Parker Washington had a solid first year at Penn State during the COVID-shortened season. Even though Penn State struggled, he made an immediate impact as a freshman. Washington increased production in his second year but was overshadowed by Jahan Dotson’s great year. Let’s take a closer look at the next number one receiver for the Nittany Lions.
Career at Penn State
Washington was a top 300 recruit in 2020 and was ranked as a top-40 player in the state of Texas. He chose Penn State over Wisconsin, the only two schools he went to for official visits before committing. Washington finished with 36 receptions for 489 yards and six touchdowns, which were second on the team in all categories.
There were ups and downs for Penn State in 2021 because of inconsistent quarterback play. Despite those issues, Washington improved in his second year, finishing with 64 receptions for 820 yards and four touchdowns. His target share went down slightly in 2021 but still was around 20%. The scheme also changed his depth of targets. His targets behind the line increased from 3% to 26% in 2021, which also led to a two-yard increase in yards after the catch per reception.
- Hands – Excellent hands and only has five drops in two years so far in his career. He snags the ball well and is able to fully extend on off-target passes.
- Ball Tracking- He is very good at tracking the ball in the air and, for his size, does a great job timing jumps to beat defenders for contested catches. So far in his career, he has brought in 11 out of 23 attempts on contested balls.
- Speed/Yards after Catch – When Washington gets in the open field, he can take it to the distance. He was being deployed more in short passes to take advantage of this skillset.
- Route Running – Washington is very good at selling routes and is crisp in and out of breaks. I would like to see him show a more varied route tree.
- Release – He was in the slot over 90% of the routes he ran last year, so he got a lot of free releases. With Dotson gone, I would like to see him more outside and how he handles more physical contact off the line.
2022 and Devy Outlook
Sean Clifford will be the starting QB again at Penn State. He has had an up and down career but last year showed he can support a big year for a receiver with Jahan Dotson. Transfer receiver Mitchell Tinsley will fight for targets, but I imagine he will be in the slot. I think Washington will be moved in different positions on the offense as the number one receiver for the offense.
In the Dynasty Nerds Devy Rankings, Washington is the twelfth-ranked WR and the eighth-ranked WR of the 2023 class. He progressed in his second year, and I look for him to make an even bigger jump with Dotson going to the NFL. I am not sure he can jump into the conversation of top-five receivers in 2023, but he could still be a Day 2 player.
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