While Chase Claypool views himself as one of the top receivers in the league, he gave credit to other top names in the league. Speaking after this weekend’s charity softball game, Claypool was asked to name the top three wideouts in football.
“Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase,” he said in a tweet shared by Jake Brown. “There’s a lot of guys up there who are all top three capable. I just feel like I’m also able to be that guy. I just gotta work towards that.”
Appearing on the I Am Athlete podcast over the summer, Claypool called himself a top-three receiver in the league, though it’s unclear if he was talking about other top receivers in the league when asked over the weekend. Here’s what he said back in June.
“I know for a fact, I’m not like the rest of the guys in the NFL. I know I’m a top-five receiver. I know I’m a top-three receiver.”
Perhaps Claypool heard some of the pushback over those comments and has smartly reframed things. That he has the potential and ability to be a top-three receiver but isn’t there yet. No one would put him in the camp of those other names, Adams, Jefferson, Chase. Adams has been consistently excellent, Jefferson broke out as one of the league’s top route runners, and Chase is routinely one of the league’s biggest game-breakers.
Claypool will need to have a season that looks similar to and hopefully even better than his rookie season when he found the end zone time and time again. While his receptions and yards were similar a year ago, his touchdowns took a nosedive, falling him 11 total to just two. On tape, he was a far different player, losing out on 50/50 balls too often, struggling with consistency, not showing enough effort as a blocker, and having his name in headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Still, Claypool’s talent is undeniable and Mitch Trubisky and/or Kenny Pickett should help unlock the offense’s vertical game. Claypool will be a key cog in that. This offense will need chunk plays to flip fields and swing momentum. With their growing pains, it’s unlikely they’re going to string together crisp and clean 12-play drives as they march down the field. If Claypool can prove himself this year and Diontae Johnson hypothetically isn’t around for the 2023 season, he can enter next year as the team’s #1. And while he won’t be viewed as a top-three receiver in football, his place in the rankings will climb.