Chase Claypool is no longer in the fold.
After weeks of speculation, third-year receiver Chase Claypool was traded to the Chicago Bears for a 2023 second round pick before yesterday's trade deadline.
The compensation the Pittsburgh Steelers received bodes well as they potentially have three draft picks in the Top-50, which can help them address several needs on offense or defense. For the immediate present, the loss of Claypool means they are void of a weapon that proved to be valuable in the slot. With Claypool's departure, the Steelers have few productive pass catchers on their roster.
WR Diontae Johnson - 43 receptions, 372 yards
WR George Pickens - 26 receptions, 338 yards
TE Pat Freiermuth - 32 receptions, 367 yards
TE/FB Connor Heyward - 5 receptions, 67 yards
RB Najee Harris - 24 receptions, 112 yards
WR Gunner Olszewski - N/A
WR Steven Sims - 2 receptions, -1 yards
TE Zach Gentry - 12 receptions, 92 yards
WR Miles Boykin - 1 reception, 11 yards
WR Anthony Miller
WR Calvin Austin III
One player to consider filling the void in the slot is rookie Connor Heyward, who has the versatility to play multiple spots along the line of scrimmage. Another player that will need to put his best foot forward is Miles Boykin. During the preseason, Boykin proved to be one of rookie Kenny Pickett's favorite targets. With his size (6'4, 220 lbs.), he could be a presence in a slot in a similar way as Claypool was this season.
Inevitably, the Steelers will look to the NFL Draft to add to their receiving corps. Based on their track record of drafting receivers, they are likely to find another productive pass catcher for their offense. For the time being, they will feel the weight of not having a presence like Claypool on the field with them.