NFL Draft

Randy Fichtner On Why Steelers Chose James Washington: ‘Runs Fast And Scores Touchdowns’

New Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner was at the podium to discuss the teams second round selection, James Washington, and why the team chose him at 60th. The bottom line? He was their ideal replacement for Martavis Bryant.

“Runs fast. Scores touchdowns,” Ficthner said to open things up.

Fichtner said, and this was already reported, the team took him out to dinner before his Oklahoma State Pro Day. He called him an “interesting” person, pointing to his farming background. He praised his toughness, competitiveness, and conditoning, the latter of which Mike Tomlin preaches all the time.

While Fichtner didn’t necessarily agree that Washington ran faster than timed, a mid 4.5 player, he said his conditioning allows him to play to his time on every single snap.

Physically, he stands in at 5’11 203 and overall, compared his body type to JuJu Smith-Schuster. And like JuJu, he believes he can make an impact right away. Fitchtner said he expects him to “come in and hold down a position pretty quickly.”

Beyond the speed, Fichtner said Washington played the Z position at WR, the spot left by trading Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. A position that involves everything, not just going deep. That’s where his toughness comes in, whether that’s being able to block or run across the middle of the field.

“This is a big, tough, strong, hands catcher.”

For his career, Washington averaged over 19.8 yards per catch, including 20.9 his senior season. He had a great Senior Bowl week. I wrote the following at the end of it.

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