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Top 3 In The NFL? Steelers Chase Claypool Could be 4th Option On His Own Team In 2022

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Top 3 In The NFL? Steelers Chase Claypool Could be 4th Option On His Own Team In 2022

Headlines are swirling around Pittsburgh Steelers‘ wide receiver, Chase Claypool, Monday afternoon after some comments he made on the I Am Athlete” podcast with Brandon MarshallAdamPacman Jones and LeSean “Shady” McCoy. The Steelers receiver expressed confidence in himself and even labeled himself as a top-three wide receiver in the NFL. Confidence is so important for professional athletes, but many have reacted negatively to Claypool’s comments as he isn’t even the best receiver on his own team. That title belongs to Diontae Johnson.

Claypool is setting high expectations for himself and elite play on the field will win back the hearts of Steeler Nation after a shaky sophomore season with many questionable mental mistakes. His comments could come back to bite him, especially if he isn’t a top three target on his own offense in 2022. We all know Johnson will be the go to guy, but what about other options on offense that could see the ball in the air more often than Claypool?

 

Steelers Have Other Options To Throw To

Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris both had more receptions in 2021 than Claypool. Not only did the tight end and running back have more receptions than Claypool, but more touchdowns too as the Notre Dame standout only had two touchdown receptions last season. Both Freiermuth and Harris not only have the talent, but who knows who the favorites will be for whichever quarterback is manning the offense? While Claypool is entering his third year and has more experience, the offense has a ton of firepower and mistakes could lead to less opportunities. His margin for error should be slim.

Steelers Tight End Pat Freiermuth

The Steelers are also adding wide receivers George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. These two rookies will be hungry to be involved in the offense. While they may not be looked at more than Claypool early on, it is certainly possible that their explosiveness could take opportunities away from other offensive players. Harris had 74 receptions last year and Freiermuth ended up with 60. Claypool was targeted 105 times, but only had 59 receptions. If the succession rate stays the same, the confident wideout could end up regretting his remarks on the podcast.

Claypool, of course, has the ability to be a very dynamic playmaker, especially if Matt Canada uses him more like he was his rookie season. The rise to, forget about top three, but even a top 10 wide receiver in the NFL could mean the Steelers need to use him just as the San Francisco 49ers used Deebo Samuel in 2021.

All of this is not necessarily a knock on Claypool, but more of a compliment to the talent that the team possesses on the offensive side of the ball. A successful and unexpected burst from the offense in 2022 could come from whichever players perform and have the best rapport with the signal-caller early on. Mike Tomlin benched Claypool at times in 2021 for some of his decision making and play. He should be held to an even higher standard in his third year.

Competition will only make everyone in the wide receiver room better. But, the usage of Claypool will mainly be determined by how involved both Freiermuth and Harris are in the passing game. If both are looked at and stand out for the team in the beginning of the season along with Johnson, the number of targets may shrink for other guys including Claypool. All of Steeler Nation would love for him to have a breakout conversation and be considered one of the best wide receivers in the game. But first, he needs to earn that title on his on team.

 

What do you make of Claypool’s comments on the podcast? Let us know in the comments below!

#SteelerNation

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. AC

    June 21, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Claypool is the best WR on the team. Johnson was Ben’s darling and target monster. You give Claypool the same amount of targets he’s going to put up ridiculous numbers.

  2. Pingback: Why The Steelers Won't Extend Diontae Johnson, and That's Not a Bad Thing - SteelerNation.com

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