Steelers wide receivers options for each round of the 2021 NFL Draft

Elijah Moore #8 of the Mississippi Rebels. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Elijah Moore #8 of the Mississippi Rebels. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers could have some big shoes to fill at wide receiver. Here are the best options that could be available in each round of the NFL Draft.

The NFL free agency period is just around the corner, and the Steelers could be losing some very big names this offseason. Among them is their young, go-to option in the passing game, JuJu Smith-Schuster. While Pittsburgh would no doubt love to be able to retain his services (especially with Ben Roethlisberger planning to rerun), it just doesn’t seem realistic to find the money to keep him around.

Pittsburgh is still nearly $12 million over the cap, and clearing enough money for a franchise tag is probably out of the question. This means that JuJu is likely to sign with an organization in free agency that can offer up much more money. Fortunately, there are going to be some quality wide receiver options in the 2021 NFL Draft that Pittsburgh is sure to explore. Here are the receivers they could consider taking in each round this April:

Round 1: Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman

Though the Steelers haven’t dipped their feet in the first-round wide receiver pool since taking Santonio Holmes all the way back in 2006, it doesn’t mean that it is an impossibility (albeit unlikely). I’m going to go ahead and assume that the top three wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle are all off the board at this point (and it’s possible that one or two others could follow).

However, there are still two wide receivers who I could justify spending the 24th overall pick drafting: Elijah Moore and Rashod Bateman. Moore is a young, athletic, productive receiver who dominated SEC competition and catches everything thrown in his direction. However, size could be a bit of an issue as he is expected to measure in around 5’9”. Bateman saw a similar level of dominance at Minnesota in 2019, but played just 5 games this past season. These two players project to be long-time NFL starters with Pro Bowl upside.