The weird saga of a Day 3 NFL draft pick is over.
Baltimore landed the No. 170 overall pick from the Vikings last summer in exchange for kicker Kaare Vedvik, who struggled in Minnesota’s preseason games and was cut three weeks later. This remains one of the most masterful moves by Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta.
With the bonus pick, the Ravens continued to address the defensive line. Washington, a three-year starter, is the fourth defensive lineman added by Baltimore this offseason (Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe in free agency and Justin Madubuike in the third round).
The Ravens made revamping the front seven a priority after allowing a franchise-worst 4.4 yards per carry last season. Baltimore was also upset in the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans because it couldn't stop running back Derrick Henry, who ran for 195 yards against the Ravens.
Washington is known for his toughness and technique and can become a rotational player at defensive tackle with Brandon Williams.
"The Ravens love size," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "They love getting guys who can bang inside and are very strong and stout. He's a point-of-attack player. And no one values stopping the run quite like the Baltimore Ravens."
The Ravens were able to draft Washington because of their history of being a special-teams pipeline. Three current kickers -- New Orleans' Wil Lutz, Carolina's Graham Gano and Buffalo's Stephen Hauschka -- all got their starts in Baltimore.
Vedvik was expected to join them after making 12 of 13 field goals during the past two preseason in Baltimore. But, following the trade to Minnesota, the Norwegian-born kicker missed 3 of 4 field-goal tries.