JAMES WASHINGTON | WR | OKLAHOMA STATE
Height: 5110 | Weight: 213 | Arm: 32 3/8" | Hand: 9 3/4" | 40YD: 4.54 | Bench: 14 | 3Cone: 7.11 | Broad: 120" | Vertical: 34.5"
James Washington is a fourth-year Senior who started over 50 games in four years as a linear vertical threat in Mike Gundy’s Air Raid offense. Only a three-star recruit by Rivals, ESPN, Scout and 247Sports, Washington won the team’s Russell Okung Award presented to team’s most outstanding newcomer in 2014. As a sophomore, Washington was named second-team AP All-Big 12 and was the Thurman Thomas Award recipient for team’s most outstanding offensive player. In 2016, Washington was named first-team AP All-Big 12, Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP, and won a second consecutive Thurman Thomas Award. Washington's NCAA-leading 1,549 receiving yards in 2017 was good enough to earn him the Biletnikoff trophy, and his 19.8 average per catch ranks second all-time in Big 12 history.
Washington is an extremely high-cut player with long legs, short torso, and rotund chest. Washington's compact upper body and shorter arms affords him terrific explosion off the snap, accelerating like a Bugatti. At times, Washington looks like he’s playing on fast-forward with the amount of separation he gets from defensive backs owing to his ability to convert acceleration to deep speed. A Texas all-district three-sport athlete at Stamford High School in basketball and tennis, Washington's body control and fluidity is evident in his nuanced route running,
While Washington aligned occasionally in the Slot, he was most effective operating out of plus splits as the Z Receiver. Washington has a quick release and looks like he’s shot out of cannon after the snap, especially against in off man which he saw most often. Despite an average three cone time, Washington is sudden and smooth in his cuts on Post routes working off Dino stems to cause defensive backs to hesitate so he can amplify separation. Washington is adept at running Flats, Slants, Comebacks, Curls and Outs with great precision. Washington is a terrific outlet on flanker screens and does a good job of working back to his QB and turning up-field with little wasted motion, even being utilized as runner on reverses. Washington exhibits special body control and does an outstanding job of tracking balls over his shoulder without losing an ounce of speed and positioning his body between the defensive back and the ball to draw penalties if he can't make the catch. Washington shows great ability to come back to the football to track under-thrown balls and is a big reason Mason Rudolph’s completion percentage is as high as it is. Washington must play stronger at the catch point to consistently win contested catches in which both he and the defender are looking at the ball. Washington struggles most with passes thrown high over his head where he has to react and rely on his kinesthetic sense to jump and adjust. Washington consistently catches the ball away from his body with great manual dexterity and strong hands and when he does have a drop, it most likely stems from hearing footsteps going over the middle and lose concentration in traffic if he feels a hit coming. Washington has elite home run ability as evidenced by his 19.8 yard per reception average and 40 career TDs and can take the ball the distance at any moment. Washington is stellar with the ball in his hands after catch and can make players miss in the open field with his slippery elusiveness, but must learn to drop his shoulder and be more physical as a runner at the next level to pick up harder yards when he won’t have as much free space to operate in a different offensive scheme. Washington is a willing blocker who does a good job using his hands and compact upper body to win at the POA and spring runners for gains. Washington's ability to beat Press coverage is incomplete, as most opposing defenses gave him such a big cushion due to pure fear of being beaten over the top.
Off the field, Washington is revered as an outstanding leader and was voted team captain for his junior and senior campaigns by teammates. An agribusiness major with an option in farm and ranch management, Washington had a dominant showing in 1v1 match ups at the Senior Bowl and was a handful for some of the nation's top corners to cover. Washington compares in body type and play style to Lee Evans and his durability, leadership, speed, and refinement should make him an attractive prospect to an offense that employs a vertical passing game. Washington's game is predicated so much on speed that Washington will need to rely on a QB with outstanding timing to be able to reach his ceiling in the NFL. Washington's outstanding balance and long-range speed makes him an ideal Z Receiver to take the top off the defense in the NFL and he should hear his name called somewhere in the top half of the second round.
Overall Grade: 82
Athletic Ability: 6
Play Strength: 3
Play Speed: 7
Competitive Toughness: 7
In-Traffic/Contested Catches: 3
Spectacular Catch: 3
Route Precision: 5
Route Variety: 4
Red Zone Threat: 2
Run Blocking: 4
Run After Catch: 5
Explosiveness/Return Ability: 5
Player Comparison: Lee Evans
Projected Round: Round 2
For information on our grading criteria, click here.