The Pittsburgh Steelers have produced some pretty incredible wide receivers over their history. Kevin Colbert in particular has had more success drafting that position than any other. Colbert’s first ever selection as general manager of the Steelers was the ultra talented Plaxico Burress. Since then the list of talented wide outs he has drafted is quite impressive. Names like Antwaan Randle El, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and of course Antonio Brown are just a few of the big hits. Fast forward to 2020 and we have Colbert’s latest selection in Chase Claypool. Claypool is a size/speed freak who is poised to become the next in a long line of great Steelers receivers drafted by Colbert.
6’4” – 238lbs
4.42 – 40 yard dash
40.5” vertical – 122” broad
139 SPARQ score (4th overall at WR)
As you can see, Chase Claypool has the type of athletic gifts you dream about for a wide receiver. He is a big, physical wide out who should give opposing corners fits. Claypool is too big for most corners, while being too fast for safeties to hang with. Think of a reciever/tight end hybrid who will be a nightmare for defenses to plan for.
Kevin Colbert has been looking for a size/speed receiver to add to his offense for years. He knows that type of wide out could unlock the true potential of his franchise quarterback. The impact that Martavis Bryant had before he melted down showed how important this type of weapon could be for Ben Roehtlisberger and this offense.
Colbert’s attempts to add this player through free agency have failed miserably. The Justin Hunters and Donte Moncriefs of the world flamed out spectacularly. Moncrief was so bad, he did not make it through the entire season in 2019.
So back to the draft for Kevin Colbert to finally fill this position. His first attempt was drafting James Washington in 2018. Washington was a decent deep threat for Oklahoma St., but lacks the breakaway speed to earn the respect of opposing defenses. Pittsburgh still didn’t have the player they were looking for.
Star in the Making:
It’s early, but stories are already coming out of training camp about how good Chase Claypool has been. He got some rave reviews from Joe Haden after yesterday’s session. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/steelers-rookie-receiver-chase-claypool-impressive-in-training-camp-earns-major-props-from-joe-haden/
Early on, the Steelers plan seems to be to use Claypool as a red zone weapon. This is something he should be particularly good at. At 6’4”, he represents a huge target for Ben Roehtlisberger in and around the end zone. Fades, and wide receiver screens will be nightmares to defend near the goal line.
As the season goes on, Claypool’s role will expand in the offense. Taking the top off the defense will surely be one of those roles. It won’t take long for him to replace James Washington as the Z receiver in the offense. Once that happens, the speed threat on the outside will help open up this team’s struggling running game. All of these things working together will make this offense nearly unstoppable. Steelers offense has a need for speed
Chase Claypool is the right player at the right time for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. The combination of his skill set, with the Steelers glaring need for speed on offense has the makings of something special. Expect some big things from Claypool in 2020 and beyond. His path to being the Steelers next great wide receiver is there for the taking.