With the 162nd selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Montrell Washington, a sneaky slotted wide receiver with Samford’s punt and kick return abilities. Unknown to a large majority of the draft community, Washington has mostly gone under the radar as a player at the FCS level.
That is, unless you’re the most dominant player on the court, like Washington was every week.
Washington led the nation at FCS with 1,938 all-purpose yards in 2021 — 813 receiving yards, 742 punt return yards, 243 punt return yards and 140 rushing yards — with 18 total touchdowns (three vias back) to add to a massive productive senior season for the Bulldogs. He was so dominant in the Southern Conference that teams actively turned coverage his way or patted him to keep the ball out of his hands lest he take it home.
A gimmick-style slot receiver with high elusiveness, a solid burst and vision to get lean when the holes open up, and long speed to get past defenders, should translate well at the NFL level. But he still has a long way to go to see the pitch apart from a very obvious fit as a return specialist.
Let’s dig into the movie.
Pieces 1 and 2: The obvious cut
The Broncos are looking for a quality return specialist from Trindon Holliday. Their last kickoff return for a touchdown came via Holliday in 2013, and they’ve had two total touchdowns since 2015. Experimental drafts like Isaiah McKenzie and Diontae Spencer have come and gone with varying levels of success, but the simple fact The problem is this: fans have become accustomed to being happy when the punt or kick is not muffled. That’s how it was.
With Washington, there’s a legitimate chance they’ve found a guy who can fill the void with a super cheap rookie contract for the next four years – if it translates to the highest level of football.