Grading out the Montrell Washington pick for Broncos
The Denver Broncos have added an intriguing wide receiver in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
With the No. 162 overall selection of the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos have chosen Samford wide receiver Montrell Washington. He should be considered as a slot receiver for the team at some point down the road but to begin with, his main role will likely be on special teams.
It was thought that the Broncos would add a wide receiver in this draft despite having plenty of solid options at the position in Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler. But beyond those players, there will be a real opening for a guy to make an impact and that could be Washington.
Broncos taking Montrell Washington conjures up memories of Isaiah McKenzie
The Broncos have moved on from return specialist Diontae Spencer after three seasons with the team and at least, to begin with, Washington will likely assume that role.
He caught 61 passes last year at Samford but the statistic that stands out the most is the two punts he returned for touchdowns during the college season. He will almost certainly become the main option at both kick and punt returner for the Broncos.
Washington is on the smaller side at 5-foot-9 and about 180 pounds. The hope for the Broncos is that he can be more of a wide receiver than guys in the past for the team of the same stature.
I was never a fan of keeping Spencer on the roster simply because he offered next to nothing as a wide receiver. He was also nothing extremely special as a kick returner, so the hope will be that Washington is a bit more shifty and dynamic.
This pick reminds me a lot of the Isaiah McKenzie selection that the Broncos made in the fifth round in 2017. McKenzie was an exciting player to select but he never materialized into anything for the Broncos, particularly as a returner.
Luckily for him, he went to a place where he could be a contributor with the Buffalo Bills.
Washington comes from a small school and was likely easily overlooked by most teams. He does show the ability to be a guy who can make big plays and for that, all you have to do is put on the tape of the Samford-Florida game from last season.
In that game, Washington caught 10 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 98-yard kickoff return in that game. And he did that against an SEC team.
The competition will be different at the pro level but he is a guy that could be a huge weapon for the Broncos at some point.