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Huard’s Seahawks Draft Profile: Under-the-radar WR

Apr 5, 2024, 10:06 AM

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Tahj Washington of the USC Trojans during a 2023 game. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

(Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

With the trio of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba heading the top of the Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver depth chart, the position is not the first that comes to mind for the team’s 2024 NFL Draft needs.

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But it doesn’t mean the Hawks won’t be looking to add to the group later this month.

Former NFL quarterback and FOX college football analyst Brock Huard pointed out an under-the-radar player at the position Thursday during his Seahawks Draft Profile on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. That would be USC wide receiver Tahj Washington.

“He’s a little guy that was born in Texas, played his high school football in Texas (and) went to (the University of) Memphis because he was small,” Huard said. “I think coming out of high school he was 150 pounds, in fact. When he went to Memphis, (he) grew up a little bit in his first year and then really popped his second year. He was a freshman All-American for the Tigers … and caught the eye of a Lincoln Riley and USC to say, ‘you know what, why don’t you come out and follow us to Los Angeles and be a Trojan.’”

A productive college player with high character

Washington broke out with 43 receptions for 743 yards and six TDs during his redshirt freshman season at Memphis, earning Freshman All-American honors from the Football Writers’ Association of America. The 5 foot 10, 174-pounder didn’t seem to be slowed by a step up in competition when he transferred to USC either. He caught caught over 50 passes in all three season with the Trojans and proved himself as a big-play threat this past year, piling up 1,062 yards and eight TDs while averaging 18.0 yards per catch.

“I have more background on Tahj Washington than I do any other player I’m going to profile, and that’s simply because, well, my little brother Luke was his receiver coach at USC,” Huard said.  “I got to learn about not only the player … I got to learn about the person off the field. And Tahj Washington checks every single box and then some was a great student, was a great leader. Amidst some kind of diva personalities in receiver rooms, he was not (one of them). He’s is a ‘yes sir,’ he is a ‘no sir’ (kind of guy). He will run through a wall for you and over.  … All Tahj Washington has done at every single turn, is when he’s been given an opportunity, he’s maximized it.”

Why Washington is a late-round prospect

Washington isn’t thought of as a name that will be called during the first two days of the NFL Draft despite his production. The 22-year-old from Marshall, Texas, doesn’t posses ideal size for the position, and some of his combine numbers were underwhelming.

“He’s touched 22 miles per hour on (USC’s) performance evaluation … So, super quick guy, 5-10, 174 pounds at the combine, jumped 35 inches that’s quality,” Huard said. “But the challenge and why he’s going to be a late-round pick: number one (is) the size I mentioned. Number two, he was only a 4.57 (40-yard dash) guy. So, if you are of that ilk and of that frame, well you better be able to run like the wind, like the guy out of Texas did at the combine running 4.2. You run a 4.57, that’s a lot slower than even the big receivers in this draft. You’re going to tumble, you’re going to fall, you’re going to be a third-day pick.”

Regardless of where Washington goes, Huard believes he will force a team to keep him around.

“Wherever he goes, he’s gonna turn heads and they’re just not gonna be able to cut him, they’re not gonna be able to move on from him,” Huard said. “Because as I said earlier, the guy simply loves to play the game of football, and every time he’s been given any kind of chance … who was the one left standing? It was always Tahj Washington. He’s got a heart as big as – well, much bigger than his frame is.”

Listen to Brock Huard’s full breakdown on Tahj Washington at this link or in the audio player near the top of the story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 a.m.- 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

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