Steelers get Big Ben help with Claypool in 2nd round

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The Pittsburgh Steelers selected wide receiver Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 49th overall.

Claypool possesses a rare combination of size and speed, as he's the only wideout over 230 pounds to break 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash since Calvin Johnson in 2007.

The rookie will join a receiving group led by JuJu Smith-Schuster and sophomore Diontae Johnson. Ben Roethlisberger also has the tight end duo of Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald at his disposal as he returns from a season-ending elbow injury.

Prospect Profile

School: Notre Dame
Height: 6-4
Weight: 238 lbs

Positives

  • Outstanding blend of size, strength, and speed
  • Good use of hands to beat the press at the line
  • Plays through contact and establishes position with his strength
  • Wins over his defender with hops and strong hands at the catch point
  • Good balance and body control to adjust to the ball in mid-air
  • Physical runner after the catch
  • Effective run-blocker on the outside
  • Productive special teams gunner

Negatives

  • Takes time to get up to full speed
  • Not gifted with lateral movement skills
  • Doesn't run precise routes
  • Route tree could be limited to vertical breakers
  • Will struggle to separate at the short and intermediate levels
  • One year of high-level production

Bottom Line

Claypool was one of the biggest stories of this year's combine. His 4.42 40-yard dash time, when adjusted for weight, is on par with the top burners in this class. Pair that kind of rare athleticism with his strength and well-established ability to dominate opposing cornerbacks in contested catch situations, and you've got as much upside as you could possibly ask for from a likely mid-round pick. Claypool will come with limitations - most notably, a lack of lateral agility will limit his route tree - but he has the potential to be a game-changer if a team can consistently put him in a position to do what he does best - make big plays down the sideline.

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Steelers get Big Ben help with Claypool in 2nd round
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