2024 NFL Draft: Virginia WR Malik Washington scouting report

A three-star recruit out of Parkview High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Malik Washington chose Northwestern over Appalachian State, Duke, Virginia, and Tennessee. He had four seasons of relatively limited production there before transferring to Virginia for the 2023 season and blowing up in a statistical sense. Last season for the Cavaliers, Washington caught 111 passes in 138 targets for 1,384 yards and nine touchdowns. He caught 12 passes of 20 or more air yards last season for 419 yards and three touchdowns, and he had 14 kick returns for 273 yards.

At the NFL level, Washington projects well as a speed slot target with all kinds of ways of getting crafty after the catch.


— Washington has a great sense of how to create separation at the ball point with short-area burst, subtle push-offs, and driving the defender back on vertical routes. He’s a separation generator (copyright @gregcosell).

— Led all receivers in this class in yards after catch last season (710 of 1,384), and he’ll bull through cornerbacks to get more on the field. The weight part of his 5′ 8½”, 191-pound frame shows up as a positive when he needs to do that.

— Has no issue catching the ball when defenders are converging, and he’s about to get whomped. He has a running back’s mentality when it comes to contact.

— Understands how to make space happen in the open field; Washington will drop down from zone coverage to present an easy read in the timing of the play. And his acceleration ensures that if you don’t get his down, he’ll flourish at the third level of the defense.

— Beats press at the line with outstanding foot feints. Bigger cornerbacks can tie him up, but catching him in phase is a problem.


— Blocking is not a thing. He’ll get pushed back far too easily.

— Focus drops are a bit of an issue; Washington will get ahead of himself and drop handoffs on sweeps and end-around plays. He could stand to slow things down in his head sometimes.

— Size will limit him to the slot and inline at the NFL level; Washington is not an outside guy. Three outside targets last season.

I got to Washington a bit late in the process, but I really like him as a speed slot target who can tie defenders in knots in a lot of different ways. Andy Reid should be watching as much of his tape as possible.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire