Seen as a surefire late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick in the draft, Washington surprisingly went undrafted with concerns about his size being the predominant reason.
Despite this, the Ravens remain “excited” about his potential, at least according to director of player personnel Joe Hortiz who recently spoke with The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec about the organization’s 2021 rookie class.
Hortiz acknowledged that it will be an “uphill battle” for Washington, or any undrafted rookie for that matter, to make the roster. But he also insisted that this team is “excited” about his potential.
The Ravens are excited about Ar’Darius Washington
Most analysts had the undersized Washington coming off the board early on Day 3 with a collective draft projection of pick 114 in the fourth round, per NFL Mock Draft Database.
Yet, teams were scared off by his small stature with the former TCU star standing at just 5-foot-8, 176 pounds. While he wasn’t drafted, he still stands as good a shot as any undrafted rookie at making the Ravens’ roster.
One of the rangiest safeties in the class, Washington starred alongside former teammate Trevon Moehrig to form perhaps the best safety duo in college football.
He’ll have plenty of competition in Baltimore, but his skill set projects well as a safety/nickel hybrid in the NFL. Expect defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to give him some looks at multiple positions on defense.
The Ravens will return both DeShon Elliott and Chuck Clark as their starting safeties in 2021, but the competition for depth behind them could be interesting.
The likes of Anthony Levine, Jordan Richards, Geno Stone, and Nigel Warrior will all be competing for the backup safety jobs with third-round pick Brandon Stephens figuring to mix in as well.
Levine and Richards are both key special teamers while Stephens is guaranteed a roster spot. It’s hard to see Washington making the team unless he could show out on special teams and provide versatility in the nickel as well.
Still, the Ravens remain excited about his potential and he seems all but guaranteed a spot on the practice squad, even if he doesn’t crack the initial 53-man roster.
Expect Ar’Darius Washington to get plenty of looks this summer as the Ravens attempt to determine his role on the team moving forward.