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Analysis: Preseason Week 2 WR Depth Chart

This is what I see for depth currently (Rostered players in bold):

LWR (X) Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, Marcus Tucker, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Demarcus Ayers.

SWR (Y) Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marcus Tucker, Demarcus Ayers.

RWR (Z) Martavis Bryant, Justin Hunter, Cobi Hamilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Out/Cut: Canaan Severin

I’ve placed the receivers with size on the Right (Z), and the quicker smaller receivers on the Left (X). Our slot guys are set (Y). I think the Steelers keep 6 WRs this year with a proposed emphasis on 4WR sets.

For the x receiver position, Sammie Coates is now making a strong showing to want to be a receiver on this football team. He’s using his size to his advantage, and he’s attacking the ball at the catch point. He had a solid game leading all receivers in catches (tied with Hunter). Also, don’t look now, but Marcus Tucker is making a push. He’s making plays in camp and is starting to show his consistency as a hands catching receiver. Antonio is still a lock, obviously.

The slot is starting to solidify. Eli and JuJu are still solidly entrenched. Tucker must have read my review of him saying he needed to make his mark, because he has been on fire lately. He has leapfrogged Ayres to become a viable backup at 2 receiver positions. I still expect him to be placed on the practice squad in case of injury, but he is showing what he can do now.

What a thing of beauty. Martavis going up and getting that ball on the sideline. It’s been a long time since we got to see Martavis make a catch, and he did not disappoint. His size and speed was sorely missed on the field. Justin Hunter is back and healthy, and when he’s on the field, he is making plays. I have him just edging out Cobi Hamilton for the final roster spot after last game’s performance. Scoring a touchdown will always give a player a closer look.

I failed to mention Darrius Heyward-Bey last week, but my observations of him have not changed. I’ve seen his reps diminish on the practice reports. He’s been dropping down the on-field depth chart, and when he’s on the field, he’s not making plays, let alone splash plays. I also see his special teams snaps going to younger players (JuJu and Hilton to name a few). If he loses his special teams reps as well, there really isn’t a spot for him on this team. He has to start stepping up now to show he is needed on this thick roster, or his time as a Steeler may be over.

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