The Steelers probably will not be drafting a receiver, but they will find it hard to pass on some of these pass catchers.
Pittsburgh is set up with one of the deepest receiving groups in the NFL for the next couple of years. It is full of many talented names that go from the bottom of the depth chart the entire way to their star players. The position might seem to be one of the lesser needs for the team right now, but it could become more necessary.
The offense for the Steelers has been abysmal and the receivers have not been the root cause of this. Receivers want to get the ball and have success in the league, but Matt Canada has led this unit to slaughter so far. If things keep up at their current output and frustrations boil over, trades could be requested.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba has X-factor speed for the next level
Last year’s NFL Draft was full of talented receivers, even some that came from Ohio State. Both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson were top 11 picks in this past draft, which kick started a run on the position. The Steelers have an Ohio State pipeline that could grow more with Jaxon Smith-Njigba if they would somehow land him.
This receiver would probably need to be a top five pick or so when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around. He is an explosive playmaker that outpaced his alma matters counterparts during their draft years in 2022. An injury has set him back in the early portion of the season, but he should be able to bounce back in a big way.
Kayshon Boutte could be the next great receiver from LSU
The jury is still out on Kayshon Boutte right now since his early season quarrels with the Head Coach at LSU. Things got ugly after their first loss of the season and Boutte was livid on the sidelines, which might scare some NFL franchises away. He has all the talent in the world, but like most of these receivers, they come with their own ego that needs to be tamed.
Speed is another big factor in this player’s game even though LSU has not really been using that to their benefit thus far. The talent is there, and a club could be taking a gamble with him this early into the season since he needs to show a lot more before the year concludes. Injuries have plagued him and that could be another red flag for some coaches.
Could Jordan Addison reunite with Kenny Pickett with the Steelers?
Here is the question that many Steelers fans have fantasized about since the team took Kenny Pickett last year. Jordan Addison transferred to USC from Pitt and has done some nice things during the early portion of their season. He should be able to stick in the top five conversations heading into the draft process come springtime.
Many would compare Pickett and Addison to Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase if this situation would play out. It does not seem too likely unless the Steelers would part with one of their top receivers in the room. Another thing that would need to occur to make this possible is Pittsburgh falling into a high pick in the draft.
Quentin Johnston is a big target that has a ton of potential this draft
TCU has not been a great football program for some time now, but they could have a good player in Quentin Johnston. He is the biggest target listed in this crop of receivers and could have some physical tools to make him the best. Being at TCU has not done him a ton of favors with his stats during his collegiate career.
One could compare Johnston to Chase Claypool coming out of college, which has worked out fairly well for the Steelers. He is a big-bodied guy that can control himself at the point of attack. His physical gifts matched with his speed could turn him into the best receiver in this class if the team that drafts him develops him further.
Honorable mentions for Steelers fans to pay attention to this year
Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama
This receiver left Georgia after winning a championship because he was not a big part of their offense. He joined the Alabama Crimson Tide in hopes of sparking a gigantic season with Bryce Young as the starting quarterback. Jermaine Burton is a huge boom or bust candidate that should reap the rewards of college football’s current transfer portal issue.
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Boston College could have a special offense if Zay Flowers and Phil Jurkovec have special seasons. Flowers is a shifty receiver that has been consistent during his time in Beantown. He just needs to have a monster season that will get him past the 1,000-yard mark during his Senior year to rise up draft boards.
Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
Penn State has been putting out good receiver prospects into the NFL ranks over the past handful of years. Parker Washington could be next up if he decides to forego his Senior year and declare for the event. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands and possesses great return ability on special teams.
The Steelers probably do not need to draft a receiver right now, but they could always look at the position via the draft. Perhaps they will like to move on from one of their current players and look to take a younger skilled guy.