3 reasons James Washington is Steelers best wide receiver

James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
James Washington #13 Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

#3–His stats are still impressive

Despite all the overlooking, all the underutilization, and all the hype surrounding his fellow targets, James is still an impactful force to behold on every play he takes part in. If you refuse to take my word for it, the stats do not lie. A player who showed up in every game, and was used convincingly less than three receivers and even a tight end, still had the second-highest average amount of yards per reception.

As far as scoring is concerned, Washington brought in as many TD catches (5) as the aforementioned tight end Eric Ebron and only two less than WR Diontae Johnson. These same stats tell us that Diontae was by far the most relied upon receiver, with 16 more targets on the season than second-place JuJu Smith-Schuster.

So what we see here is James Washington’s competitive playability within the passing game when compared to that of the rest of Pittsburgh’s receiving stars, yet he had 35 fewer targets than a tight end and only 13 more than James Conner, a running back. Those previously referenced 5 touchdowns were reeled in with only 392 receiving yards all season long. This means that Washington averaged a TD reception every 78.4 of his yards, which is easily the most efficient amongst every single Steeler who caught at least one touchdown pass this last year. So yeah, he’s pretty darn crucial to the offense. Clearly, he comes up big whenever such is expected of him, regardless of how little he may be asked to do so in relation to a multitude of his teammates.

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So if I were to summarize, I would deem James Washington as the perfect wide receiver to have. He’s quiet about how great he is and lets his performance speak for him. He also never has to be pulled aside by his coaches to be told to stop acting out. Most importantly, he is dominant without any attention being paid to how much or how little spotlight he is getting in the process. He’s there to win, and that is all. Especially if JuJu doesn’t come back for next season, the Steelers really need to work on how they can get this guy bumped up to a more executive role on their receiving corps.