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Is It Possible the Pittsburgh Steelers Have the Best Receiving Core in the NFL?

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Feature
467   //    18 May 2018, 15:17 IST

Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers
Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been taking an interesting approach at wide receiver the past couple of seasons. Despite possibly having the best wide receiver in the game in Antonio Brown, they drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster in the first-round in the 2017 NFL Draft and James Washington in the second-round in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh traded away talented wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers receiving core next season will be Brown, Smith-Schuster, and possibly Washington as the third receiver. Does Pittsburgh have the best receiver core in the NFL?

When you have the best receiver in the game in Antonio Brown, it always helps out the cause. He rarely drops passes and makes ridiculous catches from time-to-time. Brown had had 101 receptions for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns during the regular season in 2017. Brown had seven receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC Divisional Round loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

JuJu Smith-Schuster emerged into a star near the end of the regular season in 2017. He became the Steelers number one option when Brown missed some time near the end of the season with a partial torn calf muscle. Smith-Schuster caught 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He is primed to have a 1,000-yard season if not more.

James Washington could be a homerun threat for Ben Roethlisberger on either the outside or in the slot. In his senior year at Oklahoma State, Washington caught 74 passes for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh has very fast receivers and they are going to be very difficult to deal with. Other teams like the New York Giants (Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard), Denver Broncos (Demariyus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders), Kansas City Chiefs (Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill), Oakland Raiders (Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper), and the Philadelphia Eagles (Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor) have very good duo receiving combinations but they don't have a very good third receiver.

The only two teams that maybe have a better receiving core than Pittsburgh is the Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu) and the Los Angeles Rams (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks). Other than that, Pittsburgh has the best receiving core in the NFL.

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Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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