PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As the temperatures outside continue to rise, the National Football League closes in on the start of the 2020 season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steelers will host training camp at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh this year rather than the usual trip down Route 30 to Latrobe’s St. Vincent College.
Nevertheless, while the Steelers report to camp over the next week, many positions will be set for 2020, but some will remain up for grabs until the end of camp.
The wide-receiving core is deep, holding 10 spots on the current 90-man roster:
- Ryan Switzer, 4th Season
- Chase Claypool, Rookie (Notre Dame)
- James Washington, 3rd Season
- Quadree Henderson, 2nd Season
- Deon Cain, 3rd Season
- Diontae Johnson, 2nd Season
- JuJu Smith-Shuster, 4th Season
- Saeed Blacknall, 1st Season
- Amara Darboh, 3rd Season
- Anthony Johnson, 1st Season
Juju Smith-Shuster is entering his fourth season in Black and Gold and is a lock for the No. 1 spot.
Projected ‘Starters on Sundays’: JuJu Smith-Shuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Chase Claypool
In 2019, Washington led the Steelers averaging 16.7 yards per catch for 3 touchdowns. Washington more than tripled his career total in receiving yards from year one to two.
Smith-Shuster had 42 catches for 552 yards and 3 touchdowns, but Diontae Johnson led the Steelers in catches at 59, and receiving touchdowns with five.
With the Steelers top three receivers returning, it’ll be a battle for second-round draft pick Chase Claypool to crack a top spot on the depth chart, but there is no doubt we will see him at some time in 2020-21.
Claypool presents a fast-style and is coming off a senior year at Notre Dame where he collected 1,037 yards through the air and hauled in 18 touchdowns.
Reserves: Ryan Switzer, Quadree Henderson, Deon Cain, Saeed Blacknall, Amara Darboh, Anthony Johnson
Battling for a Spot:
In years past, coach Mike Tomlin has kept six wide receivers on the final 53-man roster which will be set by camp’s end. Switzer seems like the quick-glance option after seeing significant time in 2020, but Cain could pose a threat in the chase for the sixth spot. Both could play on special teams returning kicks and punts.
A non-existent preseason schedule due to COVID-19 could mean a tougher road ahead for the young receivers on the Steelers roster, but as the next few weeks progress the back half of the receiving core will be determined.