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General Manager Reggie McKenzie Likes Upside That Rookie DeAndre Washington Brings To The Table


Latavius Murray enjoyed a breakout season in 2015.

In just his first season as the primary running back for the Raiders, Murray rushed for 1,066 yards, six touchdowns and earned his first Pro Bowl berth in the process.

However, the depth behind Murray never really manifested, as Derek Carr was the team's second-leading rusher with just 138 yards on the ground.

Heading into 2016, that depth at running back was something that needed to be addressed, and the Raiders did just that – selecting Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington in the fifth round (No. 143 overall) of the NFL Draft.

Standing at just 5'8" and tipping the scales at over 200 pounds, it's easy to compare the former Texas Tech Red Raider to other small, quick backs like Darren Sproles who has excelled primarily on third down, but General Manager Reggie McKenzie believes that Washington has the ability to be an every-down back going forward.

"DeAndre, he's more than just a third-down back," McKenzie told John Lund on 95.7 The Game. "He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is."

While Washington will undoubtedly be an asset on third down and in passing situations – he finished his career as a Red Raider with 1,091 receiving yards – McKenzie believes that people will be surprised by the physicality that the running back possesses.

"We think he's a complete back, and when he gets out in space, he can make you look silly." McKenzie explained. "He can catch the ball, but he can run between the tackles as well as well as bouncing it outside. We think he's the total package as a runner. We really like him."

In today's NFL, rarely do you see one running back handle as much of a load as Murray did last season – only Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin carried the ball more times than he did in 2015 – and adding a second, complementary back like Washington will surely pay dividends for the Raiders' rushing attack, particularly down the stretch of the season, and the Missouri City, Texas-native is ready to get to work.

"The Raiders are a rich-tradition organization – tradition runs deep," Washington said. "I know they have some die-hard fans out there, so I'm looking forward to getting out there and competing and having some fun and doing some big things for the Raider Nation."

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