Cowboys Draft: Should Cowboys Consider WR James Washington?

The Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 wide receiver group didn’t live up to expectations. Why? It’s hard to pinpoint it all in a single thing, as there were many factors that came into play. At the end of the day, the entire team struggled in just about every aspect of the game.

This year, wide receiver is among the Cowboys’ top needs and fortunately, this is a very deep class for the position. In Dallas, the most talked-about former Oklahoma State WR is Dez Bryant. But today, it’s not him we’ll be talking about.

James Washington had a great career playing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Playing until his senior season, he managed to rack up more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons playing for the Cowboys.

His last and most productive season resulted in 74 receptions for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns. Washington is known as a big-chunk player, averaging almost 21.9 yards per catch during his final college football season.

James Washington’s biggest strengths come in the deep passing game. Primarily, his acceleration is enough to separate him from defensive backs the second he manages to release from the defender. Once he hits that second gear, he’s gone.


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Washington’s release versus press coverage is one of his biggest assets, although one could question whether or not this will translate to the NFL. In the play above, look how his first step causes the cornerback’s hips to turn outside. Once that happens, he uses his insane acceleration to beat him.

Steve Palazzolo on Twitter

Oklahoma State WR James Washington led the nation with 17.2 yards/attempt when facing press coverage, best in the nation. Best WR vs. press at the @seniorbowl in PFF 1-on-1 grading #PFFDraft

However, there is uncertainty on whether or not his skills against press coverage will translate into the NFL. Although good at releasing, his footwork on underneath routes feels awkward. He makes up for it with acceleration, sure, but he really isn’t the most explosive receiver off the line of scrimmage.


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When the ball is in the air, he does a perfect job of tracking it and adjusting to the QB’s throw. When it’s under-thrown, he’s able to adjust his speed in order to get it. When overthrown, he hits that second gear and is able to get it most of the time.

The above play is a good example of his strong hands and his ability to secure the ball consistently. His long arms certainly help and impact the way he attacks the ball, giving him a more than decent catch radius.

One of the things I’d wish we saw more from him is going up in the air to get the ball. Although he doesn’t do it often, he shows flashes of being capable of doing so.

Washington’s biggest weaknesses come at route running. When he’s not running a deep route, his route-running is really average. However, he is physical after the catch, and NFL teams will love that.


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During his college football career, he didn’t run a full route tree and that’s something he’ll need to work on in order to be good at the next level. During the Senior Bowl week, he did a nice job at running routes and was one of the most outstanding prospects on the field.

The Scouting Combine will be another good opportunity for him to demonstrate his route-running, and if he leaves scouts impressed as he did in the Senior Bowl, his stock will do nothing but rise.

In a WR-loaded draft class, drafting James Washington at 19 may seem like a reach. However, he might just be what the Dallas Cowboys are looking for to get this offense going. Washington is the kind of guy I could see this team target if they trade down into the second round or even late first.

To me, he’s a late first rounder.

This is a guy who will be able to contribute from day one, and in the case of the Cowboys, he’s what they need. A deep threat who can create separation and force teams to stop double-teaming Cole Beasley and loading up the box against Ezekiel Elliott.

Would you like to see James Washington wearing the Star?

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys Draft: Should Cowboys Consider WR James Washington?” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

What do you think?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.


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  1. Not really a “homer-bias” here, more so a “home-exposure” slant. Irregardless- depending on how they test out at the combine & interviews- I think my Cowboys would be well served to take a really good look at OSU’s J. Washington (seems like a faster Dez-type), as well as OU’s TE Mark Andrews, * OT Orlando Brown. Because Jason won’t play forever, & we need depth on the O-line.

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