Reuniting With George Pickens, Broderick Jones A ‘Dream Come True’ For TE Darnell Washington

They say all roads lead to Rome.

And evidently, all Georgia connections end up in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles have done nothing but draft Bulldogs the last two seasons. The Steelers furthered that connection over the last 24 hours, selecting Georgia OT Broderick Jones at #14 and then teammate Darnell Washington at #93 to finish out their Day Two selections.

For Washington, going to the NFL is special enough. Reuniting with teammates makes it even better, and he said as much in a post-pick call with Steelers reporters Friday night.

“Man, the emotion is crazy,” he said via a team-provided transcript. “This is a dream come true. Not only that, but it also comes with a perk playing alongside my old teammate, George [Pickens], GP. Broderick Jones, we go back to the Under Armour games in high school and we’ve played at Georgia together. It’s hard for me to speak right now just because of how happy I am. Just to be a Steeler, a great franchise. Just to become a part of that is amazing.”

Pittsburgh now has four Bulldogs on the roster – WR George Pickens, OT Broderick Jones, LB Tae Crowder, and Washington. The theme with these players: freak shows with great length, size, and athleticism. Pickens is a jump ball machine, Jones might have the highest upside of any offensive lineman in the draft, and Washington has one of the rarest body types in the entire class.

Along with most of the rest of the NFL, the Steelers make a regular stop to Georgia each year. They were well-represented this year with Omar Khan, Mike Tomlin, Dan Colbert, Dan Rooney Jr., Teryl Austin, and Danny Smith all making the trip. Back-to-back national champs, the Bulldogs have been churning out top-end NFL talent. Their players are well-coached, faced the best of the best (and gotten every team’s best, no one plays down to Georgia) and have played in college football’s highest-pressure moments. Draft classes are art, not science, but these factors all help create a cleaner evaluation.

Pickens is expected to make a second-year jump in 2023 after a solid rookie year that saw him grow towards the end of the season. Jones will challenge Dan Moore Jr. for the starting left tackle and is arguably the favorite right now, though he’ll still have to win the job. And Washington can make an immediate impact in 12 personnel.

This won’t just be a reunion in the locker room. It’ll be a reunion on the football field. On Sundays. Three Bulldogs in one huddle. Look out, NFL.

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