3 players Steelers could have drafted instead of WR Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chase Claypool (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Willie Gay Jr
STARKVILLE, MS – SEPTEMBER 21: Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. #6 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs runs the ball in for a touchdown in front of quarterback Sawyer Smith #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the first quarter at Davis Wade Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

LB Willie Gay Jr

Honorable mention to the OL with the class that could aid here immediately as names such as Ezra Cleveland, Tyler Biadasz, & Matt Hennessy remained on the board as well, but if the Steelers were to switch over and select from the defensive side, where could they improve the most? The secondary is set in stone, though the hope for S Terrell Edmunds is dwindling, the LBs are primarily in place after Bud Dupree signed his franchise tender, and the DL could be even better as Stephon Tuitt returns from injury.

However, and a release no Steelers fan will regret is that LB Mark Barron started nine games while also logging 69% of the defensive snaps in 2019. Without him, this leaves Vince Williams, the potential of Uylsees Gilbert III & Tuzar Skipper inside next to Devin Bush.

Instead, at 49, the Steelers announce Willie Gay Jr. The former Mississippi State Bulldog, who only allowed played five games as a junior, is a threat to be wherever the ball is. To clarify, Gay was suspended for eight games among ten other teammates after receiving academic help from a tutor & was in an altercation with another teammate that resulted in their injury.

On the field, the list would be concise in terms of athleticism for starting LB duos in the NFL if Bush & Gay played along with each other. Measurables that follows the trend Pittsburgh covets out of their draft picks, Gay’s pursuit across the field is nearly unmatched in this class. A high motor player, it could also be his “Achilles Heel” as his angles are questionable at times, although his finishing is without a doubt whenever he wraps ball carriers up.

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6’1 & 243 pounds, he’s solid & strong as a player that could take the next step into his game with the right coaching and wisdom. For example, justice could serve his game if he was more aggressive when taking on blockers climbing the second level. However, he does have the versatility that allowed him to play in multiple spots from the LB position & speed to keep up with RBs/TEs downfield.