The rookie receiver could be an immediate contributor for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last season, the passing attack for the Pittsburgh Steelers was pretty bad and that might be the nicest way to describe it. The Steelers finished 2019 with the NFL’s second-fewest passing yards, fifth-fewest passing touchdowns, and sixth-lowest yards per pass attempt average.
However, Pittsburgh does have a pretty large excuse for their failures in the passing game last year. The Steelers were without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger starting under center for the majority of the season and that obviously had a tremendous impact.
It was also the first year for Pittsburgh without Antonio Brown on the field since 2009. So, unsurprisingly, these two things ended up being pretty significant factors in the lack of success the Steelers had when it came to passing the ball last season.
Will a rookie receiver help the Pittsburgh Steelers fix their passing attack?
Despite having other needs on their roster to fill, Pittsburgh knew they had to add a new pass-catching weapon when it came time to make their first selection in this year’s NFL Draft. So the Steelers went ahead and picked former Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool in the second round.
Claypool is a dynamic receiver who uses his tremendous size (6-foot-4, 238 pounds) and speed (4.42-second 40-yard dash time) to make life miserable for opposing defenses. In 13 games with Notre Dame last year, he hauled in 66 passes for 1,037 yards (15.7 average) and 13 touchdowns.
It’s hard to determine how quickly Claypool will make an impact for Pittsburgh in 2020, but there are some who believe it shouldn’t take very long.
Bleacher Reports’s Kristopher Knox recently listed some NFL players who he believes will end up as starters at some point during the upcoming season and Claypool was one of those who were selected.
Knox thinks that since the Steelers already know what sort of role their rookie receiver can play for them in their offense (a deep threat), it will result in him having an easier time getting on the field.
Hopefully, this ends up being the case for Pittsburgh and Claypool in 2020. If Roethlisberger can remain healthy for most of the season, he and the rookie receiver could end up proving to be a lethal combination for the Steelers passing attack.