What to expect from Steelers WR James Washington against Giants

James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington has been talked about far less than JuJu, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. This is a mistake.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quite possibly might have the best 1-3 group at the wide receiver position in the NFL. No one in NFL history has as many receiving yards as JuJu before the age of 23. Diontae Johnson turned so many heads in 2019 that it was only a matter of time that he would become the Steelers #2. Yet, no one is mentioning the Steelers’ leading receiver in 2019 James Washington.

When thinking about James Washington’s 2019 season I will probably never forget this touchdown catch against the Browns.

Yes, that flag was thrown for defensive pass interference. Washington came into 2019 with two main things to work on. He had to refine his route running, and he had to track the ball better. This particular play showed a ton of both.

I will say this, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a ton of young talent, but Washington not only led the Steelers in receiving yards, but he also led the Steelers in yard per catch in 2019. With Diontae Johnson nursing a minor injury, and the crazy amount of turnover in the Giants secondary, I expect James Washington to go crazy. Not to mention, Washington and JuJu are the only receivers on the depth chart that Ben Roethlisberger has thrown to during an actual game.

I expect him totally over 100 yards and at least 1 touchdown in this game. Ben more than likely having to shake some rust off is the one reason why I don’t say he will tally over 150 yards in week 1.

Even beyond this game, I expect James Washington to play very well throughout the year. If Diontae Johnson continues to improve I still see a very viable role in this group for James Washington. The number 3 wide receiver spot has been a spot Ben loves to throw to. The last time the Steelers won the Super Bowl was in 2008. The number 3 on that roster was Nate Washington.

Nate Washington led the Steelers in yards per catch in 2008 per Steelers. Nate also only tallied 15 fewer receptions than the number 2 on that depth chart, Santonio Holmes. I do believe that James Washington is far more talented than Nate. I also believe that he is going to be on Diontae Johnson’s heels all season. I wouldn’t be that surprised if Washington reclaims his spot as the number 2.

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I don’t have a crystal ball, but James Washington is going to turn some heads in week 1. He is going to remind everyone what kind of player he was in 2019. If that player comes back in 2020, with a hall of fame quarterback, the league better watch out.