Rookie Rundown: WR James Washington, Oklahoma State

Rookie Rundown: WR James Washington, Oklahoma State

Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: WR James Washington, Oklahoma State

(Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports)

James Washington was a four-year wide receiver for the Cowboys and topped 1,000 yards in each of his final three seasons. He ends his college career with 21 100-yard games and a total of 40 touchdowns. He was their leading receiver for the last three years and a big reason why Mason Rudolph is likely to be among the first five quarterbacks drafted in April.

Washington led all 2017 FBS receivers with 1,549 yards and his 4,472 career receiving yards is No. 2 all-time in the Big 12. He caught 39 touchdowns of which 26 went for over 30 yards. Washington was the 2017 Biletnikoff Award winner as the best wide receiver.

Washington turned in ten games with more than 150 yards and three over 200 yards including his personal best of 296 yards against Pittsburgh. As a senior, he gained over 90 yards in eleven of his thirteen games.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213 pounds
40 time: 4.54 seconds

Washington wasn’t highly recruited out of high school because of his “smaller” size and he came from a small high school. He’s been prolific for the Cowboys and improved in every year.

YEAR
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
28
456
16.3
68
6
2015
53
1087
20.5
74
10
2016
71
1380
19.4
91
10
2017
74
1549
20.9
86
14

 Pros

  • Average 4.54/40 speed at the combine but has a second gear that he uses to zip past cornerbacks. His roughly 20-yard average catch the last three years proves he’s far more than just a possession receiver.
  • Great hands that never drops passes. Can adjust to the ball well and make catches in traffic.
  • Dangerous deep receiver that can also excel in a possession role over the middle.  Can be whatever sort of receiver the offense needs on any given play.
  • Can play outside or in the slot.
  • Noted for being a more than capable and willing blocker.
  • Very good at adjusting to throws and matching speed to the ball to make catch at optimal spot.
  • Highly productive in almost every game. Reliable receiver that makes his quarterback look better.
  • Seasoned and mature player with four years of experience. Three as a top receiver for his team.

Cons

  • Less experienced against press corners in college than he will face in the NFL.
  • Lack of height could be an issue in traffic. Cannot highpoint passes as well as taller receivers.
  • Thicker body built more like a running back

Fantasy outlook

Washington is not built like a prototypical wideout. He is more like a running back in size and speed. But he was vastly productive in college and always exceeded expectations. He may not be a 6-5 giant with freakish speed but he always got the job done. And his speed is deceptive with that second gear. He’s a great example of the difference between someone with all the “correct” physical measurements versus someone who just knows football, has great hands and body control and constantly burns the defense.

His skillset, historical production and size will be very interesting to watch.  He is ready to play right out of the box. There are no successful NFL receivers with his height/weight ratio which would be a concern if he hadn’t spent four years proving how that did not matter.

Washington will be in the top five receivers drafted. He is as high as No. 2 on some draft boards and as late as No. 5 on a few. He’ll likely land on a team that will originally use him in the slot – think a Cooper Kupp role. But he is equally capable being split outside. That makes forecasting his rookie role hard since he can do so many different things and yet isn’t like any other receiver because of his size.

Washington will be a fascinating one to watch. His first-year outlook will be heavily dependent on where he lands. But his dynasty value could end up as high as any receiver in this class.

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home