Dolphins WR named ‘Sleeper Pick’ ahead of 2024 season

The Miami Dolphins selected two new wide receivers during the 2024 NFL Draft, and they both have the same last name.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier landed Virginia transfer Malik Washington in round six before getting USC wideout Tahj Washington in round seven. So far, both picks have earned rave reviews.

Malik Washington was recently named a top “sleeper” selection by veteran USA Today Sports Touchdown Wire analyst Doug Farrar on May 4. “Head coach Mike McDaniel wants speed on the field no matter what, and that’s what he got in Virginia receiver Malik Washington,” the writer began.

Furthermore, “When you watch Washington’s tape, (McDaniel’s) excitement is easy to understand. The 5’8½” 191-pound receiver ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the scout combine, but he is much faster down the field, especially in the middle of the field, and especially after the catch.”

“Washington led all receivers in the 2024 draft class with 710 yards after catch, and now McDaniel can imagine Washington doing its thing while Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle burn opposing defenses with vertical routes,” Farrar continued. “The opposing defenses won’t be too excited about that.”

Malik Washington wants his YAC ability to “shine through” with Dolphins

While discussing his landing spot in Miami, Malik Washington seemed very aware that his skills should work well within this offense.

“I think the way they run their offense, the moves, the different ways they use people to open up and let them be themselves, make them work, I think that’s very helpful to me,” Washington said during his introductory speech. press conference on April 27.

Adding: “I just get a chance to find some underlying routes, find ways to get open and let that YAC – a big part of my game – that shine through.”

Washington’s productivity exploded at Virginia in 2023. After gradually developing into a 550-700 yard pass catcher at Northwestern, the speedster put up more than 1,400 receiving yards with the Cavaliers.

That total came on the back of a 110-catch campaign, including nine touchdowns and an average of 13.0 yards per reception.

Ex-NFL DB turned analyst says Tahj Washington will have ‘major impact’ in third year

With Malik Washington earning “sleeper” praise in a deep WR room that just saw Odell Beckham Jr. has signed, you’d think Tahj Washington might have the odds against him.

However, Washington’s second pick gets just as much love as the first.

Former NFL defensive back Louis Riddick – an ESPN analyst who covers both college football and NFL – highlighted the seventh rounder as a “favorite non-first-round pick” who could become a “high-impact player” in year three or sooner.

Like Malik Washington, Tahj isn’t the tallest wide receiver, standing at 6-foot-1 and 174 pounds.

“(Tahj) Washington’s measurables could work against him during the evaluation process, but his competitiveness and consistency should offset that somewhat,” NFL Network scouting expert Lance Zierlein said ahead of the draft.

Rationale: “He’s a slot-only prospect with regular burst but above-average route acumen (that) rarely creates big windows of separation but makes up for it with an impressive winning percentage on contested catches. He is fearless in the middle of the field and is a willing run blocker from three wide receiver sets.

Based on these assessments, not only do Malik and Tahj have identical last names, but their respective games are also not far apart.

“Washington is a talented return man and has a real dog in him on the coverage teams,” Zierlein concluded at the time. “He should go on Day 3 and will fight for a roster spot as a WR5 with special teams value.”