5 bold predictions for Steelers heading into 2020 season

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

James Washington will play more snaps than Diontae Johnson

Considering the praise Diontae Johnson has been receiving all offseason after his rookie year, this would be a pretty impressive feat for James Washington. However, don’t be so fast to count out the Oklahoma State product.

In 2019, Johnson and Washington ended up seeing nearly identical usage (40 compared to 42 snaps per game). A large part of this had to do with the injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster. While JuJu is back and rearing to go in 2020, it remains to be seen which other receiver will be paired more often next to him in 12-personnel.

While Johnson is the shifter option of the two, Washington is extremely physical at the catch point and is a much better blocker in the run game. Because of this, he could end up being on the field more often in two-receiver sets.

With the emergence of Diontae Johnson and the hype surrounding rookie wide receiver, Chase Claypool, James Washington has very much been an afterthought this offseason. However, it’s entirely possible that he could end up playing more offensive snaps than Johnson in 2020.