The Steelers drafted Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are realistic high-end and low-end pro comparisons.
The Steelers drafted a high-upside athletic receiver with their first draft choice in 2020. Second-round pick Chase Claypool is a player who improved by leaps and bounds each season at Notre Dame and has a rare blend of size and speed.
At 6’4” and 238 pounds, Claypool tested as an incredible athlete with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, a 40.5” vertical, and a 126” broad jump. However, he doesn’t always appear to be playing up to what his testing numbers indicate.
Claypool isn’t the most diverse route runner and his ability to create separation needs some work. At the same time, he is incredibly catching the ball in traffic and going up over the top of defenders. Here are my low-end, high-end, and most likely player comparisons for Claypool:
Low-end NFL comparison: Devin Funchess
Devin Funchess is a big, physical receiver and a former high second round from the Carolina Panthers back in 2015. Though Claypool tested as a far better athlete coming out of college, both win in similar ways and do some of their best work from the slot.
Like Funchess, Claypool has the ability to box out defenders and use his long, powerful frame to extend for the ball. Though the Notre Dame product is better after the catch, neither receiver excels at creating separation and they rely on their bodies to do much of the work for them.
Funchess hasn’t been a total bust, and his best season came back in 2017 when he earned 63 catches for 840 yards and 8 touchdowns. If things don’t work out well at all for Claypool, he could have a similar career path as Funchess and join a different team after his rookie season.