The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Martavis Bryant. We knew a wide receiver was coming. They selected James Washington, WR, from Oklahoma State. How does it grade out?
The Pittsburgh Steelers took the Biletnikoff winner James Washington with the 60th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Was he worth the trade and the selection?
The need was created when the team let go of Martavis Bryant. However, when you look at the long term implications, this is a no brainer. Washington is now signed to a reasonable deal for the next four seasons. Martavis Bryant is a free agent next season, he could be suspended any given moment and he has not gotten along with teammates. Even if Washington is not quite as good on the field, he is a better investment.
You are not going to get me to say Washington is not worth pick number 60. I had him as the third best wide receiver in this draft. Adding the third round pick for Bryant means another need can be filled, and a longer term bet at a similar player stylistically was added. This was a smart move.
Of course, on paper this makes sense. On the field, can he become a better version than Bryant. I say yes. Picture a shorter Bryant, without the speed. Not so good right? Now picture that same body being able to consistently get deep, and win at contested catches in the air at a higher clip. Pretty weird to think about but its true.
James Washington is a JUCO transfer who has worked to become technically sound when it comes to getting deep and tracking the ball. He has intense concentration to haul in those tough, contested catches. Overall, Washington may not have the size as Bryant, but Bryant never worked to craft his game and become multi-dimensional in the way that Washington has.