2024 Atlanta Falcons Draft Pick Profile: WR Casey Washington

Casey Washington was a bit of a surprising pick in the sixth round since he didn't have a super productive college career.
Nov 25, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Casey Washington (14)
Nov 25, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Casey Washington (14) / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Falcons decided that taking a wide receiver in the sixth round was the right way to go. Casey Washington out of Illinois was the selection at the second sixth-round pick for the Falcons. It was a bit of a surprise pick as Washington wasn't very impressive in college and honestly was a bit of a reach. However, the Falcons feel he can be a good fit for their offense under new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson, so they decided to take him.

Casey Washington

University of Illinois

Wide Receiver


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

Athletically, Casey Washington is a really good one, but is too straightforward as one. He's not great in and out of cuts and is not ideal as a starting wide receiver in that case. His best comparison is Michael Gallup as an athlete, but even Gallup had more lateral agility than Washington. Size wise, they're both prototypical for a wide receiver. If the 3-cone drill for Washington was more of an outlier than his actual time, then the Falcons should discard it and hope that is the case.


Stats and Awards

2023: 12 Games Played, 49 Catches, 670 Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 1 Tackle, Academic All-Big Ten
2022: 13 Games Played, 31 Catches, 306 Yards, Academic All-Big Ten
2021: 12 Games Played, 21 Catches, 294 Yards, 1 Carry, 30 Yards, 1 Touchdown
2020: 8 Games Played, 10 Catches, 106 Yards
2019: 10 Games Played, 11 Catches, 132 Yards


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Casey Washington's biggest strengths come from his straight line speed, solid amount of size and overall physicality to his game. He uses his physicality in his releases off the line to have clear lanes to his routes. He plays bigger than his size and has good yards-after-catch ability. He's more than willing to clear lanes in the running game. Washington's got a bit of a clutch gene on third and fourth downs and catches the ball with his hands away from his body. He's got grit and has no problem being the possession guy on the offense.

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness in Casey Washington's game is his lack of ability to change directions and create separation. He's too straightforward as an athlete and route runner. He didn't have much production while he was in college at all. He doesn't have much experience on special teams and wasn't an every down wide receiver. There isn't much versatility to Washington's game. and he profiles generally as an outside-only wide receiver.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

The Atlanta Falcons continued to get good off-field players with Casey Washington. He's a guy who grinds in run blocking and isn't worried about laying his body on the line. He's a hard working player and someone who should be a good soldier, even if he was never a leader or captain for the Fighting Illini in college. Atlanta found another makeup guy with Washington.

NFL Stylistic Comparison: Matthew Slater

Much like Matthew Slater, Casey Washington has great height, weight and speed. He's also a willing blocker like the multiple-time special teams Pro Bowler. The Falcons are probably hoping for more than a pure blocker and special teams contributor like Slater has been for his career. On a lower end, he's likely to be similar to Kha'Darel Hodge. And even then, that's a solid contributor to a team, but as a wide receiver, it's not very good overall.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

Casey Washington doesn't figure to be a contributor on offense as a rookie. The Falcons have Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Darnell Mooney, Rondale Moore and KhaDarel Hodge ahead of him as wide receivers. That doesn't even include guys like Ray-Ray McCloud or Avery Williams who should also be ahead of him on return teams as well. Washington at best as a rookie is a special teams contributor as a gunner and potentially competition at returner. More than likely, he's a practice squad player as a rookie or inactive on gamedays.

Why Casey Washington instead of WR Brendan Rice or OL Dylan McMahon?

The Falcons could have easily added another interior offensive lineman to help with depth if they wanted to in Dylan McMahon. However, they decided that they wanted to go the route of a wide receiver. Casey Washington doesn't make too much sense considering Brendan Rice was available at the same point. Rice is the son of NFL legend Jerry Rice and could have been a perfect fit in this offense as a potential long-term No. 2 wide receiver. Washington looks like he's in line for a career similar to that of KhaDarel Hodge. They are not the same.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.