18 Yards Per Reception
I previously mentioned that Claypool ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. Well, Martavis Bryant also ran an unofficial 4.42 when he visited the combine in 2014. Early in his career, Bryant looked like a budding star, but he couldn’t overcome substance abuse issues. Now, Claypool can fulfill the promise Bryant never could and become an excellent deep-ball target for the Steelers.
As a rookie, Bryant averaged 21.1 yards per reception. I don’t think Claypool reaches that mark because Pittsburgh’s offense lacks the star power if possessed when Bryant entered the league. Roethlisberger is also coming off a season lost to elbow surgery, so we don’t know how his deep ball looks yet.
However, the Steelers do need a new deep threat. All three of the team’s current starting receivers possess reliable speed and athleticism. Still, none of them specialize in getting vertical against defenses and cracking the game open, which means it’s the perfect role for Claypool.
If Claypool averages 18 yards per reception and reaches 40 receptions, he’ll finish 2020 with 720 receiving yards. That total might seem high considering that Johnson only tallied 680 yards as a rookie last year, but that was with Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph running the offense.