PRO 2024 Rookie Spotlight: Tahj Washington, WR USC

Rookie Spotlight: Tahj Washington, USC

Height: 5-10
Weight: 177
Hands: 8 1/4″
Arm: 28 3/4″
40 yard dash: 4.49 sec (projected)
2024 Age: 24* (unverified)
NFL Comparison: Darnell Mooney
Breakout Age: 19* (RS FR)

Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Receptions: 19%
Receiving Yards: 25%
Receiving TDs: 22%
Total Production Percentage: 22%

As a high school prospect: Class of 2019; 3-star

Plays bigger than he is
Able to create in the open field
Suitable speed to break big plays
Willing to sacrifice body to get the ball
Reliable hands
Separates through change of tempo and sharp route running
Willing blocker
3.06 yards/route run in 2023; very strong number
Big-time early producer at Memphis before transferring to USC; early breakout age

Size and lack of elite speed could relegate him to the slot
Gets jammed in the press too often
Lacks power to break tackles consistently

Scouting Notes:
Washington is an explosive player who is willing to take on any task given him. He’s played inside, outside and as a ball carrier to varying degrees of success. His best season was his last at USC, posting 59 catches for 1,062 yards and 8 TDs, averaging 18.5 yards per reception. Washington’s drive took him far, as he plays bigger than he is. He lays himself out to bring the ball in, catching passes that might evade rangier receivers. He’s successful bringing down contested catches too, fighting for every inch afterwards. Unfortunately, Washington’s build just doesn’t allow for much power, as much as he’d like it to. He’s evasive in the open field, but he’s brought down rather easily when hands get laid on him. Washington is a willing blocker on the outside, but again, he just doesn’t have the strength to keep defenders at bay for long. This affects him in the press too, as he gets mired in too many hand battles at the tops of his routes. When he does separate, Washington does so with his initial burst and ability to change tempos readily. After the catch, Washington is creative in the open field. He knows how to make defenders miss and get the most out of his small but shifty frame. All in all, Washington is a smart player who can surprise you with his energy and versatility.

Fantasy Outlook:
For all of Washington’s strengths, he lacks elite traits as an athlete. He doesn’t have the hips or elite speed that a player of his size needs to turn heads at the evaluation level. That being said, he’s proven his worth at the college level, and he could shape up into a real asset in the slot at the next level. I think he’ll have too much trouble with the press to become a consistent outside threat. He’ll likely slide under the radar onto an NFL roster where he’ll be able to develop without pressure. Once there, he has the acumen and ethic to develop into an every down receiver on a WR needy team. I’m more than willing to take a chance on Washington in dynasty, as he has the skill to become a consistent PPR fantasy producer.

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