Updated: Oct 6, 2020
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Steelers' second-round draft pick Chase Claypool has had a promising start to his rookie year with at least one big play in all three games. Claypool had a 28-yard toe-tap grab near the sidelines against the Giants in the season opener that led to a field goal, an 84-yard catch-and-run touchdown reception against the Broncos and a 24-yard catch-and-run on third-and-9 to clinch the win against the Texans.
For the year, Claypool has six receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown. He has also been productive on special teams with four tackles. And the Notre Dame phenom doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon or being affected by the proverbial rookie wall.
"I never think about hitting the rookie wall, but I am preparing," Claypool said. "I am trying to get into a routine now, so I don't have to go through that too bad. I am trying to get into a routine of treatment."
Claypool played 61 of the Steelers’ 80 offensive snaps during their 28-21 Week 3 win over the Texans. Diontae Johnson left the game in the second quarter with a concussion which created more opportunities for Claypool.
“It was good to get a full game under my belt just to know what to expect going into next time it might happen,” Claypool said. “It definitely sped up my development, but I don’t think there’s too much more of a gap where I need to fill in.”
With there being no organized team activities, minicamp and preseason games this year due to the impact of COVID-19, you would think a rookie wide receiver would have at least some struggles adapting to the playbook and NFL game. That hasn't been the case for Claypool though as he's grasping everything just fine.
“The playbook and the speed was a pleasant surprise,” Claypool said. “It wasn’t a huge jump in terms of the playbook, and the speed of the game, I adjusted pretty quickly to that.”
As the season goes on, Claypool will only get more comfortable in the offense and continue to build on his chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. Through three games, however, Claypool has shown why the Steelers coveted him so highly when they selected him with the 49th overall pick out of Notre Dame.