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Is James Washington the Steelers’ most underrated offensive player?

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

We are nearing the end with part 83 of our 90ish-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man (now 80-man) roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at the current number three receiver on the Steelers roster:

James Washington

Position: WR
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 213 lbs
College: Oklahoma State
Draft: 2nd round, 60th overall in 2018

2019 Stats

15 Games played
735 Receiving Yards
3 Touchdowns

Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$1,227,640 salary cap number (.3% of total cap)
$$338,426 Dead money each of the next 3 seasons
$889,214 Savings if cut

Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. James Washington has steadily improved ever since he landed with the Steelers back in 2018. While he doesn't project to move up the line up in 2020 he still is a key component of this offense. If James Washington can continue to show improvement in 2020 he might let the organization move on from JuJu Smith-Schuster at the end of his rookie contract.

2020 projection

If both Diontae Johnson and Smith-Schuster play through all 16 games then I would expect Washington to actually take a bit of a statistical hit. The Steelers have a long list of players demanding of targets and the ripple effect of that will be felt somewhere. Washington doesn't need a 1,000 yard campaign to have a successful season however. He just needs to make plays when the ball comes in his direction and to be ready incase an injury does occur.

Projected stats:

16 Games played
40 Receptions
650 Receiving Yards
3 Touchdowns


James Washington is still a relatively unknown commodity for the Steelers. He has shown flashes when he receives the targets of a top two receiver but he won't get anywhere near that amount targets in 2020. It would be a gamble for the Steelers to give the job to Washington if Smith-Schuster is to leave the team next offseason. He might be the guy but there's no way of knowing until he gets the job. The Steelers are a great judge of receiver talent/development so ill trust their judgement when this decision is made.

Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett -Cut
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney -Cut
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston -Cut
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano -Cut
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh -Cut
Chuks Okorafor
James Pierre
Maurkice Pouncey
Kevin Rader
Dax Raymond
Ben Roethlisberger
Mason Rudolph
Jaylen Samuels
Tuzar Skipper
Wendall Smallwood
Juju Smith-Schuster
Benny Snell Jr.
Robert Spillane
Cameron Sutton
Ryan Switzer
Calvin Taylor
Stephon Tuitt
Alejandro Villanueva
Corliss Waitman
Cavon Walker