Ar’Darius Washington can’t change the fact that he is just 5’7.5” tall; if he stood 5’11” he likely would have been a first or second round pick. But the ballhawking safety who led TCU Football in takeaways as a true freshman makes up for what he can’t control but excelling at what he can — speed, instincts, work-ethic, and a healthy dose of nastiness on the field.
The combination of tangible and intangible receipts is likely what drew Baltimore to Washington, as the Ravens were quick to pounce on the safety when he surprisingly went undrafted.
Washington was a certified stud from the moment he first took the field for the Horned Frogs; a three star prospect out of Shreveport, LA, he picked TCU over LSU and several other Power Five offers, signing in 2018. After redshirting his first year on campus, Washington became the nation’s second-highest graded safety according to Pro Football Focus, partnering with Trevon Moehrig (second round to the Raiders) to form a dynamic duo in the defensive backfield for the Frogs. He allowed only five catches out of 265 snaps in coverage while forcing a combined seven interceptions and pass breakups and missing just three tackles out of his 48 attempts on the season. Washington led TCU and ranked second nationally among freshmen with five interceptions as he played in all 12 games and made five starts.
In 2020, Washington’s opportunities were limited, as teams made it a point to avoid his side of the field, but he still finished the 10 game season with 37 tackles, including 25 solo, and five PBUs.
Washington shined on tape throughout his career and was a beast in the weight room, but didn’t get the Pro Day bump, running just a 4.61 40-yard dash. Faster in pads, Washington did put up great explosiveness numbers — a 37.5-inch vertical and a 127-inch broad jump, and his strength numbers helped land him on Bruce Feldman’s Annual Freaks List, where the SI writer said of him:
Washington is No. 23 on the list. The 5-foot-8, 179-pounder can bench press more than double his weight (370 pounds) and square more than triple it (640 pounds). He also has a power clean of 370 pounds and a 39-inch vertical.
Falling out of the draft altogether had to hurt Washington, but if there is a player who values having a chip on his shoulder, it’s AD. The slight will certainly fuel the former Frog, who will likely need to earn his way onto the Ravens roster this summer via special teams work, but has a real shot to be a contributing player sooner rather than later in Baltimore — a team that was interested in him throughout the process.
Pro Wells might have the best shot to be the first of the 2021 Frogs to be productive at the next level; the tight end — who was a big time threat in the red zone while at TCU — was snatched up by Cincinnati shortly after the draft ended.
Wells redshirted his first season at TCU then led the team in touchdown receptions over the next two. He has eight touchdowns in 32 career receptions, meaning that one of ever four catches went for 6 in his time with the Horned Frogs. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch and finished with 408 career yards. The 6’4”, 250 target out of Florida ran a 4.83 40 at TCU’s Pro Day, but as a former top end basketball prospect, has showcased his above average athleticism at the position. He’s a prime candidate to have a better pro career than collegiate one.
Lastly, Artayvious Lynn signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, capitalizing on an impressive Pro Day, where he measured in at 6-foot-4 4/8 inches and 254 pounds while running a 4.77-second 40-yard dash. He also had a 32-inch vertical, 9-foot, 2-inch broad jump and 7.47-second 3-cone drill. Primarily a blocker in his time in Fort Worth, Lynn had 22 career catches and two touchdowns in his four years (plus a redshirt) at TCU. At already 25 years old, he is a fully developed prospect, and with his size and speed, a good candidate to fulfill a multitude of roles at the next level.
Best of luck to all five Football #ProFrogs as they begin their careers at the next level.