The Pittsburgh Steelers normally focus their NFL Draft on their defense. In their draft last year, the Steelers’ first two rounds had defensive players being chosen. It wasn’t until the third round that the Steelers drafted a wide receiver in Sammie Coats.
The Steelers, in their last 10 NFL Drafts, have only selected four offensive players in the first round. As for the wide receivers, the Steelers last wide receiver was selected in 2006, when Santonio Holmes walked across the stage to receive his Steelers jersey.
The Steelers could possibly have that change this season. With the news of Martavis Bryant’s year-long suspension, the Steelers are going to need some help on offense. The Steelers luckily have some help when it comes to the NFL Draft. The team couldn’t find any replacements for Bryant in the free agency, and are expected to find themselves a new receiver to add to their corps.
The Steelers could go down a familiar route and go with Tyler Boyd, who played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh. The Panthers wide receiver, who played at Heinz Field all in his college career, is projected to go in the second round. The junior, who is 6’1 and 197 pounds, was ranked number five in the wide receiver draft class.
Boyd finished his college career with 254 receptions for 3,361 yards. Boyd caught 21 receiving touchdowns and averaged 13.2 yards per catch. As for his rushing, he rushed the ball 63 times for 520 yards, and scored one touchdown. Boyd is also a player who can handle the return duties, as he did kick and punt returns in college.
Also another potential target for the Steelers is Josh Doctson, a Texas Christian University (TCU) alum. Doctson is reported to go in either the late first round or in the second round. The TCU alum was praised by an NFC area scout on his NFL Draft profile.
“I think he’ll be a receiver that people start to find problems with, and then he’ll get 65-70 catches by Year 2 or 3,” said the scout. “He can really go get it when the ball is in the air. Those guys aren’t easy to find.”
Doctson’s career statistics have him as finishing off college with 215 receptions for 3,178 yards. Doctson, who is 6’3 and 195 pounds, scored 34 receiving touchdowns. Unlike Boyd, he only rushed the ball one time for six yards.
The Steelers draft plan will undoubtedly change with Bryant’s suspension. However, only the Steelers front office know if the team will draft a wide receiver in the first round or not. Even if the Steelers do not draft in the first round, or don’t get Boyd or Doctson, they can always attempt to grab Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Corey Coleman (Baylor), Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Michael Thomas (Ohio State) and Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina), among many other receivers.