Anyone expecting Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, to fall off in 2018 didn’t get a glimpse of his talent as a rookie.
The former USC star came to the NFL as a slot receiver entering one of the best wide receiving cores in the league. But in no time at all, Smith-Schuster found himself as one of the hottest young names in football.
This year, Smith-Schuster is moving up the line of the receivers in Pittsburgh. With Martavis Bryant in Oakland following a draft day trade, the Steelers put a lot of marbles into JuJu becoming their next No. 2 receiver.
While he won’t be moving out of the slot, as James Washington takes over the outside role of Bryant, Smith-Schuster will be the second favorite target of Ben Roethlisberger’s. Because of all this, the fun-loving receiver found himself on the top second-year players to watch in 2018.
Ranked by NFL Network’s Nate Burleson, Smith-Schuster sits behind Marcus Lattimore and head of Mitch Trubisky. A list filled with some of the most exciting players in football, already, the Steelers’ wideout is looking to be one of the brightest spots to this offense in 2018.
Smith-Schuster finished his rookie season with 58 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. Outside of Antonio Brown, JuJu was Big Ben’s second-favorite target in just his first year in the league. A promising start to his NFL career.
Being placed on this list was somewhat expected by the Steelers fanbase. Watching Smith-Schuster last year, it was easy to tell he was going to be a force in this league for a long time. Not many expect a sophomore slump, even with him being out of OTA’s for the time being.
As long as he’s as healthy as he should be, JuJu should be one of the NFL’s brightest second-year guys. The Steelers are looking for him to be a major factor in their Super Bowl push, and judging from his first year, Burleson is right about Smith-Schuster being something to looking forward to this season.