Pre-Camp WR Talent Depth Chart


This is what I see for depth currently, before training camp starts (Rostered players in bold):

LWR (X) 84 Brown, Antonio 10/6 82 Ayers, Demarcus 16/7 88 HEYWARD-BEY, DARRIUS U/Ind 16 Tucker, Marcus CF16

SWR (Y) 17 Rogers, Eli CF15 19 Smith-Schuster, JuJu 17/2 82 Ayers, Demarcus 16/7 16 Tucker, Marcus CF16

RWR (Z) 10 Bryant, Martavis 14/4 88 HEYWARD-BEY, DARRIUS U/Ind 11 Hunter, Justin U/Buf 83 Hamilton, Cobi SF16 83 Severin, Canaan CF

PUP 14 Coates, Sammie 15/3

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.

Antonio Brown is not only the best receiver on the team, but also arguably the best in the league. He rarely comes off the field and has the potential make a big play at any time. Ayres was immediately thrust into action when he became active, making big plays blocking and a key catch on the winning drive vs the Ravens. Straight out of the AB mold, he does everything right and he works hard. Heyward-Bey has all of the experience, can play any of the receiver positions and is a special teams demon. With Coats hurt, this opens the door back again for DHB to have another year with the black and gold. Marcus Tucker, on his college film, reminds me a lot of Brown coming out of college. Explosive, quick, fast, and has nice hands, works well on WR screens, and is tough to bring down. He will need to work hard to get noticed, but he does have potential.

To me, the Slot is currently even given the potential of each player. I think all 3 players could potentially be named the slot starter. Eli had some bumps in the road last year and was moved up and down the depth chart, but it is currently his position to lose. JuJu has all the talent and size in the world, and the Steelers thought highly enough of him to take him in the 2nd, so his skillset and potential seem to be the best, but he lacks NFL experience. Ayers did nothing but produce when he first set foot on a football field. With his work ethic and potential to break plays and earn more yards after the catch, he will be a fighter to earn a slot this season. This is a 3 man race to win the starting slot job. I feel the slot will be more of an emphasis this year using 4 or 5 WR sets. I wouldn’t be surprised if all 3 made the team this season. If the Steelers don’t want all 3, they can go to Brown and DHB who also played slot at times last season.

Even with a year off, Bryant is still the second best receiver on this team. He is just a freak athlete with his size to speed ratio, he can turn a 5 yard catch into a TD. Sammie Coates would have slotted #2 here on the Z receiver spot to start preseason, but he had surgery, so he will be listed as inactive on the PUP. DHB played here and was going to be a starter here as well when Sammie Coates was first injured last year, but the injury bug hit him too, and the Steelers had to call up Cobi Hamilton. Cobi did well during the season, but his body catching and big drops in the playoffs may drop him down a peg. That’s why I slotted Marcus Hunter in above him. He seems to do everything right on film by being aggressive and using his body to shield the ball in traffic to make tough catches. I really like is potential, and won’t be surprised if he makes the roster. If the Steelers keep 7 WRs, he’s my 7th as we currently stand. Severin reminds me a lot of Cobi Hamilton, but seems to use his body and hands a little better. It will be interesting to see if he can make some plays in training camp.

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