Ranking Steelers most efficient wide receivers so far in 2020
3. James Washington
I like James Washington better than most seem to; perhaps it’s because he’s often thrown on the back burner as the other three receivers continually hog the spotlight. After a less than stellar rookie year in 2018 behind Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Washington really kicked things up a notch in 2019, despite playing with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.
This year, however, his production and efficiency have been very modest in the early going. With Chase Claypool in town, Washington’s role as a former deep threat has now transformed into a short-yardage possession receiver. As a result, his yards per reception have decreased from 16.7 last year to just 9.2 through the first three games of the 2020 season (94th in the league).
In addition, Washington has a pair of concentration drops of his own, and he hasn’t created a lot of space either before or after the catch this year. He does, however, seem to show up when it counts – extending for a nearly impossible touchdown against the Giants in Week 1 and coming up with key conversions on 3rd and 4th down this year. Still, his overall efficiency when targeted put him in the middle of NFL receivers so far in 2020.