Ar'Darius Washington
TCU safety Ar’Darius Washington is one of the best prospects in the 2021 draft. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Listed at 5-foot-8 180-lbs, TCU safety Ar’Darius Washington is considered undersized for the position. However, his talent and instincts will make him a star at the next level. In just his sophomore season, Washington racked up 5 interceptions, 2 passes defended, and 46 total tackles. He is a playmaker at all levels whether that be deep in coverage or beneath the line of scrimmage.

Washington is a true ballhawk who accelerates, and baits pass from the quarterback. In coverage, he keeps his eyes on the quarterback as well as keeping opposing receivers in front of him. He is a sideline to sideline safety possessing elite range to even play single-high at the next level.

In the run game, he is a rocket when attacking the ball-carrier. He does not hesitate to make a big hit. When making a tackle you think he’s 50-pounds heavier than he really is.

While he will not be able to keep up with alpha receivers or tight ends, he is sure enough to hang with the quick slot options that are tearing up the league. He is a fluid athlete with a tremendous change of direction and hips, allowing him to cover the slot on certain defensive alignments. This versatility allows him to be used all over the field by any team willing to take a chance on him.

His physical talents are also nothing to scoff at. He possesses the elite acceleration we routinely saw at TCU. While at his pro day he ran a disappointing 4.6 40-time, he makes up for it with his quickness. He showed off explosiveness totaling 17 bench reps, a 37.5-inch vertical, 10’7” broad jump, and a 4.1 shuttle time, all elite marks for the safety position.

Like Washington, Tyrann Mathieu was 5-foot-9 and 180-lbs coming out of LSU before becoming an NFL star. Mathieu along with countless other players prove that instincts are much more vital as a football player than size. Washington will just be another example of that list.