Wexell: Derek Moye and Justin Brown Impressing on Scout Team
Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Many have assumed that the Pittsburgh Steelers will try to address the wide receiver position at least once during the early stages of the 2014 NFL Draft in May. I certainly cannot blame those who believe that the Steelers’ brass would go in the wide receiver-direction, especially since Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery will be unrestricted free agents once the 2013 season ends.
With their number two and number three receivers in danger of leaving town, it would totally make sense for Pittsburgh’s front office and coaching staff to hedge their bets at the position with a high round draft choice.
Of course, the Steelers might elect to fill different needs on their roster (left tackle, tight end, cornerback, inside linebacker, etc.) before they select a wide receiver. In fact, Pittsburgh has two pass-catchers on their team who could be primed to step up in 2014 in the forms of Justin Brown and Derek Moye.
According to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Pittsburgh’s coaching staff have noticed the youngsters overall development and contributions in practices this fall:
"Next year, they’re [Pittsburgh’s brass] hoping that “one of our big receivers can step up,” according to a team source.Those “big receivers” are Derek Moye and Justin Brown, who are being praised for their daily work on the scout team this season."
To their credit, Moye (10 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown) and Brown (six catches for 44 yards) made their presences felt during preseason play this summer when their performances helped them nail down spots on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster and practice squad.
Although Moye (seven games, two catches for 20 yards and a touchdown) and Brown (rookie season spent entirely on practice squad) are currently inexperienced, the fact that hopes are high for the team’s tallest wide receivers is a positive sign for the Steelers.
As I alluded to previously, Pittsburgh might have to count on Moye (6’5″ 210 lbs.) and Brown (6’3″ 209 lbs.) more often next fall. If Sanders and Cotchery leave, one or both will be in line to climb up the depth chart on the offensive side of the ball. Moreover, Brown be called upon to help as a punt returner if the team elects to take Antonio Brown off of those duties in 2014 as well.
Promise of the two pass-catchers aside, I guess that we will have to wait and see how high the Steelers are on Moye and Brown when the NFL Draft rolls around in May. By that time, Pittsburgh’s brass will have eventually made decisions on Sanders and Cotchery. Furthermore, we will have the chance to see when or if the Steelers select a wide receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft.
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