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Malik Washington plans on ‘being a sponge’ in Dolphins receiver room

Malik Washington plans on ‘being a sponge’ in Dolphins receiver room

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Malik Washington has one main goal for his rookie season: soak up knowledge. And he’s in the perfect situation to do it.

With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Odell Beckham Jr. sitting ahead of him on the depth chart, Washington has the opportunity to learn from some of the best.

“I got three guys ahead of me that know what they are doing,” Washington said Friday at the Dolphins’ rookie minicamp. “They’ve done it before, and they’ve had a lot of success at doing it. Being a sponge, taking in all of the information I can and trying to take it into my game as well.”

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Washington already got a head start on talking to receivers who know the game. Prior to the draft, the sixth-round pick talked with former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who analyzed his game on a podcast.

“I was talking to one of the greats — one of the guys that I’ve watched his film, I’ve watched him play the game, that’s who I like to model my game after,” Washington said. “So taking some of that criticism — catching that ball and getting straight vertical, knowing the tempo and timing of routes, I think that’s important. Especially when you get to this level where everybody is fast, everybody plays hard and everybody is quick.”

After transferring from Northwestern to Virginia, Washington became a featured receiver in 2023. He more than matched his career yards and touchdowns, hauling in a nation-leading 110 passes for 1,426 yards and nine touchdown receptions in his fifth college season.

Washington said he made sure he caught everything thrown his way, but that’s not even what he would say is his best attribute.

“It will take who can be the best pro, who can learn the information as quickly as possible and utilize it on the field,” he said. “I think that will be to my advantage. I’ll try my best to do that. I’ll study hard and take that to the NFL game plan.”

Washington said he wants to continue to develop his own game, which includes working closely with the offensive coaching staff and quarterback room. Regardless, he’s confident in his ability to make defenders’ jobs harder on themselves.

“I don’t think anybody can tackle me,” Washington said. “I don’t want anybody to tackle me. I don’t want to touch the grass. Each time I get the ball, I’m trying to go score.”

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