WR Depth Chart: Week 4 of Preseason


This is my projected depth chart:
(Players on the top line are projected to make the roster)

LWR (X) Antonio Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey,
Damoun Patterson, Marcus Tucker

SWR (Y) JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ryan Switzer
Jaylen Samuels, Marcus Tucker, Quadree Henderson

RWR (Z) Justin Hunter, James Washington,
Tevin Jones, Trey Griffey

PUP: Eli Rogers (ACL Injury)

Receivers lost: Justin Thomas (Released) Martavis Bryant (Traded to Raiders), Sammie Coates (Traded to Browns)

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). I project the Steelers to keep 6 WRs this year, as they did last year.

X) Antonio Brown won’t play a preseason snap, and still will be the best in the league. Heyward-Bey benefited the most from Marcus Tucker getting injured. Tucker was the only coverage threat that the Steelers had in special teams, outside of DHB. Damoun Patterson seems destined for the practice squad, and Marcus Tucker the same, or an injury settlement.

Y) JuJu will be very active in all offensive formations, and will see his playing time increase this year. Ryan Switzer was acquired in a trade from the Raiders. That must mean that Marcus Tucker is more injured than initially thought. Too bad, because he was having a very good preseason. It also means that Eli Rogers isn’t close to returning, and thanks to his substance abuse suspension, that wait will now officially be 4 weeks longer. Jaylen Samuels, who I thought the team drafted to play the slot, is now officially a position flexible running back. Henderson will not make the team, but may be a practice squad candidate. Justin Thomas was released when they picked up Switzer.

Z) Just when it seemed Washington wrestled the starting spot from Hunter, it was Hunter starting and catching the only touchdown of the game. Washington also strained his oblique, so he will be taking it easier for the next few weeks, leading up to the first game of the season. Jones and Griffey both lost their chances to make the roster as well, with the Switzer trade..

I did not see the Ryan Switzer trade coming. Kudos to Colbert and Tomlin for recognizing a need for a full time kick returner, who can also play in offensive sets. I thought the team was happy with their slot receivers, but injuries to Rogers and Tucker made that position thin. Also this probably means that Fitzgerald Toussaint and Cameron Sutton never have to return kicks again. When this team prizes ball control over all else on return teams, the Steelers solidified 2 roles with one trade.

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