Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster gives us his training camp standout in 2020

Tommy Jaggi
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

In a recent interview with JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers wide receiver sheds light on who he believes is Pittsburgh’s biggest training camp standout in 2020.

JuJu Smith-Schuster may be young, but he knows a thing or two about playing the wide receiver position in the National Football League. After lighting it up at the collegiate level with over 3,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns at USC in just three years, the Steelers receiver made a smooth transition to the NFL – earning 2,343 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons, according to Pro Football Reference.

Somehow, JuJu managed to find all of this success before the age of 23. Despite modest athletic traits and average top-end speed for the position, Smith-Schuster has owned NFL defensive backs over the middle of the field early in his career.

Recently, I had a chance to interview JuJu Smith-Schuster. We covered a variety of topics – including his thoughts on Ben Roethlisberger in 2020. When asked who his training camp standout was on the offensive side of the ball this year, JuJu didn’t take long to respond.

Though he has been with the team for just several months, Chase Claypool is the player that JuJu is raving about. Here’s what Smith-Schuster had when asked about which player has stood out to him in training camp so far:

"“Chase Claypool. A young rookie coming in and using his size to ball-out. And that’s what he’s been doing. On the defensive side, that’s a good one… That whole defense is stacked, and their all good. That’s a tough one, man. I think everyone on that side is doing their thing. Every is balling. I don’t see no slacking on that defense.”"

While Smith-Schuster didn’t get deep into the details with why he chose Claypool as his standout player, it’s not hard to imagine why.

The Steelers 2020 second-round draft choice has been the talk of training camp so far, and Pittsburgh media has been raving about what they’ve witnessed at camp. At 6’4” and 238 pounds, Claypool has the size to go over the top of defenders and the speed to burn past them (4.42-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine this year).

Last week, Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden praised Claypool for what he was able to do in practice – mentioning that Claypool got the best of him at times.

It’s rare to see a rookie of any draft status draw this much attention on the Steelers – especially from established Pro Bowl teammates. Though it will be hard for Claypool to step in and make an impact from day one with a shortened offseason and no preseason games, he will no doubt be given an opportunity to shine on special team – something he voluntarily did at the collegiate level.

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With fans unable to attend training camp practices this year due to the pandemic, the best we can do is go off what we are hearing from eyewitness accounts. JuJu Smith-Schuster knows this group of receivers well, and it’s encouraging that he’s already selected Chase Claypool as his training camp standout player in 2020.