The Raiders addressed their need for a reserve running back by taking Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington in the fifth round Saturday.
The 5-foot-8, 204-pound Washington rushed for 1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Red Raiders, plus caught 41 passes for 385 yards in Tech’s pass happy offense.
“We actually ran the ball quite a bunch,” Washington said on a media conference call. “Playmakers make plays at the end of the day. I’m excited to be a part of this Oakland offense and look forward to doing big things.”
Washington ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and is viewed as a quick, tough runner not afraid to run the ball inside. He compared himself to Maurice Jones-Drew, the former De La Salle High standout who closed out his career with the Raiders in 2014.
“Small, compact, but you know very physical at the point of attack,” Washington said in describing himself.
Oakland needs help in its ground game to compliment Pro Bowler Latavius Murray. He ran for 1,066 yards last season, but quarterback Derek Carr was the Raiders’ second-leading rusher at 138 yards.
Washington appears to be a good fit as the third-down back the team needs. He’ll give defenses a different look from the 6-3, 220-pound Murray and is comfortable catching the ball and protecting the passer.
“I take that personally,” Washington said. “Anytime I can get a chance to take on a defender, especially in pass blocking, I play with a chip on my shoulder. I definitely take that very personally and I look forward to protecting Derek Carr.”
He had a torn ACL toward the end of his true freshman season of college in 2011 and missed the next year as a redshirt. Over his final two seasons, Washington gained 2,595 yards on the ground and averaged 6.3 yards per carry and said he hasn’t had any issues with the knee since.
Washington’s stats show a player who keeps up his production throughout a game. He averaged 6.45 yards per carry during the first half of games last season and 6.36 during the second half with the workload being almost identical.