Steelers Rookie Grades: Dotson, not Claypool, atop the class

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11). Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11). Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) (Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Chase Claypool

Grade: B+

When the midseason grades were given out, Chase Claypool had earned an easy “A+” as he was coming off a hot stretch where he was constantly finding the endzone and making big plays. Despite his uptick in play at the end of the year, there was a portion of time where he seemed to stall as a player. Reports were that this was due to the Steelers not wanting him to hit the rookie wall, but it was disappointing nonetheless to see him fade as he did.

Despite that rough midseason stretch, Claypool still exceeded expectations as a rookie. He logged 873 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns on the year. Considering he was just the fourth target entering the season, that is some promising numbers for him. That said, he isn’t without his faults. Along with the rough stretch of games, Claypool dropped six passes. While that wasn’t the highest on the team (unfortunately), it shows that his hands could still use some work.

While I really like Claypool as a player, he still has some kinks to work out before I can consider him a top receiver in the league. While it didn’t help that the vertical game was nearly nonexistent, it was also telling to see him drop the number of passes that he did. He has a bright future, but he needs to fix a few things this offseason if he wants to ascend into the top tier of receivers.

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Overall, the Steelers had an incredible rookie class. They seemingly got three very good starters in the first few rounds while adding solid depth elsewhere. There are still some question marks going forward with a few players, but it doesn’t diminish the start these rookies had. Their futures with the Steelers seem bright, and the team deserves a lot of credit for bringing them in.