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Draft Preview: Chauncey Washington

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Chauncey Washington isn't quite the sleeper prospect he was when I identified him as a potential steal several months back, but in a stacked draft for running backs, he should easily fall to the 4th round or later. The major cause? He was twice ruled academically ineligible. Make of that what you will. As many current and former NFL players prove, you don't have to be smart to pass your classes. Not when you're an elite talent, anyway. So did Washington just refuse to "play ball"? Is he inordinately stupid or honest? Actually, Washington was a math major with a computer science minor. He changed to a more modest major, sociology, before getting his grades back into shape. Otherwise, he's the same 4 star prospect he was exiting high school. Personally, I find such an ambitious course of study impressive for a potential pro athlete, and the perseverance he displayed to work his way back after missing two seasons to be two excellent indications of character. Hopefully Tim Ruskell does, too.

Depending on the source, Washington is anywhere from 5'11" (2007 combine) to 6'1" (ESPN, various) and between 215 and 230 lbs. Washington is a power rusher with a true bruising style. Washington maintains a low pad level and hits the hole - No frills, just good lines, square shoulders, impressive acceleration and a trail of broken tacklers in his wake. He averaged only 5 yards per carry his senior season, but that total is deflated by minimal big play ability and heavy usage in short yardage and goal line situations. Washington is incredibly consistent. The graph represents 189 carries. I removed 6 that were, in my estimation, obvious garbage time carries. Football Outsiders lists 4.5 yards as the measurement of a success on 1st and 10, but since play-by-play only lists whole numbers, I used the classic "Hidden Game of Football" 4 yard standard.

Washington is cheap, has succeeded at the highest level and is the perfect compliment to Maurice Morris. With him and a rebuilt offensive line, Seattle could boast a resurgent rushing attack without a star running back.