NFL player comparisons for Steelers TE Darnell Washington

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Most likely NFL comparison: Brandon Pettigrew

When it's all said and done, I can see Darnell Washington having a career very similar to that of Brandon Pettigrew. Though Pettigrew was a former first-round pick by the Lions back in 2009, he never quite lived up to lofty expectations.

At 6'6'' and 263 pounds, Pettigrew wasn't the most sudden route runner and didn't offer much after the catch. However, he still possessed a reliable set of hands and he excelled as a traditional in-line 'Y' tight end.

Pettigrew's best seasons came during his rookie contract where he operated as both a blocker and a pass catcher, though he never surpassed 5 touchdowns in a single season. Injuries became an issue for the big tight end, and it resulted in him having a short career that lasted just 7 seasons. He played in all 16 games just twice early in his career.

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Darnell Washington and Brandon Pettigrew are remarkably similar in how they win, and it's not hard to envision a seven-year career in which he has used both a blocker and a receiver at times. Washington may not reach the peak that Pettigrew saw early in his career, but in terms of body type, play style, and how they win, I still think this is his most likely NFL player comparison.