ALAMEDA – DeAndre Washington is short, not small. The Texas Tech running back may be 5-foot-8, but he’s 204 pounds of power on a football field. That’s a style the Raiders acquired with their fifth-round pick at No. 143 overall, a necessary addition to their offense.
Washington compared himself to a player with ties to the Bay Area and Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio.
“Maybe I’m a Maurice Jones-Drew type,” Washington said Saturday in a conference call. “You know, small and compact, but very physical at the point of attack."
Jones-Drew is an Oakland native who fueled Del Rio’s offenses with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Raiders would be thrilled to get that type of player. They certainly needed someone of his talents in the backfield, to compliment Latavius Murray. Murray was overworked at times and suffered some down the stretch.
Washington is a true change of pace in body type and rushing style. He’s also solid in passing situations, and could be a third-down back right away.
“Playmakers make plays, at the end of the day,” Washington said. “I’m excited to be a part of this Oakland offense. I look forward to doing big things.”
Washington was an all-around presence for the Red Raiders, recording 1,877 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns on 274 touches.
Some of his most important contributions won’t show up on the stat. Young running backs earn trust in the NFL with ball security and pass protection. Washington believes, after playing at pass-happy Texas Tech, he is ready for blocking assignments.
“I take that personally, man,” he said. “I think if you watch my film, anytime I get a chance to take on a defender, I play with a chip on my shoulder when it comes to that part of my game. I definitely take that personally. I look forward to protecting Derek Carr or whoever the quarterback may be.
“I think (pass protection) comes down to willpower. Pass blocking is all tenacity. If you deliver a blow instead of take a blow, you’re going to win a lot more than you lose.”