Entering the 2020 season as the fourth wide receiver on Pittsburgh’s depth chart means Claypool can only expect token targets early in the year. If he performs well in practice or during his limited opportunities, then the Notre Dame product can become a regular part of Pittsburgh’s offense by the end of the season.
Considering the current makeup of Pittsburgh’s offense, I don’t believe the Steelers will start Claypool more than seven times this coming season. I don’t anticipate him beating out any of the older players, but we saw how injuries handicapped the team’s wide receiver corps last season.
Even Washington earned six starts as a rookie, and he performed poorly in most of those appearances. Assuming Pittsburgh didn’t completely whiff on Claypool, he should follow a similar path to Johnson, who saw more opportunities as players got hurt last season.
I expect Claypool will make the most of his limited catches. After all, the 6-4, 238-pound behemoth did run a 4.42 40-time at the combine. While that doesn’t approach D.K. Metcalf’s 4.33 from last year, it shows that Claypool can blow past defensive backs.