There’s no such thing as an NFL offense having too much firepower. The Pittsburgh Steelers adding Penn State wide receiver Parker Washington would be just another weapon for Kenny Pickett and this unit to use as they look to breakout in 2023.
Washington would fit a clear need, too. A stocky slot receiver with YAC ability, he’s an interesting body type with steady production. And though any prospect would love to be given a chance by any of the 32 teams, Washington is well aware of the group the Steelers’ have. Speaking during his Friday Combine appearance, he confirmed he had a formal interview with the Steelers.
“It was a good interaction,” he said. “It wouldn’t be bad to go back to PA at all.”
A four-star recruit from Texas, Washington headed up north to play in State College. He wasted no time making an impact, catching 36 passes for 489 yards and six touchdowns his true freshman season in 2020. In 2021, he finished second in the team in receiving, only trailing future first-round pick Jahan Dotson in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Production took a step back this past season but he still ended his career with nearly 2,000 yards and 12 scores across three seasons. Versatility is a calling card with the frame and experience to line up all over the field.
“Definitely pride myself in doing that. I feel like that’s a big part of my game. I just want to be able to show that I can make plays anywhere. I could be outside, I could be in a slot and even put me in at running back position at times.”
At a listed 5’10, 212 pounds, he has a James Washington-like build but more diversity to his route tree, a tough customer over the middle with the ability to bounce off would-be tacklers. He told reporters he watched plenty of Deebo Samuel and from a size and versatility standpoint, the similarities are obvious.
It’s a skillset similar to what the team had in JuJu Smith-Schuster and would be a different slot type than what they currently have in quicker, shiftier players in Steven Sims, Gunner Olszewski, and Calvin Austin.
Washington told our Jonathan Heitritter it would be “crazy” to play in the Steelers’ lineup. A unit that had its struggles last year but should make steady improvement in 2023. A wide receiver room of Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, a healthy Austin, and Washington would be a strong top four. If the Steelers want him, it’ll require a Day Two pick. Currently, he’s projected to go in the Top 100 and a strong workout over the weekend could boost that stock a little more.
Check out our full player profile on Washington below.