Detroit Lions: Cornelius Washington Scouting Report

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Cornelius Washington looks to be an important piece for a defensive line that has been weakened by suspensions and injuries. He signed a 2-year, $5.825M deal in free agency, but is he the bookend to Ziggy Ansah that the Lions have been searching for?




Pro Position(s)

4-3 DE (5T, Closed)

Prospect (Last, First)

Washington, Cornelius

DOB (Age)

9/10/1989 (28)

Scout Name (Last, First)

Rossler, Bryce



Georgia (GAUN)




Detroit Lions


Games Played Games Started Games Won Winning % Positions Started Captain
32 2 8 25% DE No


INJURIES 2016: Ankle, knee (Wk 1, no games missed); back (missed no games)

2015: torn quadriceps (sustained Wk 1, season-ending)

2014: ankle (Wk 15, no games missed); illness (Wk 11, no games missed)

2013: no injuries

KEY STATS 2016 – played 364 defensive snaps (33.9% rate), 20 tackles (15th on team), 2 sacks (5th) 13 hurries (4th)

Career – 30 tackles, 3 sacks, 452 defensive snaps


Height Weight 40 YD 10 YD Arm Hand Vert 3Cone SS Broad Bench
6040 265 lbs. 4.55s 1.60s 34” 9.5” 39” 7.47s 4.74s 128” 36”


TAPES VIEWED 2017 (w/DET): 9/10 vs. ARZ

2016 (w/CHI): 9/25 at DAL, 10/02 vs. DET, 10/20 at GB, 11/27 vs. TEN, 12/24 vs. WAS

BEST Play strength, quickness/acceleration, UOH
WORST Bend, PR plan, keying the ball
PROJECTION Solid closed DE you can win with. Lacks get off/bend/PR plan as a pass rusher, but can win with bull rush vs. most OTs; and UOH/play strength allow him to stack and shed/set the edge vs. the run. Just turned 28, but saw his first significant game action in 2016 and may have room to grow.
SCHEME Best fit is as a closed 5T in a one-gapping, even-front. Would benefit from playing in a Wide 9 scheme to help soften the edge for him.
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Cornelius Washington is a 5th year DE who has started 2 of 32 career games, including 2 of 15 in 2016. Played 2015 and 2016 in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s 3-4 base defense that primarily uses two-gap responsibilities. Was used primarily as a 1T/3T on passing downs in Chicago, but occasionally saw work as a 5T/4T. Has been used as a one-gapping 5T/7T in an even front through one game in Teryl Austin’s attacking 4-3 in Detroit. Reportedly played at 295 lbs. in 2016, and has slimmed down to 280 lbs. in 2017.


Possesses good athletic ability with good quickness/acceleration and adequate COD, with solid height, very good weight, good arm length, and adequate hand size. Solid run defender that diagnoses reach/base/pull blocks well, quickly lands a strong initial punch into the frame of blockers, and uses good arm length and very good play strength to control their outside shoulder and work his hips into his gap.

Shoots his hands into pass protector’s chest and locks his arms out, and can generate a very powerful bull rush. UOH is good and uses his paws to swat blocker’s hands and keep his frame clean, and has good stack and shed ability once he’s locked in. Strong finisher when he has the QB lined up. Solid competitor who plays with aggression and a good motor. Good in pursuit and uses solid play speed, high effort, and a large tackling radius to disrupt the development of run plays, and can tackle powerful RBs in the phone booth.


Mental processing is slightly below average. Upfield burst is just adequate due to a below average ability to key the ball, and struggles to threaten the outside shoulder of pass blockers that have good foot quickness. Pass rushing skillset is unrefined; doesn’t attack with a plan, lacks a winning go-to move or any noteworthy counters, and has marginal bend. Plays himself into a narrow base when moving laterally, making himself an easy target for linemen looking for work. Pops straight up on twists/stunts and doesn’t generate optimal force after looping around.


Cornelius Washington is a solid closed DE you can win with. As a pass rusher, he lacks the get-off to soften the edge for himself, struggles to turn the corner, and lacks a varied arsenal, but he can win on his bull rush alone against most NFL offensive tackles; and his quick, violent hands and strength allow him to stack and shed and set the edge against the run. Just turned 28, but saw his first significant game action in 2016 and may have room to grow.

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