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Brandon Washington, NFL Draft 2012: The Athletic Guard from 'The U'

As we draw closer to the NFL draft one thing is clear: If you're looking for a lineman on either side of the ball this is a good draft to find one. Some scouts are already saying this is the deepest crop of DTs in a decade, but I feel it's the offensive linemen who are really getting underrated. I'm not solely speaking of the Matt Kalil's and David DeCastro's of the draft, but deep into the second and third rounds there are players brimming with potential who could fill a team's need quickly.

Brandon Washington out of Miami is one such player, and at 6'4", 320lbs he is the ideal size you want to see out of an NFL offensive lineman. More than that is his athleticism, which is well above average for a man his size. There are numerous players who enter the draft at, or above Washington's size- but few who are really able to use these tools. He is a player who can use his quick feet and long arms to redirect and contain pass rushers. It's not all wine and roses for him though as he lacks the technical abilities needed to play offensive tackle at the next level; this seems to be a common theme with many of the OG prospects in the 2012 crop.

The talent is there for this guy to mature into a guard you can win with consistently inside at the next level. He needs to improve his pad level in the in-line game and tighten up his footwork in all areas. However, with a year of seasoning he certainly should mature into an above-average guard in the NFL with the talent to start at right.

National Football Post

In Indianapolis we saw Washington hit all the marks you'd like to see out of an NFL guard. In the broad jump, and 10 yard split he showed good speed off the line, he benched 28 reps and displayed an unusually fast shuttle time for a man his size. This shows that he has the chops to use his athleticism at the next level, but he absolutely has to improve that technique if he hopes to be an elite NFL player.

I have no doubt some team will fall in love with his measurables and make him a 2nd round selection, and I can't help but feel this would be a huge mistake. However, for a 3rd round pick he would be a good developmental prospect for the Falcons to work on.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.