New Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Darnell Washington recently drew a comparison to one of the team’s all-time greats at the position.
Former Steelers quarterback Jim Miller, who played for the team from 1994-96, said that the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Washington reminds him of one of his former Steelers teammates, legendary tight end Eric Green.
“He can run like Eric Green could,” Miller said. “Eric had, I think, 65 receptions when I was there as a Steelers.”
Green was the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft and played five seasons in Pittsburgh, setting all kinds of franchise records for the position. Green’s best season came in 1993, when he caught 63 passes for 942 yards and five touchdowns.
Washington is even bigger than the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Green, but the does possess a combination of size and speed that is rare for any position, much the way Green did in his time.
Steelers general manager Omar Khan joined Movin’ the Chains with Miller and Pat Kirwan on Sirius XM Radio on Thursday and seemed to agree with that assessment.
“6-foot-7 and change and can move,” Khan said. “It’s impressive. You don’t come across that very often. He’s exciting to have. Not only is he going to help us in the pass game, he’s going to help us in the run game, too. Obviously, he has some experience playing next to (first-round pick) Broderick (Jones), which is a plus. Those guys know how to talk to each other in-game. That’ll be good for us.”
Green was not a full-time starter in his rookie season, working in behind veteran Mike Mularkey, but he was an immediate red zone weapon. Green caught seven touchdown passes out of 34 total receptions as a rookie in 1990.
He took over the starter’s job in 1991 and outside of an injury in 1992, held it until he left via free agency in 1995. Green played one season with the Miami Dolphins, three with the Baltimore Ravens and one with the New York Jets before retiring after the 1999 season. He finished his career with 362 catches for 4,390 yards and 36 touchdowns.