Wasting little time in filling a need which they had created less than a day before, the Steelers drafted James Washington in the 2nd round, setting the wide receiver out of Oklahoma State as the replacement for Martavis Bryant, whom the Steelers had dealt to Oakland for a 3rd round pick.
Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fitchner expanded on what the Steelers saw in James Washington:
He likes to go down the yard, that’s the kind of need we were looking for, so we’re pretty excited about him. Martavis could run, obviously. But this is what this guy can do too. He runs fast but he’s also powerful, runs through arm bars.
As Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, the Steelers plan to start James Washington alongside Antonio Brown while playing JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot. Washington described his style of play in these terms:
My strength and being physical with the DB when the ball’s in the air. It comes down to who wants it more and I guarantee I want it more.
If Washington can deliver on that promise, Ben Roethlisberger will be a happy man.
Video Highlights of James Washington
Thanks to the magic of YouTube we have highlight reels of James Washington’s exploits while at Oklahoma:
Unlike their pick of Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers pick of James Washington is drawing praise from draft analysts. Stephen White declared that the Steelers were lucky to have picked someone like James Washington, who describes Washington as the type of receiver who “makes the tough catches look easy.” White also praised Washington as the type of receiver who can function as a deep threat or work as a possession receiver.
In four years at Oklahoma State James Washington set a record with 4,472 receiving yards by averaging 85.9 receiving yards per game.
Welcome to Steelers Nation James Washington.