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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Malik Washington (WR – Virginia)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Malik Washington (WR – Virginia)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Virginia wide receiver Malik Washington.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Malik Washington

Malik Washington (WR – Virginia)

5’8″ – 194 lbs.

Background:

Georgia native who originally attended Northwestern, where he spent his first four seasons. Played sparingly in the first two, then took over the slot job and posted 43-575-2 (13.4) in 2021. Followed that up with 65-701-1 (10.8) before transferring to Virginia. Had a massive season this year, with 111-1,384-9 (12.5) to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

Three-year slot starter who had an incredibly efficient, high-volume season this year (80.4% of targets caught.) Runs a lot of throws within ten yards of the line of scrimmage, with tunnel screens, digs, hitches, speed outs, jerk routes, and other patterns of that nature. Can be hard to catch once he builds up a head of steam. Knows how to change up speeds to keep defenders off-balance and create throwing windows. Doesn’t need to shift down much through the stem. Settles into soft spots against zone. Has a very reliable pair of hands, with just six career drops against 230 receptions. Snatches the ball away from his frame, making some good adjustments to off-target throws. Shows good focus to come down with passes in coverage and through contact. Competitive player who shows good toughness after the catch, fighting for additional yardage and offering very good contact balance for his size. Subtle agility and decisiveness allow him to make the first man miss in space. Frequently comes in pre-snap motion, and the team used it to get him touches on pop passes, reverses, and screens. Surprisingly effective as a stalk blocker, with a thick, compact build and good knee-bend. Has some experience as a return specialist.

Negatives:

Has a thick frame for his size, but is much smaller than usual. Only took about thirteen percent of his snaps split out wide, and lacks the size to do that consistently at the next level. Did a lot of work underneath off coverage, and could struggle to release against physical corners at the line of scrimmage at the next level. Also didn’t have to sink and explode out of the stems of too many routes. Got schemed a lot of open looks underneath the defense. Doesn’t present his quarterback with the biggest target to throw to.

Summary:

A thickly-built, competitive slot receiver with a very reliable pair of hands and impressive contact balance as a runner. The Cavaliers schemed him a ton of touches on quick throws under the coverage and fed him the ball on screens and pop passes to take advantage of his tough running. Does what he does very well, but I would have liked to see how he does against physical press-man coverage, as a lot of his production during the games reviewed came on zone-beaters or against relatively generous cushions. A nice slot receiver for an accurate passer.

Projection: Round 4-5

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