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Bears choose Georgia pass-rusher in sixth round

The Bears bolstered their defensive line in the sixth round of the draft by selecting Georgia end Cornelius Washington with the 188th overall pick.

The 6-4, 265-pounder was a four-year contributor for the Bulldogs, starting 25 of 51 games played and recording 76 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss and 10.5 sacks.



]( "Click to view a photo gallery from Washington's collegiate career")

Click to view a photo gallery from Washington's collegiate career.
A skilled pass rusher, Washington played both outside linebacker and defensive end at Georgia.

"Chicago wants me to play defensive end and I'm very happy with that," he said. "I'm very comfortable with the position. It's actually a position that I was recruited to play in college, and I'm happy with it. I'm going to have the ability to just go and rush, and that's the best thing for me. So I'm excited. I'm elated and I'm ready to play."

Washington estimated that he played in a three-point stance at end 60-65 percent of the time. "It's nothing I'm not used to," he said. "It's something I'm comfortable with doing and I'm good at."

The Bears feel that Washington possesses an explosive first step and will benefit from lining up at one position, left defensive end.

"What did we see on tape? An explosive athlete," said general manager Phil Emery. "We saw a guy that's close a lot but hasn't closed. We think that this is a player that still has got a lot of ceiling. He loves football. He's an SEC player used to dealing with a high level of competition.

"We see a guy that can make plays. We see somebody that has a great developmental upside. Any time you can get a player with that kind of length, body type and that explosiveness who has been at that level of competition and has experienced success … we were awful happy to see him sitting there in the sixth round."

"I am a little bit discouraged, but the call came and that is the most important thing," Washington said. "Now I am just ready to go out there and be a Chicago Bear and contribute to their team as much as I possibly can."

Washington doesn't know why he wasn't drafted earlier.

"There was nothing that I was made aware of," Washington said. "Me and my agent both still are shocked. I have no idea what was going on. But you know I've got an opportunity and that's the most important thing. You turn something that's mildly negative into a positive and it's still a blessing. I'm blessed to be able to go to Chicago. I'm blessed to even get drafted at all. So I'm not bitter. I'm just ready to get to work."

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