Chase Claypool to Pittsburgh: Claypool Can Be an Impactful Player
Claypool gives Ben Roethlisberger his largest target out wide since Martavis Bryant and adds another red zone threat to the Pittsburgh offense. Let's take a dive into Claypool's possible impact and fantasy ceiling in the Steel City.
Claypool in College
Claypool impressed at the combine, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 238-pounds. He has a 40.5-inch vertical and grew up in the British Columbia, becoming a top-20 prospect before taking his talents to South Bend. In his final season for the Fighting Irish, he was the team's leading receiver, grabbing 66 passes for 1,037 yards (15.7 per) and 13 touchdowns, which ranked in the top 10 nationally as a senior.
In his junior season and first full season as a starter, Claypool recorded 50 receptions, 639 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He's played in 45 career games over his four years at Notre Dame and saw 238 targets over his last three seasons (37 games). He's an experienced route-runner and vertically unmatched when high-pointing the ball. He became an elite deep threat with 16 receptions of 20 yards or more -- the most among all draft eligible receivers.
Claypool saw a career-high target share of 28.6% last season, but he registered a career-low catch rate of 55.5%.
In a new offense centered around Roethlisberger, one that will likely be getting back to the passing game in 2020, Claypool could excel as a rookie
Welcome to the Heinz Red Zone
The Steelers have JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron, giving them an array of offensive weapons for the 38-year-old Roethlisberger. Claypool should step in and contend for the No. 3 receiver role in the offense, likely being used as a deep threat to stretch the field.
The Steelers finished last in the NFL with a terrible 35% red zone touchdown percentage in 2019, and Claypool can be a red zone threat as the tallest wide receiver on the roster at 6-foot-4.
Our JJ Zachariason projects Claypool for 31 catches, 394 yards, and 2.3 touchdowns in 2020.