The casual football fan may not know who Penn State’s Parker Washington is but by the end of the season he will be a household name. Washington spent last season as the number two receiver behind Jahan Dotson. Dotson was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft so now it is Washington’s time to shine. Penn State has quietly developed numerous NFL wide receivers including Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin and KJ Hamler. Washington is looking to be the next Nittany Lion receiver to play on Sundays. Today’s 99 Things will focus on Parker Washington, one of the most underrated receivers in the country.
The third year wide receiver had a strong year last season. Washington finished with 64 receptions for 820 yards and four touchdowns. His totals ranked sixth in the Big Ten in receptions and ninth in receiving yards. Washington was consistent as he finished with at least five catches in six games last season. The last four games of the season saw Washington finish with at least 60 yards in each game. He was the secondary option after Dotson which resulted in less targets. He will be Sean Clifford’s number one receiver this year so he will likely have a bump in his statistics.
Washington originally burst onto the scene in 2020 as a true freshman. The Covid season saw numerous freshman struggle due to the lack of spring practice and organized team trainings. Washington was not impacted as he found playing time immediately after stepping on campus. He scored a touchdown in his first game against Indiana. He totaled at least 70 yards in five of Penn State’s nine games his freshman season. He also scored six touchdowns including two multiple score games.
Penn State has used Washington in the slot due to his ability to understand spatial awareness. He understands the defense and finds a way to consistently get open. He may not be the faster receiver but he is an excellent route runner. He is listed at 5’10” and 215 pounds. He is an effective blocker in the rushing attack and has shown the ability to hold his block. Washington has an excellent catch radius where he is not afraid to use his vertical ability to get the ball. Some scouts have raised concerns about Washington at the NFL level due to his ability to get off press coverage. His speed and quickness could also be an issue in the NFL as it will be harder to create separation. Washington could look to test the NFL waters next year with another strong season and more tape showing improvements on the field.
Penn State will have plenty of opportunities for Washington to showcase his ability. The Nittany Lions will play on national television when they travel to Purdue to open the season. They will also travel to Auburn in week three. Tearing up an SEC defense is always a good way to put the nation on notice. With Dotson out of the picture Washington should become Penn State’s primary playmaker this season. He may not be the best receiver in the Big Ten but he is one of the most underrated. In order for Penn State to make another trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship they will need Parker Washington to have his best season yet.