How Much Of An Upside Does Chicago Bears DE Cornelius Washington Have?

The Chicago Bears selected DE Cornelius Washington in the 6th round with the 188th pick overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has been an intriguing prospect based on some of his analytics, and therefore is a good draft pick for NFL Data Consultants to weigh in on.

Physically, Cornelius Washington meets thresholds that are rarely seen. The physical metrics just jump right off the page and should be intriguing to anyone evaluating him analytically. He physically compares to defensive ends that have performed well in the league. He also compares analytically to DE Vernon Gholston, who was selected 6th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Jets and did not last long in the league. Gholston had 14 sacks in his final season, which was more sacks than Washington had in his whole collegiate career. For this study, Vernon Gholston is a good comparison case.

Vernon Gholston had warning flags, not because of his athletic gifts, but when you look at the production. He had good production in raw number form with 8.5 and 14 sacks in his final two seasons. However, he played in less than 5 games that would be classified as games that would meet our standards for inclusion out of his 27 total games. That is a very low number and would raise questions on much of the production from his fantastic raw numbers.

Cornelius Washington played in about 5 times as many included games as Vernon Gholston, thus his production metrics will hold more validity. On a per game basis, he was challenged slightly less than Vernon Gholston. Cornelius Washington flashed early with production, but has been in a drought since 2010 in terms of production. Despite his fantastic physical metrics, the odds are stacked against him to break 4 sacks in a single season.

The objective is to do a risk analysis and look at it from a probabilistic standpoint.  Can he break 4 sacks? Physically, he should be able to net double figures in a single season, but his overall risk analysis places a much lower upside. Without further data and information that an organization may have available to analyze, it would be difficult to answer the question: Why does Cornelius Washington have such a dichotomy between his physical and production metrics? What can be said is that unlike Vernon Gholston, Cornelius Washington was drafted much closer to his long term market value as a defensive end.