For the second straight year, the Wildcats sent at least one player to the NFL’s premier scouting event.
Offensive lineman Tony Washington followed in the footsteps of former teammates and current NFL players Johnny Knox and Bernard Scott in competing in the combine.
Washington did not disappoint in his effort to prove to scouts he is not just another small school prospect.
Washington was a “top performer” among the offensive linemen in four of the seven general workout categories according to www.nfl.com. His 33 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds were good for sixth best among the offensive linemen.
“It was funny to watch the other guys before and after me bench 25 or 28,” Washington said. “I was just thinking about how I was going to put up 35 on them.”
Washington was the top offensive lineman in the standing broad jump, a drill that tests a player’s ability to explode horizontally from a standing position; his 9 feet 6 inches was almost a full foot ahead of Chris Degeare in 10th place.
Washington also finished in the top 10 in the three-cone-drill and vertical jump. His 29-foot-1/2-inch vertical was tied for ninth best. His 7.52-second time in the three-cone drill landed him sixth.
“It was an eye-opening experience. I look at guys like [University of Oklahoma offensive tackle] Trent Williams and [Oklahoma State offensive tackle] Russell Okung, some of the best in the nation, and it was great competing against them, but beating them was even better,” Washington said.
The ACU lineman became the fourth player under Head Coach Chris Thomsen to receive an invite to the combine in the past four years.
“It is a good thing for these players to get their accomplishments recognized at that kind of level,” Thomsen said.
Former Wildcats Johnny Knox and Bernard Scott had impressive combines at last year’s event, and both improved their draft stock enough to be drafted by NFL teams.
“It just goes to show you that you can find good players anywhere; it doesn’t matter what level they played at,” Washington said.
If Washington were drafted in late April, he would become the fourth player from ACU to be drafted in the past four seasons. The previous three were Johnny Knox, wide receiver for the Chicago Bears; Bernard Scott, running back for the Cincinnati Bengals; and Danieal Manning, safety for the Chicago Bears.