When the Raiders drafted DeAndre Washington in the fifth round in May, general manager Reggie McKenzie lauded the former Texas Tech standout as “a complete back.”
So far, that’s exactly what the Raiders are seeing.
In workouts with the team since draft day, including the recent full-squad minicamp, Washington has exceeded expectations. When the Raiders open training camp later this month, Washington appears poised to be one of the most exciting additions to the offense. With a good training camp and exhibition season, he could emerge as the No. 2 running back behind Latavius Murray.
“He’s good,” Murray told Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group, when asked about Washington recently. “Quick guy, great speed, great vision. I think he looks real good. Excited to get to work with him, learn from him and hopefully he’ll learn from me.”
Washington will compete with veteran Roy Helu Jr. and Taiwan Jones for Murray’s backup job. Helu was injured early last season, but had some good performances late in the year. He had hip surgery after the season, but is expected to be healthy by the start of training camp.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave says he loves Washington’s versatility. In practices and drills, the Raiders have used him as a ball carrier, receiver and on special teams.
“We’re putting him in different situations to get a fell for his strengths and how we can tailor plays, tailor situations, so he can really flash for us,” Musgrave told Durkin. “He’s going to be good in first, second or third down.”
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio says Washington has been exciting to watch so far in silver and black.
“He’s a guy that we think he’s got the ability to really do some things if we can get him in space,” Del Rio said in an interview on 95.7 The Game FM recently. “He’s fast. He’s quick. He’s not overly big. He’s about 210, 212 pounds, so he’s not a bowling ball or anything, but we think he’s got some juice.
“We think he’s got a chance to really help us move the chains and he’s really excited about running the ball any way we can get it to him. … We think he’s got a chance to really help us.”
The 5-foot-8 Washington ran for 1,103 yards as a junior at Texas Tech and 1,492 yards as a senior. He also caught 124 passes in college for 1,091 yards.