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Steelers shut out of PFF wide receiver rankings for 2021

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Over the last four seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. These four comprise what might be the most talented four-deep receiver corps in the AFC. But according to the smart guys at Pro Football Focus, none of them are elite players in their own right.

PFF put together their ranking of the Top 32 wide receivers, none of the Steelers wide receivers made the cut.

Does this come as a surprise to anyone? I suppose if an argument could be made for any of the four, Smith-Schuster and his fast start in the NFL could make a case. Smith-Schuster finished with 97 receptions in 2020 after a down 2019 season when the entire Steelers offense fell apart after Ben Roethlisberger got hurt. Just the year before, Smith-Shuster paired up with Antonio Brown and hauled in 111 receptions.

This unit exemplifies the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum if its parts” and you can take this as a good thing or a bad thing. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a true No. 1 receiver on the roster to impact opposing defenses the way Brown did for so long. But they do have a group of guys who could be labeled solid No. 2 receivers and this presents its own challenges for defenses with their diverse skill sets.

List

Predicting the roles of the Steelers 2021 NFL draft class