Could the Steelers have three 1000-yard receivers in the 2023 season?

A pass intended for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) goes incomplete in the end
A pass intended for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) goes incomplete in the end / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth

In Fairness here, Freiermuth might not be the guy here. It could easily be Allen Robinson, Calvin Austin, or Najee Harris. One might suspect if the Steelers successfully run more RPOs or try throwing screens to Harris to take advantage of Broderick Jones's blocking abilities, then it might not be Freiermuth.       

For purposes of this article, we will assume Freiermuth is the guy here. Which, when you look at his 2022 season, he vastly improved; thus, he can get a 1000-yard season. Yet to date, the closest a Steelers tight end has gotten to a 1000-yard season was Eric Green in 1993.  

In Freiermuth’s situation, unlike Johnson and Pickens, where it’s s simple matter of just having 20 additional receptions, he needs to improve in two areas. His catch percentage went from 75.9% in 2021 to 64.3 in 2022. That needs to improve in 2023 for him to hit the 1000-yard mark.

In 2022 Freiermuth’s yards per reception drastically increased from 8.3 to 11.6 yards per catch. Thus it might help if he could increase it to 12.5 yards per catch. If not, because the Steelers may run the ball more, causing a lack of passes, his catch percentage certainly needs to increase. Thus if he can get to 12.5 yards per catch with 80 receptions, that would put him right at 1000 yards even.   

So while the task could happen, Allen Robinson and Calvin Austin could be wild cards here. Robinson, early in his career, was a good receiver. No one expects him to post those types of numbers. But perhaps he rebounds and surprises everyone. Also, Calvin Austin and his speed, who knows how that affects the passing game. With a high yards-per-catch average and 60 receptions, he could be in the conversation.