Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool put together a fantastic rookie season in 2020, as the Notre Dame product managed to register 62 receptions for 873 yards (14.1 average) and nine touchdowns. On top of that, Claypool had two additional had two rushing touchdowns as well. So, on the heels of that productive rookie season, how many touchdowns does Claypool think he will score in 2021? Well, more than he did as a rookie.
“We’ve got an extra game [in 2021]. Hopefully a faster start on the touchdown category,” Claypool said on Monday’s Inside Training Camp Live. “So, I’m going to say 14 touchdowns.”
Last season, Claypool tied Franco Harris (1972) and Louis Lipps (1984) for the most rookie season touchdowns in franchise history with 11. Additionally, his 62 receptions on the season were the most ever for a Steelers rookie and his nine receiving touchdowns were the most among all rookies.
Claypool’s 14 touchdown prediction for 2021 while plausible, would certainly be quite an accomplishment. In case you’re curious, the most touchdowns scored by a Steelers player in one regular season is 16 by running back Willie Parker in 2006. 13 of those 16 were rushing touchdowns.
Last season, five NFL players topped 16 or more total touchdowns, and three of those were running backs. New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara led the NFL with 21 in total with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams finishing in second place with 18.
While 14 total touchdowns in 2021 seems like quite a goal for Claypool, he believes having a full season under his belt now will help his cause in achieving that scoring goal.
“Year 2 is a little bit about learning the new offense,” Claypool said in his interview with the NFL Network on Monday, “but it’s a lot more about building on your previous year, so the game slows down a little bit in a good way, and you can really dissect some of the things that are about to happen, and then you can look back on what just happened.”
Claypool also believes the Steelers now having Matt Canada installed as the team’s offensive coordinator after serving as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2020 is yet another reason why he thinks he could possibly top a dozen touchdowns scored in 2021.
“He’s getting into a lot of sets in different ways, which I think is nice because you can run the same play and make it look like three or four different plays,” Claypool said of Canada. “Half of the offense is the same as last year, and then some new terminology. So, it’s not a whole new offense, whole new playbook, just some of the things that are different.”