4 blazing-fast receivers Steelers must target in the 2022 NFL Draft
By Shayne Kubas
Steelers could add elite speed with Calvin Austin III
Another Senior Bowl riser, Calvin Austin III came into the combine looking to prove he could be a dynamic playmaker despite his small stature. Standing just under 5’8 and 170 pounds, he would need a dominant showing in the athletic testing and drills to move into day 2 consideration.
He did not disappoint with a 4.32 40 time and an elite vertical (39’) and broad jump (135’). Those numbers make it much easier to project him as a slot weapon and return man at the next level. He was very productive in that role for Memphis, scoring 22 receiving touchdowns and 2 punt returns scores in his career. His size is still a concern even with his elite physical traits, so he is still likely looking at being a day 3 pick.
Austin wouldn’t have the same immediate impact that Moore or Watson would have, but he could replace the role Ray-Ray McCloud found himself in after the Juju Smith Schuster injury. He is a better athlete and more complete receiver than McCloud and will be on a cheap rookie contract. It may require the Steelers moving up from pick 137 to guarantee they can pick him, but it shouldn’t cost much to do so. They may even consider trading down from pick 84 to collect extra picks, one of which could be used to bring Austin III to Pittsburgh.