(Photo via Chase Claypool's Instagram)
Nate Burleson listed his Impact Rookies on "Good Morning Football" this morning. Burleson acknowledged that the wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft were deep, but one wide receiver who came to his mind was Chase Claypool with the Steelers.
“The rookie that is going to have to step up and will step up is Chase Claypool, wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers," Burleson said. "This is a big, tall, framed wide receiver that is 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. That is right in the Julio Jones kind of body frame and Calvin Johnson body frame. What I am hearing in camp, he has been showing off that 4.42 speed. Those receiving skills and route-running ability. I am calling it right now. He will have one touchdown and 100 yards.”
Wait? Nate Burleson is saying Claypool has a similar body frame, receiving skills, and route running as Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson? That is very generous for a rookie who hasn’t even touched the field yet. Claypool’s career stats at Note Dame were 150 receptions, 2,159 yards, 14.4 average yards, and 19 touchdowns. That’s impressive. Just imagine when Claypool gets into the Steelers' system who are known for their wide receivers being elite.
Chris Simms, who watched a lot of Claypool's games at South Bend as a studio analyst for Notre Dame football on NBC, also had high praise for the Abbotsford, British Columbia native.
“Love the buzz on Chase Claypool from Steelers camp,” Simms said “Very few wide receivers I’ve ever seen look like he does with the physical ability that he has. Built like Brandon Marshall, but faster and more explosive. Superstar potential.”
“I always get caught trying to spread too much praise on rookies, because I want them to sneak up on other people, Roethlisberger said in an interview with the media on Aug. 27. "But it doesn't look like Chase is going to be able to sneak up on anybody right now because people are talking about him and deservedly so. He's just making plays. I think the plays that he's making are impressive, but I think, to me, what's more, impressive is that he doesn't ask a lot of questions, which means he knows his stuff. I can change a play with a hand signal or call a different play at the line of scrimmage, and I always check him like, 'Are you good?' He's like, I got it. That's very impressive from a quarterback perspective because as much as we've thrown at him, he's able to digest it. I'm not saying he doesn't make a mistake, but when he does make a mistake, he's not making the same mistake twice. I just think that's really impressive.”
That is high praise from the two-time Super Bowl champion. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler also has been impressed by what he's seen from Claypool in training camp.
“When I first saw him, I thought he had brick hands there for a minute,” Butler told team reporters. “But I've been really impressed with him as of late. That size and speed is something that's hard to defend, especially when you get in the red zone and stuff like that and you start playing jump-ball with a guy and he has that size that he can body you up or he can out-jump you. It makes it tough for us to defend a guy like that.”
Could Mapeltron be in for a mega game against the Giants' secondary Monday? Nate Burleson sure thinks so predicting the young rookie will have a touchdown and 100 yards. Only time will tell if Chase Claypool can become a superstar in the Steelers' wide receiver system, but looking at the Steelers track record with wide receivers, if he stays healthy he could become the next stud in Pittsburgh.