WR Depth Chart: 2 Weeks Until Game 1

Steelerswire.usatoday.com

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker
SteelerNation.com

 

With two weeks left before the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ first game against the New York Giants, this is how I see the Steelers’ wide receiver depth chart:

 

(Players in bold, are projected to make the roster)

LWR (X) Diontae Johnson (+), Ray-Ray McCloud (+)

SWR (Y) JuJu Smith-Schuster (+),  Ryan Switzer (+), 

RWR (Z) James Washington, Chase Claypool (+), 

Deon Cain (-), Amarah Darboh, Saeed Blacknall, DeAndre Thompkins

Released: Anthony Johnson cleared waivers and currently on the Steelers Injured Reserve List

I’ve placed the deep ball receivers with size on the Right (Z), more polished route running receivers on the Left (X), and slot guys are in the Middle (Y). Last year the Steelers kept six receivers, and I expect them to do the same this season.

 

Diontae Johnson just returned from a calf injury 8/27 where he sat out for seven days. Now that he’s back, he’s at the top of the WR depth chart at the X. Ray-Ray McCloud has been making news since the Steelers added him last week. We hear he had a kick return touchdown, and also is showing what he can do as a receiver. This alone has bumped him up the WR depth chart. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster had a mild injury that wasn’t disclosed, but he did miss three days of practice. It doesn’t appear serious as he’s back and practicing fully since 8/27. Ryan Switzer also injured his foot, and it was feared it might have been serious. Fortunately it was not as he returned to practice on 8/31 after missing a full week of work. Fortunately he has a good grasp of the offense and a lot of off-season reps with Ben Roethlisberger helping him rehab from elbow surgery. 

James Washington has been relatively healthy, only missing five days of practice from 8/17 – 8/21. Chase Claypool keeps making waves in training camp as the beat reporters can’t stop singing his praises. It looks like he will be in some sub-packages starting week 1 with the Steelers’ offense. Deon Cain has been healthy and getting a lot of snaps, but the Steelers just keep adding Z receivers. It makes me question his potential to make the roster. Amarah Darboh is moving up the roster with receivers missing time in front of him. Saeed Blacknall was a former Penn State University player in 2018, and most recently spent some time playing in Los Angeles for the XFL. He’s fast and can stretch the field. He also has some kick return ability and potential to play gunner. In April on the Steeler Nation Podcast, I mentioned he could be a potential target to play the Z and potentially a big slot, like Smith-Schuster. Another XFL player DeAndre Thompkins was signed. He is also mostly a Z receiver with some X potential. If you told me the Steelers were signing a receiver from the DC Defenders, I would have thought it was Eli Rogers, but sadly it was not. 

Currently, I have to say Smith-Schuster, Johnson, Washington, and Claypool are locks. I still think Switzer, Cain, and McCloud are fighting for the last 2 spots, but it appears that McCloud is starting to make a push to make this roster, and now has a slight edge on Cain.  

 

Who do you think should make the final roster as a wide receiver? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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