5 most underappreciated Steelers heading into the 2020 season

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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James Washington Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

4. WR James Washington

The Steelers have a deep, young room of wide receivers, but despite leading Pittsburgh in receiving last season, he’s likely the least popular of their top four guys.

Obviously, JuJu is a fan favorite who hogs a large portion of the overall spotlight. His videos are constantly posted to social media, and he has an energetic and fun personality. But it’s not just JuJu who is leaving Washington in the dark.

2018 rookie Diontae Johnson gained a lot of popularity as the season progressed last year, and there are already writers talking him up as a future number one receiver. At the same time, rookie Chase Claypool has drawn a lot more buzz than Washington this offseason. The 6’4” athletic second-round pick has intriguing measurables for the position.

Let’s not forget that Washington was a former second-round draft choice in his own right, and was far more productive in college than any of his wide receiver colleges in Pittsburgh. Washington did nothing but impress last season with his ability to track poorly thrown balls. He finished 21st in the league in yards per target despite being 99th in catchable target rate, according to Playerprofiler.com (let that one sink in).

Washington ultimately earned 735 receiving yards on just 52 catchable targets from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. He has earned our respect.