New Ravens defensive lineman Broderick Washington Jr. says “it’s still really unbelievable” that he’ll be joining Baltimore’s defensive tradition and is looking forward to squaring off against former Texas Tech teammate Patrick Mahomes in 2020.
Washington, who was drafted in the fifth round at No. 170 overall, played at Texas Tech from 2015-2019. He redshirted in 2015, then accumulated 134 tackles and 7.5 sacks during his final four years with the Red Raiders, who finished 4-8 under first-year head coach Matt Wells in 2019.
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Washington will be joining a defensive line that features projected starters Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe and reserves Justin Ellis, Daylon Mack and Jihad Ward. New draftees Justin Madubuike (Texas A&M) and Washington will compete for playing time in the rotation.
For Washington, it’s still a little surreal that he was taken by Baltimore.
“It’s still really unbelievable to me, but I know it’s such a high standard on defense over there and just the history,” Washington said on Glenn Clark Radio May 4. “Players like Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, they really set the culture there. We’ve got to live up to that expectation of playing great defense.
“I’m doing all I can right now — working out, doing all those things, getting in the playbook, making sure once I get there I’ll be able to hit the ground running and go out there and do my best to hold that standard and actually even raise that standard a little bit. I look forward to the challenge. I can’t wait to get to work, really.”
While the Ravens have long been known for their fast, physical defenses, Texas Tech has been known for up-tempo, spread offenses ever since Mike Leach took over as head coach in 2000 and introduced the Air Raid offense, which features four- and five-wide-receiver sets. Kliff Kingsbury later ran the Air Raid at Tech from 2013-2018, and Wells ran a spread offense in 2019.
The Red Raiders posted 45.1, 43.7, 34.3, 37.3 and 30.5 points per game during Washington’s tenure from 2015-2019, respectively. And that kind of offensive production is not unique in the Big 12. Last year alone, seven teams in the conference averaged 30 or more points per game.
Washington says the Big 12 has helped prepare him for the next level.
“I’m not going to say that the speed of college will be the same as in the pros, but I feel that’s kind of prepared me just to be able to go a little longer because I’m used to playing like 80 snaps a game,” Washington said. “I know once I get into the NFL, I won’t have to play that many snaps but I’ll be able to go longer than most people, go 100 percent longer than most people. I feel like that’s kind of given me an edge just because of the speed that our Big 12 offenses play with.”
Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP, was spectacular under Kingsbury at Tech from 2014-2016. In two-plus seasons as the starting quarterback, Mahomes threw for 11,252 yards and 93 touchdowns. Washington said Mahomes used to “torch” the Red Raiders’ defense in practice when the two were at Tech from 2015-2016.
“I knew that he was going to change the game pretty much when he got to the NFL just because of some of the things he did in practice,” Washington said. “The same things that y’all are seeing him do now, he’s been doing that. I saw it every day in practice. I knew he would change the game because nobody in the NFL is doing what he’s doing now, and now everybody’s trying to implement his game in their game a little bit now. It’s starting to change football, especially with quarterbacks.”
During practices at Tech, Washington saw the no-look throws that have wowed NFL fans the past two years. Mahomes busted out the trick against the Ravens in 2018:
Mahomes has beaten the Ravens in Kansas City the past two years, but the Ravens will have a chance to return the favor in Baltimore in 2020 – and Washington is ready for the challenge, no-look passes and all.
“When I was back in my freshman year watching film, I would just watch film on him and be like, ‘That’s crazy,’” Washington said. “He shouldn’t be able to do the things he does with the football. He looks like a baseball player out there just throwing the ball around. He’s a great player, and I definitely look forward to playing against him this year.”
For more from Washington, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Tech Athletics