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JuJu Smith-Schuster believes James Washington will ‘sneak up on everyone’ in 2019

When asked to highlight a player flying under the radar this season, JuJu Smith-Schuster chose second-year wide receiver James Washington.

NFL: SEP 24 Steelers at Buccaneers Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the Pittsburgh Steelers set to test out a number of options at wide receiver during training camp in their quest to find a replacement for Antonio Brown, the opinions of the experts are split over who will win the starting role opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Free agent signing Donte Moncrief may have the edge on his competition thanks to his veteran experience, but second-year receiver James Washington is not to be discounted. And when talking to Adam Schefter on his podcast while he was in London last week, Smith-Schuster highlighted the former Oklahoma State product as one to watch in 2019 when asked which teammate was flying under the radar this year.

“Right now, we know that Donte Moncrief, he can play. He’s been in the league for about six years, so, I mean, obviously he’s a guy that people are talking about, but if you’re talking about a guy, a young dude who’s upcoming, it’s going to be James Washington. A guy from Oklahoma State ... Came to the Steelers his rookie year and kind of started off slow, but figured it out, got the ropes down and this past summer workout that we had, he’s been doing amazing, he’s doing a great job and I’m super excited to see how he does this year. He’s our guy that’s going to sneak up on everybody.”

With just 15 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown during his rookie year, it should not take too much for Washington to improve on his numbers from 2018. But with both Moncrief and Diontae Johnson vying for touches this season, as well as slot receivers Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer, it remains to be seen how much the young wideout will feature with so many other viable options on the roster.