The Pittsburgh Steelers struck gold in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, when they mined Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame. The big bodied speedster exploded onto the scene in his rookie season, even with his snaps being monitored, which was done in an attempt to stop Claypool from hitting the ‘rookie wall’. With 11 regular season touchdowns, and another two in the playoffs, I can confidently say the Steelers have something special in Claypool.
However, when you look at the receiving stats of the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers you will see a jumbled mess of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and to a certain degree Eric Ebron and James Washington. Not one of those guy broke 1,000 yards or 100 receptions. Instead, they ranked extremely closely in all of the receiving categories. Which is fine but shows the Steelers never had that one special player which defenses had to overcommit to stop, a la Antonio Brown in his prime.
Of the guys on the Steelers’ roster the player I would point at to become Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to guy is Claypool. Heck, if they were able to connect on a couple more deep shots he might've been that guy last year! The massive frame and blinding speed allows the sophomore receiver to be more dynamic than Smith-Schuster, or Washington. And his catching ability keeps him above the likes of Diontae Johnson or Eric Ebron. Truly he has everything you could want in a wide receiver.
If Roethlisberger and Claypool can get their chemistry in sync, then there will be nothing standing in Claypool’s way of becoming one of the best receiver’s in the NFL today. In Matt Canada’s system all signs point toward Claypool taking on the role of the ‘X’ receiver a spot he shined in when he replaced an injured Diontae Johnson in a number of games. The stars are aligning for the Canadian to rise to the front of the pack and take his place as the Steelers number one target.
But what do you think? Will Chase Claypool have a pro bowl caliber season in 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.