Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: WR Chase Claypool
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Hasn’t had the chance to get down from Canada and get any work in with teammates, or Ben Roethlisberger.
I’m going to try to write this without getting my head bitten off. I don’t need Chase Claypool to see this and lead him to think that I hate him and think he’s a bust before he ever hits the field. It’s not about that at all, and I hope anybody who freaks out about the title actually takes the time to read this and see how mild it is.
But the fact of the matter is that, since he was drafted, Claypool hasn’t even gotten the opportunity to get down to Pittsburgh, or the United States, as he has been spending quarantine with his family up in Canada, with, to the best of my knowledge, that course not having changed.
That is the only reason that I’m writing that his stock is down since he was drafted. Not because he’s done anything bad, or has failed to take advantage of any opportunities in front of him. Really, almost all rookies are in a similar position, though Alex Highsmith, for example, has been working out with teammates with trainer Brandon Jordan.
There’s not much—not anything—Claypool can do about it. It’s not his fault. But it is the reality that he has to deal with as a rookie, and that could potentially play into how the course of his rookie season goes later on this year.
I was considering just listing his stock as even to try to avoid any pushback for saying anything that could be perceived as negative here. As you can see, I decided against taking that approach, and just hoping that everybody can choose to be reasonable about it.
Claypool is entering a wide receiver room in which three players gained over 500 yards and caught at least three touchdowns last season with terrible quarterback play, and the one with the worst numbers in that group is by far the most accomplished. Anything that delays his development is a step back toward having the chance to contribute significantly this year. And that’s the point I’m making here.