Back to the offensive side of the football as we continue to trek through the Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man roster. Today we talk about a player who will need to step up in a big way, all while in a contract year. None other than wide receiver Markus Wheaton.
Player: Markus Wheaton
School: Oregon State
Markus Wheaton might be the most interesting Steeler to watch on offense in 2016. He is now entering his fourth year in the NFL and is virtually guaranteed to appear on several experts "player to watch" lists. He is coming off a career year in terms of yards and touchdowns. Wheaton isn't the dynamic receiver Antonio Brown is, but is of comparable physical stature.
Wheaton is a small and shifty player while possessing some true speed. He can beat corners off the ball as well as give some shake to those that possess the speed to stick with him. His hands are above average and he will make an acrobatic catch should he need to. Far too often in his career Wheaton has gone missing in games and can be forgotten about. Last year Wheaton was expected to challenge for the second wide receiver spot but failed to take advantage of Martavis Bryant's suspension. With Bryant gone for the year Wheaton should be able to step his production up, but a lot of noise has been made about Sammie Coates this off season. Fans can expect some competition for the second wide receiver spot.
At OTA's this year Wheaton told reporters he got on the same page with Roethlisberger late in the season last year. Starting with a breakout 200-yard game against Seattle, Wheaton went on a tear seeing an increase in targets, yards per game, and touchdowns over the last six weeks of the year. Assuming that connection with is quarterback carries over, you can expect Wheaton to top the 1,000-yard mark for the first time this year.
Confidence with Ben
Contract year production incentive
Small frame can be overpowered by defenders
Not a great blocker
Not the Deep threat Bryant was
Chances of Making the team: 100%