On day two of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Steelers turned heads with the selection of wide receiver Chase Claypool with their first pick of the NFL Draft. It is a pick that has a lot of love and a lot of question marks.
The pick is in! With the 49th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Steelers select…. Chase Claypool? One word: Intriguing.
There is no question Claypool is a physical freak of nature and adds depth to a very talented wide receiver room… but was it their top need?
Sure, a few mock drafts had the Steelers taking a wide receiver, but a lot of them had them filling needs such as running back, offensive line, or even potential pass rushers. Make no mistake, however, the Steelers have a green thumb at picking receivers since 2009.
What We Love:
Chase Claypool stands at nearly 6’5” and weighs over 230 lbs–running a 40-yard dash at sub 4.45. According to ESPN, that’s second only to Calvin Johnson (4.35) when comparing receivers with a similar frame at previous combines.
Not only does it add a unique combination of size and speed, but it also gives Big Ben another tall, rangy target.
With Eric Ebron checking in at 6’4”, he and Claypool will create headaches in the RedZone for opposing defenses. That is a great problem to have for the Steelers–a lot of talent to spread the ball around to.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Steelers draft a receiver with one of their first two picks in the NFL draft. Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson all bring a unique skill set. Chase Claypool brings his own attributes to a very young but talented receiver room indeed.
What We’re Not Sure About:
There was a lot speculation of both EDGE and RB available in Zack Baun and JK Dobbins/Cam Akers, and even some OT help available, the expectation was a focus on the line of scrimmage or the backfield.
That brings to question how deep the Steelers believe the draft is on the front lines and backfield.
A few traits of concern that been pointed out for Claypool in multiple scouting reports include an unpolished route running ability and getting off the line of scrimmage/creating separation. Luckily, he’s a battle test combat pass catcher.
Time will tell how this selection will pan out and how these “weaknesses” can be polished.
At the end of the day, the Steelers have become among the best at selecting wide receivers after the first round of the draft. Chase Claypool will benefit tremendously from having a good coach in Ike Hilliard and a future Hall of Fame quarterback tossing the rock.
Stay tuned for more Steelers draft analysis and more upcoming on Stillcurtain.com