4 Steelers that the team must build around for 2021 success
By Andrew Falce
Easily the biggest surprise from the season was Chase Claypool ascent into stardom. While he always had the potential to be great, the Steelers deep receiver room made it seem like a longshot that he saw considerable playing time. Suddenly though, the team couldn’t take him off the field, as he was proving to be a big-play threat as well as a dynamic red-zone target for the team. He never looked back after this, finishing with a team-high 11 scores and just under 900 total yards.
With the likelihood that JuJu Smith-Schuster leaves during the offseason, Claypool’s role should only expand. He could potentially be the top target next season alongside Diontae Johnson which should allow him to build off of his stellar rookie year. While the offense as a whole will likely regress, Claypool showed that he can succeed even with the limitations the team had at quarterback. Even when Mason Rudolph started, Claypool still found ways to succeed.
Moving forward, the Steelers have to do what they can to build a passing attack around their most dynamic target. Getting some deeper passes mixed in with savvy routes should maximize Claypool’s upside heading into next year. He should only get better from here, and he could crack the list of top ten receivers by the end of the year. The Steelers scored with him, and it is now time to plan on him being the guy going forward.
While the Steelers have a relatively young roster, these options in particular have some of the highest long-term potentials for the team. The team has to keep them at the center of their plans moving forward as each of them have some serious star power. While some need more than others, each of the players above should be key for the Steelers going forward.