2021 projections for Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool, Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

Every season some players take the NFL by storm, coming out of nowhere to produce some big numbers. These are players that Fantasy Football managers love, as they usually help them win their leagues. Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wideout Chase Claypool was one of those players in 2020.

Wide receiver has been a position this occurs at with the NFL becoming such a pass-heavy league. One player that managers received unexpected production from was Claypool.

The Steelers selected Claypool with the 49th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and some analysts believed it was a reach for the Notre Dame product. He wasted little time proving those doubters wrong.

He brought an added dimension to the passing game with his size, standing 6’4”. His coming-out party was in Week 5 when he torched the Philadelphia Eagles for 110 yards and three touchdowns in seven receptions. 

Claypool proved to be a good medium-deep target for Ben Roethlisberger, averaging 13.2 yards of average depth of target. He caught 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns and quarterbacks had a 110.4 quarterback rating when targeting him.

With such a great rookie season, the Steelers are expecting big things in his sophomore season. What can we expect from Claypool in Year 2? Let’s take a look.

What To Expect From Chase Claypool In 2021

The Steelers’ offense as a whole should be improved with Najee Harris taking over as the team’s lead back. The Alabama standout should help take some of the pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game, as the Steelers generated virtually nothing on the ground last season.

Roethlisberger being another year removed from his elbow procedure should help him get back on track. But, Pittsburgh does have a lot of mouths to feed on offense.

JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to the team on a one-year deal. Diontae Johnson looks poised for a breakout season himself and James Washington is still on the roster as a deep threat. Eric Ebron and rookie Pat Freiermuth will make for a dynamic pairing at tight end.

Despite all of that competition, Claypool will take a second-year leap and improve upon his numbers. Claypool will see his efficiency jump in Year 2, catching 80 passes with a slight uptick in targets with 115. He will surpass 1,110 receiving yards and catch 12 touchdowns as the Steelers’ go-to red-zone threat.

In a pass-friendly offense, there will be plenty of opportunities for Claypool to produce for the Steelers and Fantasy Football managers alike.