mostly a blocker in his first campaign, logging just seven receptions and 61 receiving yards in 10 targets.