The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly signed WR Donte Moncrief to a two-year deal late Wednesday night. This per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Former Jaguars’ WR Donte Moncrief reached agreement on a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steeelrs, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2019
Formerly of both the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars, Moncrief will be 26 as he enters the 2019 season. Moncrief will be in his sixth NFL season after leaving Ole Miss following his junior year. While projected to be in the mix for the starting receiver role opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster, what measurables does Moncrief bring to the table?
Let’s take a look:
6-2, 200lb, 4.40 sec
One of the first things that stands out about Moncrief is his size and speed. The Steelers already have plenty of sub 6-foot wide receivers in Switzer, Rogers, and Washington. With a time of 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine in 2014, Moncrief will also add a great speed element for the passing game where he can hopefully be another deep threat for Ben Roethlisberger.
For his career, Donte Moncrief averages 12.7 yards per reception. Last year in Jacksonville, his average was 13.9 yards. For 2018, this would have placed him the highest among Steelers receivers. All this was while catching passes from Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler in a run-heavy offense.
Moncrief has caught 21 touchdowns in his five-year career. His peak performance was in 2016 where he hauled in seven scores in nine games. His production fell off to two touchdowns in 2017 and three in 2018. As noted earlier, 2018 was in Jacksonville with Bortles and Kessler, while in 2017 Moncrief was targeted by Jacoby Brissett and Scott Tolzien as Andrew luck was injured for the entire season.
2.9 R/G, 36.9 Y/G
With an average of 2.9 receptions per game and 36.9 yards per game, the stats don’t appear to be anything close to the production the Steelers received last year from either of their top two receivers. But it is important to note that over his career, Moncrief has only had a stable quarterback situation his rookie season other than in 2016 where he missed seven games.
As much as Moncrief could possibly help fill a need a wide receiver for the Steelers, Pittsburgh could also bring him some much-needed stability. Over his five-year career, he has already caught passes from eight different quarterbacks. With a good combination of size and speed, Moncrief could become both a nice red zone target and deep threat if he can establish a good rapport with Ben Roethlisberger. Most importantly, Moncrief allows the urgency for drafting a wide receiver to take a backseat over other positional needs at the front of the Steelers 2019 draft.