3rd Round, 67th overall
Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
This pick has gone back and forth in my mind, but considering the move back, Chase Claypool makes a lot of sense for the Steelers. Fans may point out that the Steelers have their three starters set (a valid point) but being four deep at this position is almost a requirement in the modern NFL. Claypool would be one injury away from noticeable playing time while still seeing the field in sub-packages. As well, he was a great special teams player at Notre Dame, meaning he will have an instant path to playing time while he develops.
Looking at the player profile, no WR offers more potential outside of the first round than Claypool. His size is astounding at 6’4 and 238lbs, and he blazed a 4.42 40-yard dash, the only player other than Calvin Johnson to do so at those measurables. His tape isn’t Johnson levels though, as he has some clear weaknesses, those being consistency, hands, and route running.
While he has some obvious flaws, he proved that he can be “the guy” this past year in an inconsistent Notre Dame offense. Besides the impressive athleticism, he is a physical player who can go up and make the tough grab. As well, most of his issues in college are fixable, as some extra time on the jugs and a year practicing his routes should make him a more complete WR. As well, at his size, he is a feisty blocker, something the Steelers covet in their pass catchers.
The tape is impressive, and the upside is obvious. While he will need a year or two to develop into a complete player, the Steelers can use him early on as a mismatch weapon as well as a special team’s player. He will primarily be an outside guy but can move into the slot as well to present mismatch opportunities. While WR isn’t the biggest need, adding a player with the upside that Claypool has would be hard to not do after trading back.